Around for almost a century, smoothies continue to gain popularity today. A smoothie is poetry in a cup. Like a stanza from my favorite poet, the well-crafted smoothie appeals to the six senses.
Kickstart your morning or fuel your afternoon with a nutrient-dense smoothie. Blended fruits and vegetables offer another way to pack in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and protein.
Nutritionally, the best way to use smoothies in your eating plan is to view it as a supplement, not as a replacement for real food. On the occasion that you need to skip breakfast or need a quick snack, smoothies serve as an excellent fallback.
Smoothies are deceptively delicious, and they are a parent’s best tool to get your kiddies to eat their fruits and veggies.
As a Slurpee sipping kid of the ’70s, the only blended fruit and vegetable drink I encountered came in a can.
You may have detected that I’ve come along way since my Slurpee sipping days.
Cracking the code to real smoothies
Ever since smoothie machines appeared on the scene at convenience stores and fast-food chains, these industrially engineered frozen drinks hoodwinked us into thinking all smoothies are healthy.
The smoothie world is full of counterfeits. Sadly, “not all smoothies from restaurants are healthful.”
Suppose you plan to order a smoothie while out and about, you’ll need to amp up your nutrition radar. Unfortunately, most smoothies sold at convenience stores or made at fast-food chains are full of sugar and are often void of real fruit. Those smoothies are empty calories.
Before you swipe your card to pay for a high priced frozen drink, ask about the ingredients.
Build a nutritious foundation for your smoothie
Wellness boosting ingredients like fruits and vegetables are the essential ingredients in a smoothie. A good practice is to use no-sugar-added frozen fruit or fresh fruit as a base.
After that, let your imagination and taste buds run wild. Quite quickly, you can pack in additional health benefits by adding leafy greens.
- acai berries –
- aronia berries-
- blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries-
- coconut (shredded or fresh)
- dark cherries (maraschino does not count, are they even cherries?)
- herbs (fresh)
A frugal tip: during the spring and summer, I buy in-season fruit and veggies when they are cheap then freeze them for wintertime smoothie making.
Choosing the right liquid for smoothies
Among the health industry, dairy evokes controversy and much debate about its actual benefits. If you are one of the few genetically equipped to digest milk products, then still proceed with caution in the dairy section of the supermarket.
- coconut milk, coconut cream, or coconut water
- almond milk
- cashew milk
- oat milk
- full-fat plain or less-sugar added coconut yogurt
- herbal teas (matcha, green tea, hibiscus, chai plus many others)
- raw milk
- organic whole milk
- plain or less-sugar yogurt
Add protein to superfood supplement
- paleo protein powder
- Ancient Nutrition Protein Powder
- raw, no-sugar-added nut butter (almond or cashew)
- superfood supplement
- bee pollen
- activated charcoal
- cacao nibs or powder
Superfood add-ins to boost the nutrition of your favorite smoothie recipe:
Impressively, superfoods contain a high amount of nutrients, so sneak them in whenever possible. These are some of my favorite superfoods to add to smoothies:
- chia seeds – contain high levels of alpha-linolenic acid, anti-inflammatory properties, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Flax seeds – high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. This super seed works best when freshly ground like in a smoothie. Grind the seeds in a coffee grinder devoted just for grinding seeds, nuts, and herbs. Then, add the flaxseed meal to your blender.
- Goji berries – high in vitamins A, B1, B2, and B3 and C
- Hempseeds – omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
- Maca powder – rich in essentials vitamins and minerals and bioactive plant compounds
- Spirulina powder – rich in chlorophyll and essential fatty acids
- Wheatgrass powder – packed with chlorophyll
10 of my favorites smoothie recipes:
- Berry Protein Smoothie
- Superfood Smoothie
- Chocolate Banana Smoothie
- Bone Broth Protein Mocha Fudge Smoothie
- Cherry Smoothie Breakfast Bowl
- Detox Green Smoothie
- Blueberry Almond Butter Smoothie
- Cherry-Vanilla Green Smoothie
- Super Healthy Fruit Smoothie
- Mango Tumeric Green Tea Ginger Smoothie with Activated Charcoal