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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, June 21, 2006

TASTE
Pomegranate punches up smoothie

 •  Shaving grace

By Elaine Magee

Pomegranate juice and frozen cherries add a twist to the usual banana-berry smoothie routine.

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Q. Dear Recipe Doctor, my family loves smoothies, and they are getting tired of the usual type with bananas and strawberries. Do you have an idea for a healthful smoothie that will be different?

A. Who doesn't love smoothies? They're cold, creamy and fruity. If there were an official smoothie season, it would be kicking into high gear right about now. And I completely understand wanting to liven things up a bit by not using the usual smoothie suspects, too.

I thought it might be fun to use some of that bottled pomegranate juice that has hit the stores this year, so I made a smoothie with the juice plus frozen cherries, some vanilla soy milk and some light vanilla nonfat frozen yogurt. (Pomegranate juice tastes somewhat like a cross between grape and cranberry juices.) And I never miss an opportunity to work some ground flaxseed into my day, so that's the fifth and final ingredient.

More research needs to be done, but so far the nutritional future looks bright for pomegranate juice. Some lab studies using human cells that line blood vessels and tests on mice suggest pomegranate juice, possibly due to its high antioxidant content, may reduce the effects of stress on human blood vessels. Raw flaxseed, found in health food stores, is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids that help prevent "bad" cholesterol and plaque build-up; it's a good source of protein and fiber, too.

Be sure all ingredients are well chilled and serve the smoothie right away as is or over crushed ice, if you like.

POMEGRANATE CHERRY SMOOTHIE

  • 1 cup frozen cherries

  • 1 cup nonfat or light vanilla frozen yogurt

  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (low-fat or skim milk can be substituted)

  • 1/4 cup pomegranate juice

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (optional)

    In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and and pulse until smooth.

    Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 smaller (1 1/4 cup) smoothies.

  • Per small smoothie (with flax): 210 calories, 8 g protein, 40 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat, .4 g saturated fat, .5 g monounsaturated fat, 1.2 g polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 mg cholesterol, 3.5 g fiber, 90 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 12 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids: .9 g. Weight Watchers points: 4. Omega-6 fatty acids: .3 g.

  • Per small smoothie (without flax): 192 calories, 7 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 1.7 g fat, .4 g saturated fat, .5 g monounsaturated fat, .5 g polyunsaturated fat, 1.5 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 90 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 7 percent. Omega-3 fatty acids: .2 g. Weight Watchers points: 4. Omega-6 fatty acids: .2 g.

    Elaine Magee is a registered dietitian whose latest book is "Comfort Food Makeovers." Learn more at www.recipedoctor.com.