Quick to make and loaded with great ingredients, smoothies can be a fantastic solution for those on the go. Here are some recommendations for making some fantastic, healthy ones.
Smoothies can be a great snack or beverage — chock full of nutrients and minerals, if you’ve blended up a healthy version. These beverages can often be deceptively high in calories and sugar, sending your blood sugar levels on a rollercoaster. Here are your basic steps to making a smoothie, with some pointers on making them pack a healthier punch.
Choose your base ingredient or starter
- Water or ice. Both of these have the benefit of being calorie-free, with the latter offering the benefit of creating a cold smoothie with a slushy texture.
- Fruit juice. This can be high in sugar. Cut the sweet by using real, natural juice rather than “fruit drink” or any juice that has added fructose.
- Milk, yogurt or soy or almond milks. These bring protein to your smoothie.
Add your fruits and/or veggies
Virtually any combination of fruits or veggies can be used. Experiment with different ones and vary the combinations.
- Either fresh or frozen produce will work; however, frozen will offer the benefit of chilling your smoothie and giving it a thicker texture.
- More fruit can translate into higher sugar, though if using fruit, you’ll be less likely to need a sweetener. If adding a sweetener, try natural options such as honey, real maple syrup or even dates.
- If veggies alter the taste of your smoothie too much for your liking, consider adding a powder or liquid concentrate of greens from your natural health food store.
Throw in some protein and fibre
- Whey or hemp powder are simple ways to up the protein in your shake — which will make your smoothie more satiating, while also turning it into a great post-workout recovery drink.
- Add some ground flax seed and benefit from the omega-3 fatty acids and fibre it offers, which can help lower your risk of heart disease, some cancers and diabetes. It’ll give your smoothie a slightly sweet and nutty flavour, too. Keep in mind that ground flax seed will thicken your smoothie, so you may have to adjust the quantity of your base liquid ingredient.
Now, switch that blender on, and enjoy!