What makes a healthy smoothie?
Smoothies can be as simple or as complex as you would like, but they also vary widely in their nutrition. A nutritious smoothie should include a variety of nutrients such as protein, vitamins and minerals and include whole foods like vegetables and fruits. Be mindful of store-bought smoothies which can include processed ingredients such as syrups, concentrated fruit sugars, or sweetened dairy products.
Here are some tips for making a healthy smoothie.
Step 1: Choose a liquid (1.5 cups)
There are plenty of tasty and healthy options when deciding on the liquid to use. Some options are water, milk, or herbal tea. Juice (even 100% natural fruit juice) can be high in sugar so try to avoid using juice as your base!
Step 2: Choose a protein (1-2 tablespoons)
Protein is crucial for building bones, muscle and repairing tissues. Including protein in your smoothie can support muscles, and help curb hunger since protein is very filling. Protein can be added quickly with protein powder or by using chia seeds, hemp seeds, Greek yogurt, or peanut butter!
Step 3: Choose a veggie (1-2 cups)
Step 4: Choose a fruit (1 cup)
Fruits are a great way to add flavor and fibre to your smoothie. Some great nutritious options are listed below:
- Oranges are rich in vitamin C and add a great flavor in combination with green vegetables.
- Berries are a great high fibre fruit choice and packed with antioxidants! Try frozen berries for an easy option that won't spoil.
- Pineapple is a great source of the enzyme bromelain, and pairs well with Greek yogurt and unsweetened almond milk.
- Bananas are a good source of potassium. A diet rich in potassium can help support healthy blood pressure. Try pairing bananas with peanut butter and unsweetened milk.
Step 5: Choose a fat (1-2 tablespoons)
Adding a healthy fat to your smoothie will keep you full longer.
- Avocados are a good source of heart healthy mono-unsaturated fats such as oleic acid.
- Nuts or seeds such as almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also great sources of healthy fat.
Step 6: Choose a topping
This step is optional but toppings offer a boost of flavor or texture. Try adding coconut flakes, cinnamon, cacao or granola.
Pre-blend your smoothie ingredients, pour the smoothie into a muffin tin and freeze. Store these smoothie cubes in a zip lock bag and add a couple to the blender with some milk or water.
You can now make your own nutritious smoothie!