Building a healthy smoothie can seem daunting, particularly when you realize just how many recipes out there are laden with added sugars, sweeteners, and extra calories. While delicious, these added sugars turn a healthy snack or meal replacement into a dessert recipe. At this point, you may as well eat a piece of candy.
But no more! Today, we take control of the kitchen and learn how to make your own unique brand of smoothies.
The first (and easiest) step when preparing your smoothie is to approach it with a macro-focus. Healthy smoothies tend to tackle three main macros: proteins, healthy fats, and healthy carbs. For more about dietary macros and what they mean for you, click here. Ideally, you want to strive for a higher protein smoothie and lower in either carbohydrates or fats, depending on your goals, dietary choices, and personal preferences.
There is a popular misconception that only bodybuilders and gym rats need additional protein in their diet. Everyone needs to get around 52 g of protein a day, depending on body weight (this is about 0.8 – 1.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. An athlete may need more than this). Luckily, there are a variety of choices for healthy protein.
Even if you’re not a fan of whey protein powders, you still have options. Greek yogurt and cottage cheese are both excellent protein sources for minimal calorie cost (Not to mention they put the smooth in smoothie). If you’re looking for a protein that does a little more for you, there are also organic plant protein powders like mycore that include servings of fruit, veggies, and immune-boosting antioxidants.
Most people start their smoothies with fruit juice as the liquid base. While tasty, juice contains large amounts of sugar with none of the fiber found in whole fruit. Luckily for us, there are various lower-calorie and lower sugar options from which to base our smoothie.
For more typical bases, we have water, ice, and low-fat milk. All of these are low-calorie vehicles that are safe and dependable in almost any healthy smoothie recipe. There are also liquid bases like unsweetened soy/almond/coconut milk, greek yogurt, coconut water, or even kefir for the more adventurous types out there. All of these carry additional benefits that help squeeze out value from every part of your smoothie.
Like using a juice base, we want to avoid high sugar fruits to limit our daily intake. Where fruits such as mangos, pineapple, and cherries might be tasty, they all clock in at over 15 g of sugar per cup.
Where my heart breaks particularly hard over mango, it’s not the end of the world. There are still plenty of healthy, low-sugar fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries that pack a tasty punch.
(Secret tip: Use frozen fruit for thicker consistency smoothies)
Fats have a negative connotation, but your body benefits from having the right kinds in the right amounts. Avocados are a good source of healthy fat as well as adding creamy consistency to the smoothie. Chia seeds and flax seeds are other options, both toting omega-3 fatty acids that can benefit the body as a whole.
If your kids are anything like my kids, getting them to eat any green veggies is nothing short of an ordeal (frankly, it’s no treat for me either). Luckily, we all are a bit more amenable when it comes to mixing it into our daily smoothie. Kale, spinach, even broccoli has made it into the smoothie, with my kids none the wiser.
One of my favorite things about healthy smoothies is the variety of benefits you can work into them. With The Smüthe Company’s boosts, that has now become easier than ever! Whether you’re looking for a little more energy, improved cardiovascular health, or a focus-assist, there’s a boost for that.
The best part of this list. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it has to taste bad! A tasty smoothie can also be a healthy smoothie.
Try adding one of these flavors for a tasty (and sugar-free) addition:
The best advice I can give for making enticingly healthy smoothies is to get creative! Have a favorite recipe? Share it with us here!
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