This month we are giving some extra love to the classic smoothie staple... strawberries!
Previously, we listed strawberries as one of our top ten fruits for smoothies and it’s all too easy to see why. At Healthful Seasons, we’re all about real, easy (and delicious) full body wellness. And strawberries check all the boxes.
Strawberries’ Nutritional Profile
Number one, this sweet superstar is loaded with nutrition. Just 100g (about half a cup) of strawberries provides 56 mg of vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) (1). That’s a significant chunk of the 75 mg that women are recommended to consume each day (2).
And our bodies (including our hair and our skin) love vitamin C. In fact, vitamin C is required for collagen synthesis (3, 4, 5). We go more in depth about why women need collagen peptides in another post, but the short of it is that collagen helps the body heal wounds (3, 4).
Collagen supplements have been shown to increase skin elasticity and hydration, and decrease wrinkle depth without any adverse health effects (6, 7, 8, 9). And studies show that consuming vitamin C with collagen supplements improves their effectiveness (10).
Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant that can even help regenerate other antioxidants in the body (3). Due to strawberries' antioxidant properties, multiple studies have suggested that increasing your consumption specifically of strawberries can positivity impact your health (11).
That’s because antioxidants help the body remove free radicals. Free radicals may enter the body from a variety of sources such as cigarette smoke and air pollution. And the oxidative stress they trigger can damage cells and seems to play a role in common diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease, and diabetes (3, 12).
Due to vitamin C’s antioxidant properties, researchers are investigating whether increasing our vitamin C consumption through fruits (like strawberries!), veggies, and supplements can help us prevent these diseases (3, 5).
Not to mention, strawberries are high in manganese, folate, and potassium. They’re also a good source of iron, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, vitamin K and vitamin E (1).
Preparing Frozen Strawberries
These berries are also one of the easiest, most versatile fruits to use in smoothies. Especially when purchased or frozen in season, they have a natural, guilt-free sweetness that can take your smoothie to the next level.
Bonus - keeping your strawberry stash in the freezer instead of the fridge will dramatically reduce the amount of berries that end up being thrown in the trash due to spoilage. What's more, when frozen, strawberries can replace ice which can seriously water down your favorite beverage’s flavor.
Fortunately, pre-packaged frozen strawberries can be found in any of your local grocery stores. It’s also extremely simple to make your own frozen batch.
Healthful tip: We recommend buying organic strawberries. Year after year, nonorganic strawberries are listed as one of the “dirty dozen” (13). In USDA’s tests, 99% of nonorganic strawberry samples had residues of at least one pesticide. Some of the pesticides found have been linked to cancer and reproductive and developmental damage.
To prepare fresh strawberries for freezing, wash in cold water. If you have a powerful blender, you can simply cut off the leaves and freeze whole. Otherwise, slice. Lay prepared strawberries on parchment paper on a cutting board and freeze (this prevents the strawberries from freezing in one big mass). Once frozen, transfer the strawberries into freezer bags.
How to Make A Strawberry Smoothie
Strawberries lay the sweet, fruity foundation of so many great smoothie recipes. Strawberry Protein, Triple Berry, Almond Butter and Jelly, Strawberry Spinach... and the list goes on.
We share one of our favorite recipes--a Classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie--at the end of this blog.
If you're looking to venture off and make your own strawberry smoothie creation, you're in luck because it couldn't be easier. We cover all the basics for smoothie creation (and why we love smoothies!) in our Smoothie 101 guide.
For a strawberry smoothie, we recommend starting with one cup of frozen strawberries, adding a thickener (1 frozen banana, 1 avocado, or 1/2 cup of yogurt), 1 scoop of a smoothie enhancer and/or collagen peptides and tweaking from there.
Mix in 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid (milk, almond milk, oat milk, coconut milk, juice, green tea, or coconut water) if you'd like it thinner or are looking to give the flavor a new depth.
If you'd like some extra protein, mix in 1 tbsp of your favorite nut butter for a fun PB&J flavor profile or 1 tbsp of chia seeds for a more neutral flavor.
Other optional add-ins to try: 1-2 cups of leafy greens (spinach or kale), 1-2 tsp sweetener (honey, agave, maple syrup etc.), and/or a dash of spice (cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, vanilla extract, or almond extract).
Why add Spirit of the Morning Smoothie Enhancing Powder?
This powdered fruit blend (acai, banana, and lucuma) is an antioxidant powerhouse. With one scoop, you can quickly multiply the antioxidant benefits you’re receiving from the strawberries in this classic smoothie.
This blend is particularly rich in polyphenolic compounds including anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are a natural compound that helps give nutritious fruits and vegetables like acai, grapes, and purple cabbage their red, blue, and purple colors (15). Studies show that anthocyanins have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties (15, 16).
