What’s Cooking — Healthy Knockoff Smoothies

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Photo: Cbsfitnesstrainer.com

Photo: Cbsfitnesstrainer.com

As soon as the temperatures start to rise, I’m craving one thing: smoothies. While I’m not too discerning with where I purchase it once the craving hits (shoutout to convenience stores), the cost and caloric count of some popular brands are hard figures to ignore. So I found healthier options from various chains that you can make at home. Start your blenders!

 

Starbucks’ Orange Mango

Original: When my college was blessed with a Starbucks halfway through my freshman year, I spent most of the remaining spring semester gorging on their Orange Mango smoothies. My mouth was happy, but my stomach was not.
Calories: 260 (with skim milk, only 1 size offered)

Photo: Eatingwell.com

Photo: Eatingwell.com

Upgrade: A classic with an exotic twist. In this low-cal version, fresh fruits replace the processed juices used in the original. The orange flower water adds a nicer contrast against the mango, and yogurt brings additional texture and nutritional value. Add a dash of protein powder to the recipe to replicate the Starbucks version, and you’ve got a tasty and refreshing reinvention.
Calories: 170

 

Jamba Juice’s Strawberry Whirl

Original: Jamba Juice is my go-to staple when airport hopping. This drink features fresh strawberries, banana, and blended fruit juice. While the idea of fresh fruit seems healthy, 45 grams of sugar does not.
Calories: 210

Photo: Reddiwhip.com

Photo: Reddiwhip.com

Upgrade: This recipe made me do a double take. Over half the calories, 1/4 grams of sugar AND featuring light whipped cream?! The combination of strawberry-banana-yogurt has never looked this tempting.
Calories: 84

 

McDonald’s Blueberry Pomegranate

Original: Lets get one thing out of the way, I will proclaim my love for McDonald’s fries/apple pies forever. That being said, I’d rather get my calories from these clearly unhealthy items, and stick to a smoothie that does my body some good…44 grams of sugar should be saved for the apple pie.
Calories: 220

Photo: Yummly.com

Photo: Yummly.com

Upgrade: While the McDonald’s version gets its flavor from fruit purees and juice concentrate, this delicious-looking recipe features whole pomegranate seeds, frozen blueberries and raspberries. Plus, it has over half the calories and a nice nutritional boost. Antioxidants and vitamins had an all-star baby, and it’s this smoothie.
Calories: 100

 

Orange Julius’ Original

Original: Essentially a melted creamsicle, the namesake drink of Orange Julius has a solid fan base. What it also has are some solid calories and 51 grams of sugar.
Calories: 210 (small)

Photo: Food.com

Photo: Food.com

Upgrade: The first time I tasted an at-home version of this drink my mom whipped up, I was hooked. Reviewers commented that this is almost an exact match to what’s served at your local mall (with identical ingredients), but without the additional 130 calories.
Calories: 80

Now you’re free to whip up some knockoff smoothies with all the flavor and none of the guilt! Have any other healthy fast-food copycats you’re dying to share? Let us know in the comments!

 

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