How To Make Healthy Smoothies
We see smoothies everywhere now! In mall food courts, airports and trendy neighborhoods. I am happy to see that they have become so common, and even thought I don't think they are just a health trend, doesn't mean that ALL smoothies are healthy either.
If you have included smoothies into your day to boost your energy, help with weight loss, for a quick breakfast or to increase your fruits and veggies in your diet then GOOD FOR YOU!
But... we can be hurting our weight loss progress and ruining our energy levels if we don't make smoothies with the right formula.
In general, we toss in a bunch of ingredients, whatever tastes good and hit 'blend' until creamy, then we are good to go, right?
In theory, that's all there really is to a smoothie, but we can make them healthier with a few tweaks.
Each recipe and in fact every smoothie we make will differ. A good rule of thumb is 60/40 rule. 60% fruit and 40% leafy greens. This will help the taste and guide you to find a recipe you enjoy.
1) Start with greens- this can be spinach, kale, chard, romaine or any other favorite leafy greens. You can even use carrot tops! Many of us do not get enough veggies in our day, and this is a great place to hide them. If you don't like the taste of greens, then I suggest spinach to start with... you won't even notice! You can even use frozen spinach if that's easiest for you. Put your greens in the blender first so they get chopped up very well. If you have regular smoothies, then be sure to mix up which veggies you use. This helps with a balance of nutrients.
2) Add in a teaspoon of either Hemp Seeds, ground Flax Seeds or Chia Seeds. This little teaspoon is going to take your smoothie to another level in terms of health benefits! I personally rotate between these 3 options, and they provide you with Omega 3's, fibre, protein, antioxidants and so many nutrients that we tend to miss elsewhere in our diets.
3) Now add your fruit. This can be anything you like, bananas, peaches, blueberries, raspberries, papaya or anything else you can think of. You can use fresh, or frozen. I love using frozen fruit to give my smoothie that cold creamy texture without having to add ice. If you use tart fruit such as raspberries, then add in something sweet as well such as a banana. This is so that you won't need to add any sweeteners to make it taste better. An important part of adding your fruit is that you don't want to ONLY have fruit in your smoothie. Fruit is high in sugar, and even though they are good for you- there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.
4) Add liquid of your choice. This can be almond milk, coconut water, plain water or anything else you choose. Just add a bit at a time until your smoothie is at desired consistency.
5) Extras. This is a great place to toss in some extra ingredients. You can add things like:
- A spoonful of your favorite nut butter for protein, healthy fats and fibre.
- A few drops of Essential Oils such as Lime, Wild Orange or Ginger ** IMPORTANT- only use pure Essential oil that is tested for internal use. Click here for more info.
- A spoonful of coconut oil. Click here to learn benefits of coconut oil.
- Cacao which is full of antioxidants. Make sure its the real cacao and NOT cocoa!
- Cinnamon which helps balance blood sugar and is full of antioxidants.
- Avocado which will help make your smoothie creamy, and is loaded with healthy nutrients!
- Fresh herbs like mint to add some fun taste and variety!
- Superfoods or whole food mix. You can add a scoop of your favorite superfood powder (see my favorite here Organifi) or whole food supplement as well.
Get creative! There are so many ways to add in extra nutrients and flavor into our smoothies. Using the tips above, we can avoid adding sugar or artificial sweeteners. You are not going to put all of my suggestions in at once (it would taste terrible, I'm sure!) but rotate and try new things!
Variety is the spice of life and it is most definitley important when it comes to our health. We need such a variety of nutrients to stay healthy and by having fun making smoothies we can really, really make a big difference to our diet, and in turn our health!
Ready to get started? I have some yummy smoothie recipes for you. This will help get your creativity flowing and help you come up with ideas on your own! Try out my Green Smoothie Challenge! You'll get some smoothie recipes emailed over to get you started right away.
Its FREE! Sign up here:
I hope this helped! I would LOVE to hear your favorite smoothie recipes. Comment below and share your ideas with us!
Gaylene Gomez, NNCP, C.H.N.
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