Build a Better Smoothie
Updated: Sep 22, 2021
Smoothies are a quick easy way to get a meal in when you are busy. But are your smoothies giving you the nutrition you need to keep going?
It is helpful to learn about different ingredients to add to your smoothies and their nutritional values. I can help you with the inspiration to start making smoothies again - something applicable to your daily life.
Many of the pre-made smoothies contain tons of sugar and leave you feeling sluggish and hungry soon after eating. I have a simple method for throwing together healthy smoothies at home.
How do you make a balanced smoothie? Hint – you need more than fruit and juice. While the fruit is delicious and I love to add it for flavor, you will feel best if you combine my five essentials of smoothies:
Fruity Flavor Enhancers
Nutrient Rich Vegetables
Sounds easy right?
Let me help you get started with some examples of the foods in each category.
The liquid is necessary to allow the smoothie to be blended without the blender choking. I like to put in 1 cup of liquid for the best blending.
Fruit juice tastes great, but since it does not contain the fiber of the fruit, it raises your blood sugar quickly and adds to insulin resistance. So instead of the juice, use the fruit whole and use other sources of liquid. There are lots of options for nutritious base liquids.
Some examples of nutritious liquids include water, coconut water, non-dairy milk, kefir, or herbal tea. Green tea is the perfect flavor to add to any smoothie and it is loaded with polyphenols, which help fight free radicals in the body and it boosts metabolism.
Protein helps to keep you full longer. You should target about 20-25 grams of protein in your smoothie.
Be careful with protein powders because many contain artificial additives and sugar. Just read the label before purchasing and understand what is really in your protein powder. One of my favorite vegan protein powders is the RAW unflavored variety. It is pea protein based and since it is unflavored can be mixed into any smoothie with a pleasant taste.
There are other options for protein beyond protein powder. You can add in 3 T of hemp seeds and get 10 grams of protein. They are delicious with a light nutty flavor and are loaded with omega essential fatty acids to help reduce inflammation. Silken tofu is another option with a nice neutral flavor.
Fat? Yes! Fat keeps us satiated and makes our smoothies rich and delicious. You should target 8-14 grams of fat.
Let’s look at some possibilities for healthy fats to add into our smoothies. Some options are 1T of flax oil, 1 c of full fat plain yogurt, 1-2 T of almond butter, 2 T of chia seeds, ½ avocado, or 1T of coconut oil.
Fruity Flavor Enhancers
Yum! The fruits give our smoothie the flavor. Look to add about 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit. The possibilities are endless.
Some ideas are 1 cup of berries for their powerful antioxidants. Try blueberries for their memory boosting effects.
If you are wanting a sweeter smoothie, try making it with 1 cup of grapes. When I have fresh grapes that are a bit past their prime, I put them into the freezer and then they are always ready to use for sweetening smoothies. They are like adding little sugar cubes to your smoothie.
Or if you are looking for a tropical flavor try a smoothie with an orange or a banana.
Nutrient Rich Vegetables
This is an important category! Don’t forget to add in your veggies. They give you lots of fiber and nutrients. Choose whatever veggie you like and add in 1 cup.
My favorite leafy green to add to smoothies is fresh spinach. It blends easily and the flavor works well with any type of smoothie. I also like kale, arugula, or cucumber.
Here is one of my favorite smoothie combinations. It is focused on supporting the brain with blueberries and purple grapes and brain boosting healthy fats.
Brain Boosting Smoothie
1. Liquid – 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
2. Protein – 3 T hemp seeds
3. Fat – 2 T olive oil
4. Fruity Flavor Enhancers – 1 cup grapes and blueberries
5. Nutrient Rich Vegetables – 1 cup of fresh spinach
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Add ice cubes as desired for consistency and to chill.
Get creative and make up your own smoothie using the five category method. If you want to see an example of how to prepare one of these smoothies, tune into my Build a Better Smoothie video on YouTube. It is a short 5 minutes video on how to make smoothies using my 5 element method.
Would you like help working on your wellness goals and choosing foods that support your specific health goals? I would love to work together! If you would like to get started, I like to begin with a free 15 minute phone call to get to know you and understand a little about your desires and we can discuss how I can best help you.