Recently I got my hands on a copy of the ingredients list for Tim Horton’s “Real Fruit” Smoothies.  Ever since this item hit the menu it’s been a source of contention with me and since finding out what’s actually in it, I know why.

Here’s a look at the ingredients found in Tim Horton’s “Real Fruit” Smoothies:

Mixed Berry Fruit Smoothie: Water, Fruit Purees And Juices (Strawberry Puree, Raspberry Puree, Apple Juice Concentrate, Blackberry Puree, Blueberry Concentrate), Glucose-Fructose (High Fructose Corn Syrup), Glucose, Molasses, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Caramel Colour.

Strawberry Banana Fruit Smoothie: Water, Fruit Purees And Juices (Banana Puree, Apple Juice Concentrate, Strawberry Puree, Elderberry Juice, Concentrate, Lemon Juice Concentrate), Glucose-Fructose (High Fructose Corn
Syrup), Glucose, Molasses, Salt, Potassium Sorbate, Caramel Colour, Natural Flavour.

In this article, Dave McKay, Marketing Director for Beverages at Tim Horton’s says “Canadians are constantly looking for snacking options that fit their active lifestyles.  We’re helping fill that gap with healthier choices with our refreshing Real Fruit Smoothies."

Now Dave, tell me what on Earth High-Fructose Corn Syrup (presumably genetically-modified) is doing in a so-called “real fruit” smoothie?  What about salt, molasses and caramel colour?  And what does ‘natural flavour’ mean?

And while I don’t tend to not get wrapped up in calorie-counting and nutritional data (because when eating “real food” it tends to not matter) the nutritional information of a small Mixed Berry Fruit Smoothie (without yogurt) is out of whack:

Sugar = 30g
Dietary Fiber = 1g
Protein = 0g

What this means is you are pumping your bod full of sugar (and much of it refined and processed) without any fiber or protein to slow down absorption.  Hello reactive hypoglycemia.

So where does that leave us?  We want something budget friendly and easy AND healthy.

Welcome the basic green smoothie.

Green smoothies are taking the healthy-living and trying to be healthy communities by storm.  Why?  Because they are a super easy and inexpensive way to get a lot of nutrients in 10 minutes or less.

Basic Green Smoothie

Ingredients

1 banana, raw or frozen (1 bunch $1.29)
1 cup mango, frozen (1 bag $4.99)
2 generous handfuls spinach (Small container $3.99)
1 scoop protein powder (Genuine Health Vegan Protein Vanilla $19.99)
2 cups filtered water

Directions

1. Combine all ingredients and blend until relatively smooth (if using a high-powered blender this will take no time at all)

Once you get the hang of it, start experimenting with different ingredients.  Always change up your greens and try a variety of superfoods, fruits and vegetables.

Check out one of my favourite books, Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko.

A note about blenders; I own 3 – the love of my life and my favourite kitchen appliance, the Blend-Tec (a high-powered blender), a regular blender that’s about 10 years old and a Magic Bullet.  All have different price points but each works great.  You don’t need to spend tons of money to get a quality blender.

To learn more about the dangers of High Fructose Corn Syrup, check out these sources:

  • American Chemical Society. "Soda Warning? High-fructose Corn Syrup Linked To Diabetes, New Study Suggests." ScienceDaily, 23 Aug. 2007. Web. 31 Aug. 2011.
  • Princeton University study
  • Weston A. Price article
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