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Sensible, succulent smoothies

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It's a new year, and you may be looking to shape a new you. One easy, delicious way to add more vegetables and fruits into your diet is incorporating smoothies into your meal plan. Smoothies make quick, healthy substitutes for a meal — particularly breakfast — and are an affordable solution for both your wallet and your waist.

Smoothies are basically a combination of fruit and ice, although they can take many forms that include proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Fruits provide vitamins A and C, potassium, folic acid and fiber. Vegetables add magnesium and iron to the mix, and dairy brings calcium, riboflavin and protein.

While smoothies with ice cream are delicious, healthier versions abound. To create smoothies that won't tip the scales, stick with fresh or frozen fruit combined with low-fat or nonfat products.

Taste is king, of course, so experiment with recipes to find flavors that suit you. If a smoothie is too sweet or too tart, add milk, plain yogurt or ice. To sweeten up a pucker-worthy smoothie, add juice, honey or syrup.

In the warmer months, stop by Wichita-area farmer's markets for just-picked fruits and veggies. In the cooler months, grocery fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as frozen, will do the trick.

Here's a recipe for a quick smoothie that can replace a breakfast meal while providing plenty of energy for the morning.

Berry blast

1/2 cup each blackberries, blueberries and strawberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 cup skim milk
1 cup cranberry-pomegranate juice
2 cups ice

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender and process till the desired consistency is reached.
  2. Pour into a large glass and enjoy.

Bon appétit!

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