Smoothies are King. And no, I’m not talking about Smoothie King! This satisfying and quick breakfast, snack or post-workout treat is what I claim to be the secret sauce of a nutritious diet. When built with the right ingredients, smoothies can be a fantastic way to boost and sustain energy, sneak more fruits and veggies into your diet and improve health from the inside out.
Why are smoothies the “secret sauce”?
Just think for a moment about how many nutrient-dense foods you can fit into one glass. The protein, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals work to:
- Increase and sustain energy throughout the day
- Improve focus and mental clarity
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Promote healthy digestion (raw fruits and vegetables can sometimes be hard to digest, so blending them, first, jumpstarts the mastication process making it easier on your tummy!)
That’s just scratching the surface, but you get the point.
Now let’s talk about the healthy smoothie formula: 1/2 cup frozen fruit (one serving) + protein + healthy fats + handful of leafy greens + 1 cup liquid
The flavor combinations are endless when it comes to making a smoothie that you enjoy and look forward to. Here are some of the foods you can use to build your own nutritious smoothie at home:
- Frozen fruit: Any! I love berries because they are low in sugar and high in fiber and unsweetened acai because it is the only fruit that naturally contains 0g sugar
- Protein: 1/4 cup nuts, 2 Tablespoons chia or hemp seeds, plain Greek yogurt or a high-quality protein powder supplement (plant-based, grass fed whey or hemp protein)
- Healthy fats: 2 Tablespoons nut butter, ground flaxseed, chia or hemp seeds, 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or 1/4 avocado
- Leafy greens: Any! Spinach is the mildest and will go unnoticed in your glass of goodness
- Liquid: unsweetened almond milk (or other dairy-alternative), coconut water or water
Eating healthfully is always done best when foods are made at home. But if there’s anyone that understands that sometimes life gets busy and you just don’t have time to make it yourself, it’s me!
Let’s talk about what to be on the lookout for when ordering a smoothie out.
It’s important to pay attention to what’s going in the blender at your favorite smoothie shop and ask questions if you need to. Health marketing can be sneaky and your frozen treat can go from nutritious to indulgence quickly!
Ingredients to watch out for include: juice blends, juices, yogurt (unless Greek yogurt), frozen yogurt, sherbet, granola and added sweeteners (fruit is sweet enough!) such as turbinado, honey or “stevia-sweetened”.
My other pro tip is to order the kids size smoothie because even when you’re talking about the good stuff, you can still go overboard and wind up with your daily quota of calories in one cup.
Happy blending and cheers to a healthy summer!