This delicious cherry and berry smoothie is from Dina Honké at OliveOilAndLemons. The recipe is on the next page. However, you may wish to read on to learn how to be kind to your body and avoid a sugar-high.
Berries are packed full of nutrients and tangy flavor, and are low in calories. Cherries, especially tart cherries, are great to ease muscle aches following exercise.
Now, taking this smoothie as it is, while beautifully fruity and delicious, drinking it on its own gives a huge sugar hit – yes, a natural sugar hit, but sugar just the same. Having a small glass with meusli, eggs or oatmeal reduces the impact. Likewise, if you share it among four people then it is no worse than taking one piece of fruit. But I know I, for one, love a tall glass of ice cold smoothie – not a small one, thank you, lol! – especially in the summer months. So, if you want/need to avoid too much sugar hitting your blood stream too quickly, try the following suggestions.
Note: Our suggestions will increase the number of calories in the recipe, so if that is important to you, consider exchanging a meal (say breakfast) with this tasty smoothie.
Exchange 1/2-1 cup orange juice for the same amount of Milk or Yogurt, eg dairy (which is best due to the protein it provides), or coconut milk or almond milk.
Protein-rich foods like [dairy milk and yogurt] help keep blood sugar levels under control and help trigger those sensors in the body that indicate you are full. They are also rich in vitamin B12 and calcium which are “critical for adequate energy levels, bone health, and proper functioning of nerves, muscles and blood vessels.” From 5 Strategies for Diabetic Smoothies
Note: almond milk and coconut milk beverages, while they may have nutrients added to them during processing, do not contain protein, and may contain undesirable additives like carrageenan, which causes digestive issues in some people.
Exchange 1/2-1 cup orange juice for chilled Green Tea, or chilled Ginger Tea.
With one of the above options, add 1-4 tablespoons Pumpkin seeds (pepitas), or other seeds. These will provide healthy fats which are great for stabilising blood sugar levels, and protein. Deciding exactly how much to add will depend on what else you include. For example there is less protein in seeds than in nut butters so you may want to increase the amount of yogurt to make up for it.
Use Chia seeds and add extra fiber/bulk which slows digestion, making you feel fuller for longer.
Another bonus of seeds over nut butters is that they do not overwhelm the original flavor as can nut butters.
1-4 tablespoons or 1/4-1/2 cup of whole grains like Oats, or other healthy Whole Grains. These reduce the risk of blood sugar spikes, and are also full of fiber for slowing the digestion and helping you feel full for longer.