As a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) I’m very interested in the science of healthy eating and the art of making healthy foods delicious and craveable. In my pursuit for knowledge, I started a research study about eight years to investigate ways to get men to eat more fruits and vegetables. But here’s the catch: there’s only one subject in the study, my husband.
When I met Scott, he claimed he didn’t really like fruits and vegetables. I took this as a challenge. I was confident I could change his eating habits and improve his long-term health. People who eat the most fruits and vegetables have the lowest risk of heart disease.
While I have many success stories I can share, my biggest accomplishment is getting him to eat 4-5 servings of fruit at breakfast most days of the week.
My secret is making breakfast smoothies that include apples. I use two apples as the base of every smoothie, and from there I may add citrus fruits, fresh or frozen bananas, and frozen cherries, berries, pineapple, or mango.
What I’ve discovered is that smoothies made with apples provide energy that lasts all morning long. The pectin in apples, a type of dietary fiber, slows down the absorption of the natural sugar in the various fruits. While other fruits contain pectin, apples are known for having the highest levels, about 1 to 1.5 percent by weight. That means that about half the fiber in apples comes from pectin.
In the early days of my experiment, I noticed that when I didn’t put apples in our morning smoothie, Scott complained that he got hungry mid-morning and needed a snack. But when I used apples as the base of the smoothie he said he had energy and focus all morning long. I’ve experienced the same reaction; smoothies made with apples provide longer lasting energy for me, too.
I’m looking forward to being able to buy Arctic® apples at my local supermarket in the next few years. Making smoothies every morning takes a bit of work and planning. Being able to cut and core the apples the night before without having to worry about them turning brown is a benefit I’ll definitely take advantage of in the future!
Here’s one of our favorite smoothie recipes:
Nutrition Information per Smoothie: Calories: 350, Total Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 6mg, Potassium: 1030mg, Total Carbohydrate: 90g, Fiber: 16g, Protein: 4g.
Guest Author: Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RDN, FAND
DISCLOSURE: Amy Myrdal Miller operates Farmer’s Daughter Consulting, which provides strategic communications consulting services to agriculture, food, and restaurant clients. Okanagan Specialty Fruits is not a client and Amy was not paid to write this blog.