My Healthy (and cheap!) Obsession

 

homemade smoothie drink

At the beginning of the year, I resolved to live a healthier lifestyle. We’re now almost 6 months in, and I can honestly say that I have made a lot of improvements. I visited the Dr., I’ve been doing a body weight workout almost daily, and I’ve been making simple changes in my diet.

One of those diet changes has been eating more fruit, something that I’ve never really done in the past. I know I may be in the minority, but I never liked plain fruit. But smoothies are another story, and a homemade strawberry banana smoothie has recently become my healthy obsession!

With my trusty blender, I can whip up a delicious drink in just a couple of minutes. It makes a perfect snack, and many days I’ll have one for lunch if I can’t think of anything else.

What I love about a homemade smoothie is that I get to control exactly what goes into it. I don’t add any artificial sweeteners, because the fruit provides enough flavor. I feel like I’m getting vitamins and nutrients that I wouldn’t otherwise be consuming. Here’s my favorite homemade smoothie recipe:

  • 1 sliced banana
  • handful of sliced strawberries
  • Half cup of orange juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons plain yogurt (Greek is extra tasty)
  • 1 teaspoon of organic honey
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2-3 cubes of ice

It takes about 5 minutes total to prep, and about 45 seconds to blend. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

My homemade smoothies are also easy on the budget. The blender is a one time investment, and an affordable one at that. There are a lot of pricey models and brands available today, but I’ve found this basic Black and Decker model to be perfect for my needs.

I usually buy my fruit fresh, wash off the berries and remove the stems, then store them in the fridge, ready to slice. If there’s a good deal on an item, you can also stock up and freeze them. I’ve found pre-packaged frozen fruit to be really expensive, so I stick to buying fresh.

At our local produce market, a container of strawberries costs $2-3, depending on the day. They tend to cost more at the supermarket. Bananas are always cheap- last night I paid $.59 per pound.

Peanut butter might seem like an odd ingredient choice, but I happen to love it. It’s a great source of protein! If you don’t like it, just leave it out. I buy a big tub for less than $5. The honey adds a little extra flavor, and again, it’s something that I just love for a little added sweetness.

Plain yogurt contains probiotics, which gives your digestive system more of the “good” bacteria that it needs. Look for containers that say “Live and Active Cultures”. Yogurt is also a great source of calcium. I rarely drink milk, so I feel like the yogurt is a decent substitute. 32 oz of plain yogurt costs me less than $3, and Greek is under $5. It easily lasts me a week, even when family members are eating from it, too.

The great thing about homemade fruit smoothies is that you can experiment and come up with your own favorite recipes. There are no limits. I’ve even made smoothies with ice cream when I was out of yogurt. You could always get crazy and add veggies, like kale or carrots, although I never tried it myself. Pick your favorite fruits and veggies and combine them, and see how it tastes. You just might be pleasantly surprised with what you come up with!

Do you make homemade smoothies?  What’s your healthy obsession?

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30 comments on “My Healthy (and cheap!) Obsession

  • Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life , Direct link to comment

    A healthy AND cheap obsession? Those are the best. My current health, cheap obsession is tap water with a sprig of fresh mint and a squeeze of fresh lemon. So good! Also, frozen fruits, straight up, don’t even need to blend.

  • Will, First Quarter Finance , Direct link to comment

    NICE CREAM!!!!

    I’ve been on a nice cream kick for the past few months. I was at my parents house last weekend and had a bowl of ice cream. I actually far prefer the nice cream now!!!

    I use 2 sliced and frozen bananas, 1T pure cocoa powder (only 10 calories) and some milk. Sometimes I’ll add other stuff.

    My roommates make fun of me for using peanut butter but it is so versatile! It’s also an appetite suppressant so that helps.

      • Will, First Quarter Finance , Direct link to comment

        I feel it has a more robust flavor than ice cream. Also much more filling and does without the sugar rush jitters.

        And if you don’t like bananas, it’s okay so you can cover up the flavor easily. You probably know this though. 🙂

        Nice cream is cheap too of course. 😉

  • Derek @ MoneyAhoy.com , Direct link to comment

    I’m on the slow carb diet currently – so no fruit smoothies for me 🙂

    How much weight have you lost so far since you’ve made the change??

