A reader writes: "Can you please publish some recipes for those of us who need to gain weight? My doctor has advised me to put on a few pounds, and I would prefer not to take any of those over-the-counter concoctions."
This is quite an unusual request in today's time of waist watching, calorie counting and lighter eating but a worthy nutritional subject nonetheless. The desire to gain weight is still of valid interest in spite of the widespread notion that "thin is in." The problem, though, is that when most people consider addding a little extra poundage, they tend to stock up on higher-calorie foods that are also loaded with fat, cholesterol and, often, sodium.
Calories Plus Nutrition
What we suggest here are some nutritionally sound beverages that those who are underweight can drink along with meals or as between-meal snacks to put some additional calories in their daily diets. Depending on what your particular needs are--for instance, if you also want some added Vitamin C, protein or potassium in your diet--these drinks can offer a powerhouse of extra nutrition that may increase your energy level as well.
Wake-Up Carrot Shake, for example, gets a big boost of Vitamin A from carrots, and bananas pack Banana-Orange Smoothie with a triple dose of potassium: 1,026 milligrams.
Substitutions for Dieters
By substituting nonfat milk for the whole milk suggested here, these drinks can be useful to dieters, too. Fruit Flip and Banana-Orange Smoothie feature fresh fruit and yogurt and are well suited as breakfast stand-ins. The use of yogurt instead of milk gives the drinks more body so they are more apt to hold you over until lunch time. Use nonfat plain yogurt to cut down on calories, and skip the sugar.
The use of ice milk where ice cream is required is a good alternative, too. The milk fat in the former ranges from 2% to about 7% by weight according to federal standards, whereas the milk fat content of whole milk ice cream ranges from 8% to a whopping 14%, with some special ice creams containing as much as 20%. SPARKLING BERRY REFRESHER
2/3 cup raspberries
1/2 cup chilled sparkling grape juice
2 teaspoons sugar
Mint leaves, optional
Combine berries, juice, egg and sugar in blender container. Cover and blend at high speed until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pour into 10-ounce glass. Serve immediately, garnished with mint. Makes 1 serving.
Note: Nutrient data is computed without mint garnish.
PER SERVING: 192 calories; 7 gm protein; 29 gm carbohydrate; 6 gm fat; 71 mg sodium; 205 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 15% Riboflavin 15% Vitamin A 07% Niacin 04% Vitamin C 66% Calcium 05% Thiamine 06% Iron 09% BANANA-ORANGE SMOOTHIE
2 large bananas
2 medium oranges
1 cup vanilla yogurt
Dash ground cinnamon
Dash ground nutmeg
Peel bananas and 1 orange and slice into blender along with 1 sliced, unpeeled orange. Add yogurt, cinnamon and nutmeg and process until smooth. Makes 2 servings.
PER SERVING: 278 calories; 10 gm protein; 54 gm carbohydrate; 4 gm fat; 118 mg sodium; 1,026 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 16% Riboflavin 31% Vitamin A 13% Niacin 08% Vitamin C 133% Calcium 34% Thiamine 19% Iron 07% PEACH ICE CREAM SODA
1 peach, scrubbed and cut into chunks
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 1/3 cup vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup club soda, chilled
Combine peach, sugar and milk in blender. Process until smooth. Pour into 4 (8-ounce) glasses. Scoop 1/3 cup ice cream into each glass and fill with 2 tablespoons club soda. Makes 4 servings.
Note: To make 2 servings, pour peach mixture into 2 (16-ounce) glasses and divide ice cream and club soda equally between each serving. The nutrient data for 2 servings will double.
PER SERVING: 124 calories; 3 gm protein; 15 gm carbohydrate; 6 gm fat; 43 mg sodium; 201 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 05% Riboflavin 10% Vitamin A 15% Niacin 02% Vitamin C 06% Calcium 10% Thiamine 02% Iron 01% FRUIT FLIP
3/4 pound peaches, about 2 medium
1 cup strawberries, stemmed
1 cup cubed pineapple
1 cup plain yogurt
2 teaspoons sugar
8 to 12 ice cubes
Combine peaches, strawberries and pineapple, then chill. For each drink, measure 1 cup fruit into blender. Add 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and 2 or 3 ice cubes. Blend until smooth, then pour into glasses and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
PER SERVING: 98 calories; 3 gm protein; 21 gm carbohydrate; 1 gm fat; 30 mg sodium; 348 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 04% Riboflavin 10% Vitamin A 21% Niacin 05% Vitamin C 57% Calcium 09% Thiamine 06% Iron 05% STRAWBERRY SHAKE
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup strawberries
1/2 cup canned pineapple juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine wheat germ, yogurt, strawberries, pineapple juice, sugar and salt in blender container and process until blended and smooth. Makes about 2 servings.
PER SERVING: 211 calories; 8 gm protein; 39 gm carbohydrate; 4 gm fat; 198 mg sodium; 491 mg potassium. USRDA Protein 13% Riboflavin 21% Vitamin A 03% Niacin 07% Vitamin C 87% Calcium 17% Thiamine 21% Iron 11% APRICOT-HONEY MILK
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup honey