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Are smoothies just a healthy person’s soda?

Healthy, green smoothie

I’m a sucker for smoothies. Not Jamba Juice slurpees; I make my own with organic frozen fruit, almond butter, rice milk, bee pollen, dates, and bananas. Basically all the ingredients I consider wholesome get thrown into a blender and pureed to perfection. Smoothies were my regular late morning snack until I met Jeanette Bronee, the integrative nutritionist behind Union Square’s Path for Life, who dropped this bomb:

“Smoothies are just another version of soda.” What? Hold the agave nectar.

How can anyone be anti-smoothie? Smoothies can cause bloating because you’re not chewing them, says Bronee. “They’re nothing more than a sugar delivery system and can easily contain 450 calories.” Her silver lining is green. “I’m not opposed to smoothies if they’re high in veggies,” she says.

Green juice can be a bitter consolation prize for those used to fruit smoothies. Fortunately, Bronee gets the smoothie addict’s need for creamy sweetness with her virtuous smoothie recipe, where avocado and apple do the trick. I barely have to turn a new leaf.

A handful of kale
Half an apple
5 slices of cucumber
A stalk of celery
½ of an avocado
½ cup water
A splash of lemon juice

Blend with several ice cubes. Pour into a glass and garnish with a lemon wedge and a celery stalk.

Photos: Torkil Stavdal