Smoothies are very popular among those trying to lose weight or eat better. They are a great way to get in a ton of nutrients at once and can even be their own meal. However, it is important to build a smoothie the right way in order to make it as healthy as possible. You want to make sure you get all of your core nutrients – protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fiber – to help you get the most out of your smoothie and keep you feeling full. For example, an all fruit smoothie will get your carbs and fiber in, but will leave you hungry sooner than if you add in a good protein source. Another important thing to remember when making smoothies is to use as many whole, unprocessed foods as possible and not to add extra sugar. Use these four steps to build the best smoothie!
- Pick your fruit: Pick 2 – 3 different fruits to be the bulk of your smoothie. Berries are great because they are flavorful, nutrient rich, and low in sugar. Adding a banana will add a good amount of fiber to your smoothie to help you feel more full. Also, adding mango or pineapple will add a vitamin C boost and great flavor!
- Pick your veggies: Pick 1 or 2 veggies to add more vitamins and minerals to your smoothie. Dark, leafy greens like spinach and kale are great! They are very nutritious and when mixed in with the fruit and other ingredients, nearly impossible to taste. Avocados are also a great addition. They are a known super food and will add fiber and healthy fats to your smoothie.
- Pick your protein: Use ¼ of a cup of organic almond, hazelnut, or peanut butter for a great protein source! We want to stick with using whole foods that are unprocessed, so we try to stay away from protein powders as much as possible. If you do choose to use protein powder, though, try pea, hemp, or rice protein. These varieties contain no dairy or other animal products and usually don’t contain artificial sweeteners.
- Pick your liquid: Use ½ a cup of liquid to blend your smoothie. You can use more or less depending on how thick you want your smoothie and how much of the other ingredients you are using. The best choices are water, chilled green tea, or coconut water. Fruit juices and milk add unnecessary sugars. If you want a creamier smoothie, try using unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
Nuts and berries smoothie:
½ cup blueberries
½ cup strawberries
1 cup spinach
¼ cup almond butter
½ cup coconut water
Blend until smooth and enjoy!