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Falling for smoothies

When the right ingredients are whizzed together, a smoothie can flood the body with a cornucopia of must-have nutrients, many of which are vital for the healthiest nine months possible. And when that baby bump is disrupting your appetite for solid foods, the many guises of smoothies are a great way to get the nutrition...

When the right ingredients are whizzed together, a smoothie can flood the body with a cornucopia of must-have nutrients, many of which are vital for the healthiest nine months possible. And when that baby bump is disrupting your appetite for solid foods, the many guises of smoothies are a great way to get the nutrition you need.
But smoothies aren’t just about sun-kissed peaches and berries. In fact, some of the foods associated with sweater weather make for truly delicious and nutritious blender creations. This autumn, use ingredients like butternut squash, apples and cranberries to give your smoothies some seasonal flair, and give you and your growing babe a healthy boost.
gourd-smoothieGood gourd smoothie
Winter squash, like butternut squash, infuses smoothies with natural sweetness and a payload of beta-carotene.
In the body, beta-carotene can be converted to vitamin A, which is used for the proper formation of heart, lungs and other organs in your developing baby. For ease, you can also turn to thawed frozen winter squash puree. Similarly, cooked sweet potato and canned pumpkin puree would work in this tasty drink. Flaxseed adds a hint of nutty flavor and must-have omega-3 fats for brain and eye development.
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1⁄2 cup cooked butternut squash, cooled
1⁄2 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 frozen banana, chopped
Place all of the ingredients in a blender container in the order listed. Blend until smooth. Serves one.
Cranberry cheesecake smoothie
Here’s proof that fresh cranberries are good for more than the eponymous sauce. The fall fruit gives this smoothie some tang along with unique antioxidants that can fend off any urinary tract infections during pregnancy.
Ricotta cheese is another stealth ingredient for rich and creamy whirled-up drinks. It’s loaded with whey protein, a type of protein that is particularly effective at maintaining lean body mass. During pregnancy, it can help you sidestep excessive fat gain. Almond milk makes an excellent base for smoothies because it’s low in calories and provides a whisper of nutty flavor.
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1⁄2 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) cranberries
1⁄2 cup light ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons almond butter
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1⁄2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 small frozen banana, chopped
Place all of the ingredients in a blender container in the order listed. Blend until smooth. Serves one.
Peppermint chocolate smoothie
Avocado makes smoothies deliciously thick and delivers an impressive dose of folate, which helps prevent birth defects of the spine and brain when consumed early on in pregnancy.
Look for cartons of coconut milk drink alongside other dairy-free alternatives like almond milk. It’s not as thick as canned coconut milk and also contains fewer fat calories. Often spelled “cacao” instead of “cocoa” when unprocessed, cacao powder and crunchy cacao nibs are laced with body-friendly antioxidants and pair perfectly with peppermint extract.
1⁄4 cup pitted dates 1 cup plain coconut milk beverage
1⁄2 small avocado, flesh scooped out
1 tablespoon raw or natural cacao powder
1⁄4 teaspoon peppermint extract
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup ice cubes
1 teaspoon cacao nibs, optional
Place dates in a small bowl, cover with warm water, and let soak for about 15 minutes. Drain dates and add to a blender container along with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. Serve garnished with cacao nibs if using. Serves one.
Chai apple smoothie
By the time Jack Frost makes his annual debut, you may no longer be craving a frosty smoothie. Instead, warm up with this toasty drink featuring apple cider, which is made by mashing up apples and then squeezing them to extract their nutrient-rich liquid. Warming the cider with the quartet of spices gives the smoothie a definite chai vibe. Greek yogurt provides velvety texture, plenty of protein and probiotics, good-for-you critters that improve digestive health and may even help reduce the risk for preeclampsia (a potentially dangerous spike in blood pressure during pregnancy). Nut butter rounds out the smoothie with healthy fats and rich flavor. If you want to take this smoothie to go, pour it into an insulated container to keep it warm.
1 cup apple cider
1⁄2 cup water
1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄4 teaspoon ginger powder
1⁄8 teaspoon nutmeg
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cloves
1⁄2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1 small banana
2 teaspoons almond butter or natural peanut butter
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place apple cider, water, cinnamon, ginger powder, nutmeg and cloves in a saucepan and warm until just simmering.
Pour apple cider mixture into a blender container and add remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. Serves one.
Green giant smoothie
As one of the season’s quintessential fruits, pears are particularly abundant in dietary fiber, which helps stave off constipation, one of the most loathed pregnancy complaints. The abundance of protein in cottage cheese (15 grams in a mere half cup) makes certain this smoothie sticks with you, so you’re not hungry again 30 minutes later.
We know it’s a cliché smoothie ingredient, but the fact remains that the hearty winter green known as kale is supercharged in nutrients including beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin K, which aids in bone develop- ment of your offspring. Blending in chia seeds ups your intake of fiber, omega-3s fats and calcium.
1 cup coconut water
1⁄2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 ripe pear, core removed
1 large kale leaf, rib removed
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup ice cubes
Place all of the ingredients in a blender container in the order listed. Blend until smooth. Serves one.

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