Smoothies can be a great way to fill the nutritional void throughout the day when you just don’t have time to prepare a home-cooked meal.
If you’re someone who is always on the go, either first thing in the morning when you get up or throughout the afternoon a smoothie can fit the bill perfectly to give your body the well-balanced nutrition you need and keep you satisfied for hours to come.
Since they really only take three to five minutes to prepare, they are the perfect go-to meal replacement anytime.
Choosing to create your own rather than picking up a pre-made meal replacement shake or, worse yet, ordering up a smoothie from the local smoothie bar, is a far wiser option.
While ready-to-drink shakes may be calorie-controlled and contain a good amount of protein, the problem with these is they often lack fiber and important nutrients that help maintain good health and they can be quite high in sugar content.
With smoothies ordered from the local smoothie bar, you could easily be looking at 400 to 500 calories per serving, so unless you have a very high daily calorie requirement these are definitely not going to be ideal either.
When you prepare your own smoothie, however, you can pick and choose which ingredients go into the smoothie and which calorie level you keep it at, thus it’s far easier to customize to your own specific diet plan.
So, all of this said, let’s go over a few of the top tips to remember to prepare yourself the best-tasting and most nutritious smoothie ever.
The first thing that you must do if you want to create great-tasting smoothies is to pick yourself up a very well-made blender. This will make a big difference in the texture that the smoothie comes out at and can also help to speed up the creation of the smoothie process as well.
If your blender struggles to crush ice, and you are adding ice to the smoothie to make it thicker, you can imagine that this will get mighty frustrating over time.
A good-quality blender will come with multiple speeds and settings and be large enough to hold all the ingredients you plan to use.
Second, one quick tip that you should try to use as often as possible is adding frozen fruit rather than fresh.
While this may seem to be opposite of what you think you should do, as most people feel that fresh fruit always tastes better, when it comes to creating a smoothie the great thing about frozen fruit is that it does add a much thicker and more smoothie-like consistency to the shake and it’ll reduce the amount of ice you need to add.
Since ice can dilute the taste if you add enough of it, this is something that clearly is going to work to your advantage.
Another great way to enhance the texture of the smoothie is to use xanthan or guar gum. Both of these are designed to add thickness to the smoothie and will also bump up the creamy taste to it as well.
You only need a very tiny amount of these, however; often just an eighth of a teaspoon, so go easy in how much you add.
Using these will really transform a smoothie into a more milkshake-like drink, so they are something that most people love adding in.
They won’t provide many calories at all, either, so they're great to use whatever your target calorie intake happens to be.
Next, many people are fast to use peanut butter as their healthy fat choice if adding healthy fats, but you should never overlook coconut oil.
Coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride, which is going to react slightly different in the body compared to other fats and can provide immediate usable energy right away.
For those who are using lower-carb diet approaches, this is a great way to prevent the energy slump that often comes with those plans.
Coconut oil will also add a nice hint of flavor as well, and works great with any smoothie you plan to use bananas in.
If you prefer not using the oil, you can also consider adding a splash of coconut milk instead for added creaminess or use unsweetened dried coconut for something really different.
On the yogurt side of things, always try and choose Greek yogurt as often as possible. This yogurt variety contains far less sugar than most fruit-flavored yogurts do, so will be the much smarter selection.
Furthermore, it’s higher in protein as well, so if you aren’t using protein powder in your smoothie, it will be a must.
Most people will find this tastes better in their smoothies compared to cottage cheese, which would be the other wise choice to be using.
Finally, last but not least, avoid the use of fruit juice in your smoothies. Use real fruit whenever you can and then if you need to thin it down a bit, choose regular skim milk, almond milk, or just plain water if you want to keep the calorie count down.
Fruit juice contains far too many sugar calories and lacks the fiber that real fruit provides, so is really just not your best option.
Most people make the mistake of loading up their smoothie with fruit juice, however, which is really unfortunate as it can turn an otherwise healthy, weight loss smoothie into one that’s setting you up for fat gain.
So keep these quick tips in mind as you go about creating your smoothies. If you use them, you should have no problem creating a delicious smoothie that will easily help you reach your goals.
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