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Smooth ways to sneak ‘superfoods’ into your family’s diet

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Smooth ways to sneak ‘superfoods’ into your family’s diet

With the abundance of fresh produce that accompanies the arrival of warm weather, you would think Americans’ diets would be healthier in summer than at nearly any other time of year. But what good are so-called “superfoods” like blueberries, fresh ginger and even eggs if you can’t get the kids (or your spouse) to eat them?

Plenty of experts agree that the solution is simple -- sneak nutritious foods into dishes where they’ll be least expected. And a summer smoothie is a great way to do it. Kid-friendly and convenient for on-the-go adults, smoothies are the essence of summer refreshment. When you load them up with fresh superfoods -- ingredients recognized for offering positive health benefits -- smoothies also become a great way to take full advantage of summer’s nutritional bounty.

Blended with just the right balance of ingredients, practically any superfood will work in a smoothie. Here are a few ideas for what to toss in the blender:

* Blueberries -- High in antioxidants like vitamins C and E, blueberries help boost the immune system naturally, combat free-radical damage and possibly even ease the effects of aging. Fresh or frozen, they’re a flavorful, health-filled addition to any smoothie recipe.

* Fresh ginger -- For thousands of years, Asian cultures have relied on fresh ginger to aid in digestion. It’s also thought to have anti-inflammatory properties as well. You can use ground ginger, but most supermarkets now carry the fresh root, which will deliver the full flavor and health benefits.

* Egg whites -- Egg whites are an unbeatable source of pure, fat-free, cholesterol-free, high-quality lean protein. A convenient option in a pourable carton, AllWhites brand 100 percent egg whites are pasteurized for safety, providing an easy way to add lean protein to a smoothie. Oprah Winfrey trainer Bob Greene incorporates AllWhites in his “Best Life Diet,” noting their ability to help keep your appetite in check.

* Honey -- Not only is honey a great, natural alternative to processed sugar or chemical-based sugar substitutes to bring sweetness to your smoothie, its glucose is easily absorbed by the body and helps produce energy. It’s also thought to provide antioxidant and antibacterial benefits.

* Ground cinnamon -- Studies show cinnamon may help regulate blood sugar, act as an anti-inflammatory and even an anti-bacterial. A popular flavor among kids, it’s also high in nutrients like iron and calcium.

* Sliced almonds (or other nuts) -- Nuts are a good source of high-quality protein. Sprinkle a handful over the top of your smoothie to add protein and a fun crunch.

Here’s a health-filled summer smoothie recipe with ingredients designed to help boost productivity:

Blueberry Ginger Productivity Protein Smoothie

Preparation time: 5 minutes.

1 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 container (6 ounces) fat-free vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup AllWhites 100 percent liquid egg whites
1/2 cup skim milk or soymilk
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons grated fresh gingerroot
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons sliced almonds

Combine all ingredients except almonds in blender. Cover and blend on medium speed until smooth. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon almonds. Serve immediately.

Makes two eight-ounce servings. Nutrition per serving: 124 calories, 18 from fat; 2 grams total fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 2 mg cholesterol; 87 mg sodium; 22 grams total carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams protein.

For more great recipe ideas, visit http://www.betterneggs.com.

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