I love smoothies.
In our house, we drink lots…
The blender sits on display at all times, on it’s very own shelf. It gets used…a lot.
Have you ever thought about making a smoothie? Do you have low energy, skin problems, digestive issues, or even cancer? Do your children get enough fruits and vegetables in their diet? Are you tired of feeling moody or overweight?
Here are a few reasons why you should embrace your inner smoothie:
- You can make a smoothie in five minutes.
- You can hide any vegetable and disguise any taste.
- You can increase your fiber (and make it easier to digest) without having to chew it.
- You can substitute a smoothie for any meal.
- You can flood your body with nutrients.
- You can increase your energy.
- You can help your body heal itself.
- You can lose weight.
- Your kids will eat it.
- Your husband will too.
With a smoothie, you can add some oats and make a morning meal, protein and make a shake, or chocolate and make a dessert. The options are endless, but…in the name of a proper smoothie, there are rules – important things you need to know to make your smoothie taste better, look better, and work better for you.
Rule #1: Never make a smoothie that only contains fruit.
This is probably the biggest mistake newbie smoothie connoisseurs make. I know…fruit is healthy…except when it isn’t. Making a smoothie that only contains fruit floods the body with too much sugar too fast. This negatively effects insulin levels, digestion, the body’s inflammatory response, brain chemistry, and energy levels. You’ll experience a sugar high at first and a hypoglycemic low an hour later. The extra sugar…gets stored as fat.
Rule #2: Never add sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Never, under any circumstances, add sugar to a smoothie. Smoothies should always be sweetened with fruit, dates, or a small amount of a natural sweetener like honey.
Rule #3: If using nuts, soak them first to deactivate nutritional inhibitors.
I have to admit, sometimes I’m in a rush and forget to soak my nuts. Ideally, they should be soaked for a few hours or over night before using in a smoothie. Read more about soaking nuts here.
Rules aside, if you have no idea what you’re doing, or despite your best efforts, your smoothie resembles the color of a dirty sock (and tastes like one too) then your smoothie might need a little technical support. Here’s a little list I threw together to help you get your smoothie-making skills on track:
Tip #1: Add a vegetable to your smoothie.
Smoothies are a great way to sneak in vegetables, especially if you are someone whose diet lacks the minimum 3-6 servings recommended per day. Here are a few of my favorites:
Tip #2: If you’re going to forgo the vegetables, add a protein, grain, or fat.
If you want to leave vegetables out of your smoothie, then add one of the following to slow the release of sugar and prolong digestion (keeping you fuller longer). If you are someone who suffers from complexion issues or depression, good fats are a must.
- 1/4 cup of raw almonds, walnuts, or pecans
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil,
- 2/3 cup of oats,
- 1 tablespoon of chia seed, hemp seeds, flax seed or
- 3/4 cup of dairy-free yogurt
- 1 scoop of protein powder
- 1 tablespoon of almond butter
Tip #3: Grains can be combined with fruit smoothies.
I love using grains in my breakfast smoothies. A thick, creamy smoothie for breakfast is one of our family’s favorite treats. Adding 1/2 – 2/3 cup of oats to your fruit blend will sustain your energy levels for 3-4 hours and give your smoothie a rich, creamy, taste.
Tip #4: Transform your smoothie into a protein shake by adding a scoop of natural, chocolate, or vanilla protein powder.
Tip #5: A thickening agent is an ingredient added to a smoothie to give it a creamy/thick texture. If you find yourself eating your smoothie with a spoon instead of slurping it through a straw, chances are you’ve added too much of one of these ingredients:
- nut butters
Tip #6: Add power boosts to your smoothie for an added health kick. Here are a few of my favorite things to slip into a smoothie.
- Raw Cacao
- Vanilla bean
- Greens powder
Tip #7: Smoothies always taste better when consumed immediately, but if you can’t, add juice from half a lemon and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Tip #8: If you mess up, employ this SMS (save my smoothie!) technique.
Oh yes, that moment where you’ve spent an extensive amount of time picking out the perfect smoothie recipe (or maybe you’ve felt creative and decided to go rogue), invested in the ingredients, and the labor…only to take a taste of the worst tasting concoction known to man. It’s okay, I’ve been there too and there’s one trick that saves a smoothie every time…orange juice. It only takes a 1/2 cup of orange juice to fix a bland, bitter, or veggie-laden smoothie.
Now that you feel empowered to make smoothies and you’ve received some technical support, here are a few of my favorite smoothie combinations.
Berry Oatmeal Smoothie
1/2 cup of ice
1/2 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
1 cup of strawberries
1/2 cup of coconut milk (full or low-fat)
1/2 cup of oats
1/2 t. of raw cacao
1/2 t. vanilla powder
1/2 – 1 cup of non-dairy milk (
1 tablespoon of honey
Optional: (1/4 teaspoon of spirulina powder and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon)
Put ice in blender. Add other ingredients and blend until smooth.
Broccoli Pomegranate Smoothie
1 cup broccoli florets
1 pomegranate arils
1 cup strawberries
2 cups of your favorite non-dairy milk
1 cup of filtered water (more or less if needed)
Optional: 1/4 cup of orange juice
Note: Don’t have a pomegranate? Substitute with 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice.
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend thoroughly.
Vanilla Mango Smoothie:
6-7 pitted dates
2 mangoes (diced)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean powder
1/4 cup of raw almonds
Combine and blend.
Green Detox Smoothie:
1 cup spinach
1 cup kale
1.5 cups of orange juice
Combine and Blend.
Red Raspberry Protein Smoothie
1.5 cups of raspberries (fresh or frozen)
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 cup non-dairy milk
3/4 cup orange juice
Optional: (Sometimes frozen raspberries are tart, add honey to taste if this is the case).
Blend and serve.
I would love to see some of your smoothie creations. Share your favorite recipes below or post a photo on the LivingWhole Facebook page.