Secrets of great smoothies
Smoothies can be a delicious and nutritious breakfast on-the-go, or the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. When it comes to making your own smoothies, the possibilities are endless, with ingredients ranging from berries to chocolate to veggies (yes, veggies!). Check out these expert tips to learn how to create tasty, healthy smoothies from the comfort of your home.
Get the right tools
If you're serious about your smoothies, it's time to get serious about your tools, too. According to certified health and nutrition counselor and founder of Whole Health Designs, Lisa Consiglio Ryan, Vitamix is the ultimate blender maker.
Noah Bubman, co-founder of Earthbar, agrees. "Always use a Vitamix. They're fast and efficient," he said. "Their new two horse-power mixer can even blend an avocado pit!"
If a Vitamix blender isn't in your budget (Ryan's top picks range between $340 to $600), Ryan also recommends Breville for moderately-priced models (between $150 - $300) or the Oster Beehive Blender for around $65.
Use frozen organic fruit
When it comes to fruit smoothies, Bubman suggests using frozen, organic fruit. "This can be accomplished by freezing ripe fruit or going to Trader Joe's and getting bags of frozen organic berries and fruits," he said. Why frozen? According to Bubman, using frozen fruit eliminates the need for ice, and makes your smoothies richer and tastier.
Use hemp milk as a base
Searching for the perfect smoothie base? Give hemp milk a try! "Hemp milk is an excellent base for smoothies," Bubman said. "It's vegan, non-dairy, high in protein and essential fats, and makes smoothies extra creamy and tasty." Yogurt makes a great, creamy base for smoothies, too!
Add quality ingredients
Smoothies are a great way to be sure you're getting essential vitamins and nutrients. Looking to add omega-3 to your morning smoothie? Ryan recommends mixing in a scoop of flax seeds. Post-work-out, Ryan suggests adding quality protein powders like Vega (plant-based) or Jay Robb (whey). "These ingredients make smoothies more filling and provide more energy," she said.
For extra supplementation, Bubman adds an antioxidant boost to smoothies. "We use Earthbar Antioxidant Cascade, which combines fresh pressed seed flours of black raspberry and other seeds."
Butter in a smoothie? It may sound odd, but according to Bubman, adding organic, raw almond butter is a great source of protein, healthy fats and omegas and good calories.
Don't forget the chocolate
Last but not least, don't forget to add some cacao when making a protein smoothie. Not only is it tasty, but it's also good for you. "Cacao is raw chocolate containing high amounts of antioxidants," she explained. "These antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals, major culprits in the aging process. Raw cacao supports your heart and is a great source of serotonin, phenylethylamine and dopamine, three neurotransmitters that help alleviate depression and promote feelings of well-being."