Plus, Spirit of the Morning Smoothie Enhancer helps you to reach your recommended daily values for vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, Beta-carotene, Zinc, Potassium, Iron, Niacin (3), fiber, and the healthy fatty acids Omega-6 and Omega-9.
- USDA. Strawberries, raw. 2019, Dec 16. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/747448/nutrients
- Casto BC, Knobloch TJ, Galioto RL, Yu Z, Accurso BT, Warner BM. Chemoprevention of oral cancer by lyophilized strawberries. Anticancer Res. 2013 Nov;33(11):4757-66. PMID: 24222110; PMCID: PMC4102317.
- National Institutes of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin C. 2021, March 26. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/
- Moores J. Vitamin C: a wound healing perspective. Br J Community Nurs. 2013 Dec;Suppl:S6, S8-11. doi: 10.12968/bjcn.2013.18.sup12.s6. PMID: 24796079.
- Li Y, Schellhorn HE. New developments and novel therapeutic perspectives for vitamin C. J Nutr. 2007 Oct;137(10):2171-84. doi: 10.1093/jn/137.10.2171. PMID: 17884994.
- Choi SY, Ko EJ, Lee YH, Kim BG, Shin HJ, Seo DB, Lee SJ, Kim BJ, Kim MN. Effects of collagen tripeptide supplement on skin properties: a prospective, randomized, controlled study. J Cosmet Laser Ther. 2014 Jun;16(3):132-7. doi: 10.3109/14764172.2013.854119. Epub 2013 Nov 18. PMID: 24131075.
- Effects of a nutritional supplement containing collagen peptides on skin elasticity, hydration and wrinkles. Borumand Maryam, Sibilla Sara 2015, V4, Issue Number 1, pp 47-53
- Asserin J, Lati E, Shioya T, Prawitt J. The effect of oral collagen peptide supplementation on skin moisture and the dermal collagen network: evidence from an ex vivo model and randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2015 Dec;14(4):291-301. doi: 10.1111/jocd.12174. Epub 2015 Sep 12. PMID: 26362110.
- Choi FD, Sung CT, Juhasz ML, Mesinkovsk NA. Oral Collagen Supplementation: A Systematic Review of Dermatological Applications. J Drugs Dermatol. 2019 Jan 1;18(1):9-16. PMID: 30681787.
- Lis DM, Baar K. Effects of Different Vitamin C-Enriched Collagen Derivatives on Collagen Synthesis. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2019 Sep 1;29(5):526-531. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2018-0385. PMID: 30859848.
- Miller K, Feucht W, Schmid M. Bioactive Compounds of Strawberry and Blueberry and Their Potential Health Effects Based on Human Intervention Studies: A Brief Overview. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 2;11(7):1510. doi: 10.3390/nu11071510. PMID: 31269727; PMCID: PMC6683271.
- NIH: National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Antioxidants: In Depth. 2013, Nov. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/antioxidants-in-depth
- EWG. Pesticides + Poison Gases = Cheap, Year-Round Strawberries. 2019, March 20. https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/strawberries.php
- Bonomo Lde F, Silva DN, Boasquivis PF, et al. Açaí (Euterpe oleracea Mart.) modulates oxidative stress resistance in Caenorhabditis elegans by direct and indirect mechanisms. PLoS One. 2014;9(3):e89933. Published 2014 Mar 3. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089933
- Khoo HE, Azlan A, Tang ST, Lim SM. Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits. Food Nutr Res. 2017;61(1):1361779. Published 2017 Aug 13. doi:10.1080/16546628.2017.1361779
- Mattioli R, Francioso A, Mosca L, Silva P. Anthocyanins: A Comprehensive Review of Their Chemical Properties and Health Effects on Cardiovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases. Molecules. 2020;25(17):3809. Published 2020 Aug 21. doi:10.3390/molecules25173809
Classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie
This classic strawberry and banana smoothie can be enjoyed morning, noon and night. You’ll get potassium from the banana and vitamin C from the strawberries. A traditional favorite that will make you yearn for more.
2 cups frozen strawberries (slices)
1 cup frozen banana (slices)
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
⅓ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 scoop Healthful Seasons Collagen Peptides
1 scoop Healthful Seasons Spirit of the Morning (Acai, Maca, Lucuma, and Banana Blend)
Blend all ingredients together on a smoothie setting/high power, periodically pushing ingredients down from the sides and blend until smooth. Top with cinnamon.
Calories 365, Carbs 72.3 grams, Fat 1.5 grams, Saturated Fat 1 grams, Protein 11 grams, Fiber 10 grams, Sugar 48.2 grams