Recently, Greatist.com had a feature entitled “54 Healthy Smoothies for Any Occasion.” While all of them sounded delightful, with the warm temperatures lately I was instantly drawn to a homemade version of strawberry lemonade.
But before I get to that, let’s take a closer look at this classic beverage…
Traditionally, this type of drink is an overly sweet sugar-rush waiting to happen.
Store bought brands, such as Country Time, are all artificial. Citric acid gives it tartness, xantham gum is used for bulk, red dye makes it pink, etc. etc.
Not to mention you’ll see “sugar” listed as ingredient #1. In one 80 calorie serving there are TWENTY grams of sugar. That’s about the same amount as a Snickers fun-size bar!
Restaurant-made versions of strawberry lemonade don’t do you any favors either. Take Applebees, for example:
They offer frozen lemonades in strawberry, mango or wild berry varieties. The menu description makes it sound healthy, luring you in with the promise of fruit puree.
But what does the nutritional info actually look like? Thankfully, Applebees posts all of the nutritional data for their menu on their website.
If you order the strawberry frozen lemonade you’ll be getting:
65g of carbs
Not much else in the way of nutrients
Now I’m not trying to scare you and make you feel like you’re a horrible person if you’ve had these things before. My goal is to educate. Call attention to what it is you’re putting into your body and share a healthier alternative.
“Fresh As Can Be” Strawberry Lemonade Smoothie
As I mentioned above, I could not wait to make my very own strawberry lemonade smoothie after coming across the recipe.
Hallie Klecker, a certified Nutrition Educator, featured this smoothie on her blog, Daily Bites. Follow the link back to her site for the exact recipe!
Into the blender went:
1 Medjool date
Unsweetened coconut milk
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
The finished product:
The flavors were SPOT ON. It was light and refreshing and so enjoyable. A perfect compliment to this sunny, springy, windows-open-fresh-air-breeze type of day.
Now for the nutritional facts:
At just over 200 calories, all sugars are from natural sources and the addition of cashews adds a dash of healthy fat and protein.
So there you have it. Healthy eating doesn’t mean depriving yourself of foods (and in this case drinks) that you love. It’s all about educating yourself and learning to make better choices!