PERRYSBURG — Put a little zing in your spring with this Powerful Purple Smoothie.
The Wood County Ohio State University Extension Office is holding a lunch-and-learn class on how to make a drink full of fiber and other healthy ingredients.
Shannon Smith and Susan Zeis, family and consumer science educators, gave a preview of the recipe at Zeis’ Perrysburg home.
“It’s packed with nutrients. It’s packed with flavor. It’s packed with fiber. It’s packed with antioxidants,” Zeis said.
Don’t forget the anthocyanin — that’s the natural plant pigments in dark fruits and vegetables.
“There have been many studies that have shown the benefits of those plant pigments, helping with brain health, memory. They are helping with aging and also decreasing inflammation. They’ve also been found to help fight cancer and heart disease,” Smith said.
Zeis said more than 90% of women and 97% of men are not getting enough fiber in their diets.
Portion sizes are also a concern.
Smith said that this smoothie recipe makes a batch big enough for two servings. If there’s no one to share it with, freeze the leftovers.
This recipe can be made with fresh or frozen fruit. If using all fresh, it won’t look this layered, Smith said.
When shopping, look at fresh produce, then head to the freezer aisle, she said.
“I went to the grocery story and first I looked at the fresh. I see what’s on sale, and then I buy that. Then I go to the frozen section and check out some of that,” Smith said. “When I get home, I wash everything and put it in freezer bags.”
Some fruits can be stored together, she said, but always keep bananas separate.
“Those overtake the flavor of anything,” Smith said.
Canned fruit can also be frozen for future use, she said.
After looking online for layered smoothie recipes, Smith came up with this version. She cut out any added juices, which contribute carbs, calories and sugar.
This spring, OSU Extension is offering a number of classes, which have gone online since the pandemic.
“I think we’ve also reached new audiences,” Zeis said, adding that some people prefer to not travel to Bowling Green to participate in the classes at the extension kitchen.
Other extension classes are how to use a pressure cooker and Dining with Diabetes.
“We try to use herb, spices — we don’t add salt — and expose them to new and different foods that are healthy, yet tasty,” Zeis said.
Smith recently made avocado blueberry muffins for a Million Hearts class.
“We try to do stuff like that, incorporating more of our fruits and vegetables into even baking products. The good thing with avocado is it’s a healthy fat so it acts as your oil or butter,” she said.
An Illinois native, Zeis has been with Wood County extension for eight years and previously worked in the field in Lucas County. Her specialty is food safety, nutrition and wellness.
While Smith was working on her graduate degree at Bowling Green State University, she did an extension internship, then some volunteer work. Smith, who is from upstate New York, is also a certified diabetes care and education specialist.
“Every day is different and you work with all types of people and backgrounds,” Smith said.
The March 10 smoothie Zoom class will be held from noon-12:45 p.m. Register at https://osu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwtfuygrz0iE9ftFPv9F_aGrYq22_FP8FC_