Ever since I made the commitment to eat healthier with the Weight Watchers program, I’ve been looking for ways to get more vegetables, fruits, and fiber into my diet, and one of my favorite ways is with healthy shake recipes. Smoothies take just a few minutes to make if you have the ingredients on hand, and they’re a healthy, high-fiber snack that curbs my craving for something sweet (like when I crave a bowl of ice cream at night).

A simple fruit and soy milk smoothie is a great low-calorie snack that fits well with the Weight Watchers program. If I have a shake in place of a meal, like breakfast or lunch, I like to have a serving of raw almonds along with it, or sometimes mix a scoop of whey protein powder into the shake. Whey protein powder is not only great for weight loss, it will also help keep you full until your next meal or snack. You can find whey protein powder in many supermarkets and drug stores near you for weight loss or nutritional products.

Blenders are fine for making smoothies, but I prefer to use a personal size mixer. That way I don’t have to get out my big blender. There are several different personal size shake makers on the market that often come with a base and two shake cups. Those are especially good because you always have one on hand in case the other one is in the dishwasher.

Some recipes call for adding ice to your smoothie, but you won’t need ice if you have some frozen strawberries and blueberries on hand in the freezer. For bananas, be sure to slice them first before freezing them in freezer-safe containers.

Both of these healthy smoothie recipes make one serving and are under 200 calories. Calories are approximate based on the type of milk you use. If you add whey protein, the calories will jump to about 270 calories, depending on which brand you use (adding whey protein will bump the shake recipe up to about 5 Weight Watchers points, which is a good low-end lunch) .

Banana and Strawberry Smoothie

1 cup frozen strawberries

1/2 frozen banana, cut into chunks

1 cup skim, soy, or almond milk

1 teaspoon of honey (optional)

1 scoop of whey protein (optional)

Combine ingredients in blender or magic bullet and blend until smooth.

Serves 1

Banana Blueberry Smoothie

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 frozen banana cut into chunks

1 skim, soy or almond milk

1 teaspoon of honey (optional)

1 scoop of whey protein (optional)

Combine ingredients in blender or mixer and blend until smooth.

Serves 1

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