    • Lauren , Direct link to comment

      Hi Derek,

      Weight loss wasn’t actually a goal- I’m very slim, but just hadn’t been feeling healthy. Sitting in front of the computer all day makes me feel like a slug, so I wanted to start doing a light workout and be more mindful of what I eat. I figure I’m not getting any younger, so I better start taking care of my health now.

  • Hannah @ Wise Dollar , Direct link to comment

    Yes I made homemade smoothies every day and I love it really. Fruits are good to our health so I make anything through it to be more delicious and healthy. I do make salad, smoothies, shake and etc.

  • Josh Rodriguez @ CNAFinance.com , Direct link to comment

    I used to be a smoothie nut. As a matter of fact, after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, I went on a juice diet. But, I did cheat a bit because I turned the juice into smoothies instead, but that’s all I ate for a week. It was well worth it, felt like I really cleaned up my system.

    • Lauren , Direct link to comment

      I was intrigued after I saw that movie, but I’m not sure I could stick to a green smoothie diet for too long.

  • Andrew@LivingRichCheaply , Direct link to comment

    My wife and I love making smoothies. Might have to try the peanut butter, my wife loves peanut butter. We don’t like greek yogurt though…but maybe if it’s in a smoothie it’ll taste better.

  • John @ Sprout Wealth , Direct link to comment

    Nice work in sticking to your goals! My wife and kids love smoothies so she makes them quite a bit for them. I’m not much into smoothies, but have been eating a ton more veggies this year. It’s amazing how much extra energy making changes like this can give you.

    • Lauren , Direct link to comment

      That’s great John! I love veggies, but I can’t get my daughter to eat them. She isn’t a fan of smoothies, either :/

  • Holly@ClubThrifty , Direct link to comment

    We definitely go through phases but there are times when we drink a ton of fruit smoothies. To my kids, it’s right up there with ice cream! =)

    • Lauren , Direct link to comment

      Wish I could get my daughter to eat them. She loves ice cream, of course, but smoothies? Not so much. I really thought she would go for them!

  • DC @ Young Adult Money , Direct link to comment

    My wife and I used to make a TON of smoothies but we haven’t for a while now. I don’t know why we stopped, but I think it’s about time we start again. Love them.

  • Debt Busting Chick , Direct link to comment

    That looks delicious! I need a smoothie machine. I think I may treat myself to one with my luxury budget allowance next month. It looks healthy and tasty.

  • Addison @ Cashville Skyline , Direct link to comment

    Great job sticking with your healthy goals, Lauren! I actually really love green smoothies. Here’s a basic recipe: 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 to 1 cup frozen berries (raspberries or strawberries), 1 frozen banana, 1 cup of kale, 1 cup of baby spinach. Sometimes I’ll throw in 1/2 cup of oats, ground flaxseed, or a scoop of vegan organic protein powder. Yum!

    • Lauren , Direct link to comment

      Thanks for sharing your recipe- I’ll have to give it a try! I hadn’t thought of using almond milk, would be much lighter on the stomach than the yogurt.

  • The Stoic , Direct link to comment

    Smoothies are a go to “meal” for me during the summer months as I try to decrease the amount of time I use my stove. The recipe I use is basically the same as yours sans the peanut butter and I also like throwing in some raspberries and blueberries or really any other fruit I find on sale.

    • Lauren , Direct link to comment

      Yes, anything that doesn’t require cooking is ideal for the summer! We eat a lot of salads, too, for that reason.

  • Liz , Direct link to comment

    We’ve gotten into smoothies this year as well and I really enjoy them along with the added health benefits. We like doing a mix of kale, spinach, banana, strawberries and blueberries. I buy my strawberries frozen from Costco. They have a pretty good deal on them. I definitely need focus more attention on getting more exercise though.

    • Lauren , Direct link to comment

      I wish we had a Costco around us because I would definitely stock up on ingredients. I’m going to try adding kale one of these days, when I get brave 🙂

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