How to make delicious, nutritious fall smoothies

Smoothies! If the word makes you think of icy, berry-filled summer drinks, think again. Fall is here, and Consumer Reports nutritionists share some tips to help you get a healthy boost from autumn apples, pumpkins, and the warm spices that go with them.

What’s so fabulous about fall smoothies? Should we really be drinking our fruits and veggies? If they’re made the right way, with the right ingredients, there are plenty of nutrients in every smoothie sip.

Take pumpkin! Your body converts pumpkin’s beta carotene into vitamin A, to boost eye and skin health. Toss in pumpkin pie spices like cinnamon and nutmeg and you’ll add even more antioxidants.

A medium apple supplies about 20 percent of your daily fiber needs if you leave the skin on.

How about beets? The nitrates in these fall beauties can help lower your blood pressure. Blend with fresh or frozen berries for sweetness … and their own rich rewards.

There are so many health benefits to berries. Overall, they can help protect you against heart attack and type 2 diabetes. And in the cooler months frozen berries are a good option because they are less expensive than fresh, and that way you get to enjoy the flavor of berries year-round.

Blending in some oats makes your smoothie more filling, and the soluble fiber in oats can help lower cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease.

If you want to blend your smoothie with a plant milk, consider adding chia or flax seeds to bump up the protein content.

For the smoothest smoothies, Consumer Reports recommends the NutriBullet Smart Touch NBF50420 for $140. It excels at puréeing and even crushing ice. And another benefit is easy cleanup!a

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