I love smoothies.
In our house, we drink a lot of smoothies. In fact, the blender sits on display at all times on our counter, was an investment that we use daily, and is the one kitchen appliance we cannot live without.
Here are a few reasons why you should master the art of making a 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 concentrated micronutrients.
- 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 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 important things you need to know to make your smoothie taste better, look better, and work better.
Tip #1: Never make a smoothie that only contains fruit.
This is probably the biggest mistake newbie smoothie connoisseurs make. I know … someone told you that fruit was healthy and gave you a license to eat as much of it as you want. Fruit is healthy, except when it isn’t. Making a smoothie that only contains fruit floods the body with sugar. 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 leaving you scavenging for another meal.
Note: The only time I’d recommend a fruit smoothie is if it’s used as an intra-workout where your muscles are in need of glycogen and you need a certain number of carbs or rapid fuel.
Tip #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.
Tip #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. This not only makes them easier to blend, but breaks down the phytic acids and neutralizes enzyme inhibitors that make nuts hard to digest.
Tip #4: 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 #5: 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 #6: 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 #7: Turn your smoothie into a protein shake.
Transform your smoothie into a protein shake by adding a scoop of pumpkin seed protein, clean/isolated whey, collagen, powdered peanut butter, or your favorite vegan protein powder. This is ideal for people who don’t eat a lot of meat, love to workout, or are trying to meet physique goals (and the protein requirements needed to maintain them).
Tip #8: Try making thick smoothies to help you stay full longer.
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 #9: Add power boosts to your smoothie for an added health kick.
Here are a few of my favorite things you an add to (or hide in) your smoothies to up the micronutrients.
Tip #10: Drink your smoothie ASAP.
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 #11: 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 concoction known to man. It’s okay, I’ve been there too and there’s one trick that saves a smoothie every time — citrus. It only takes a 1/2 cup of fresh-squeezed 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, check out one of my favorite smoothie recipes —> HERE.