What your Smoothie Should Include
A smoothie should be treated as you would any healthy meal or snack. It should be balanced. Yes, it should be tasty, why else would you want to eat it? But it should be balanced.
Smoothie Recipes for Healthy Living - Protein
Every meal you eat should have a portion of lean, healthy protein, and smoothies are no different. It will help you feel fuller for longer. It will help you recover after a strenuous workout. And keep your hair and nails strong.
But, let's face it, no-one fancies the idea of drinking pureed steak.
So, what kind of protein can you put in a smoothie?
The obvious, for me anyway, is some kind of protein powder. They come in all different flavours, most of which are really tasty. Just make sure they are not packed with sugar. You should be looking for one with very few carbs. Because then you can add the carbs/sweetener you want.
If protein powder is not your thing, you could try yogurt, milk, nuts, seeds. Just be careful with portions because nuts and seeds can also be high in fat.
Smoothie Recipes for Healthy Living - Fruits and Vegetables
You can basically choose what you want.
But remember, smoothies are a great way to get your 5 a day, so pack them full.
Berries, mangoes, bananas, avocado. They're all really great. And don't forget you can opt for frozen fruit, which will keep the cost down.
Vegetables wise, I opt for spinach as it blitz' down quite nicely and doesn't affect the sweet taste of the smoothie I like. But, that's not say you can't choose any other type of vegetable. Some might take a little more work to get a smooth, drinkable consistency. Cooking the slightly first, or sieving out the pulp might help.
I also go for spinach as I don't tend to eat that many leafy greens with my meals. I don't have any particular aversion to them, they just don't form a huge part of our diet. So for me, smoothies are a great way to fill in that gap.
Smoothies for Healthy Living - Flavour
Here's where it gets a bit tricky, because you could start packing your smoothie with sugar laden flavours.
But, think about what you're already got in there.
The fruit, the protein. It's already full of flavour, so you don't want to over power it.
Stick to natural flavours to keep it healthier.
A bit of honey wouldn't do too much harm. But you could also hit the herbs and spices. Cinnamon, ginger, mint would all be lovely and full of health-giving properties.
Or perhaps a bit of vanilla extract. And let's not forget about cocoa powder for some chocolatey goodness. I love adding cocoa powder, especially when I'm using chocolate flavoured protein powder. It gives it a real depth. So yummy.
Smoothie Recipes for Healthy Living - The Base
This is where you decide what to whiz it all up with.
Milk, plant-based milk, coconut water, or even just water.
It really depends on how thick and creamy you want it.
I tend to opt for water or coconut water as I prefer a thinner smoothie where you can taste the individual ingredients. I also prefer to save the calories for ingredients, but that's just me.