Supercharge Your Smoothie: how to make a healthier blend
What’s not to love about smoothies? They’re quick, convenient and refreshing. They’re also filling, nutritious, sweet, and healthy if you get them right! This is a mistake people often make, whether picking up a store-bought smoothie or even when making your own, it’s easy to assume it’s healthy just because it contains fruit and might be green. But many smoothies are full of hidden sugar and fat that just don’t need to be there. Here’s a handy guide to making extra-healthy, extra-tasty smoothies:
Ice Ice Ice One of the biggest benefits of smoothies is that they are filling. If you’re full up on smoothie goodness, you’ll be less tempted to reach for the snacks in-between meals. The key to density in a smoothie is ice, and lots of it. Instead of throwing in extra calories, put in some more ice and you can be sure you’ll stay full till lunchtime!
Fat-Free Thickener Many smoothie recipes dictate that you use ice cream, cream or full-fat yogurt to thicken your creations, but this is certainly not essential. Fat-free yogurt, cottage cheese or crème fraiche are perfect substitutes that can provide your desired consistency without adding any extra fat.
Use Whole Fruit It might seem like a good idea to use fruit juice instead of whole fruit in your smoothie – it’s quicker and more convenient than chopping from whole fruit. But by filling your smoothie with fruit juice you’re also adding all the unnecessary extra sugar that shop-bought juice is packed with. If you take the time to use whole fruit, not only do you benefit by avoiding excess sugar, you’ll also get added fiber that is missing from just the juice. If you really want to save a bit of time, adding frozen fruit or berries is a great way to pack a little extra density into your blend.
Experiment with Veggies To many people, putting veggies in smoothies is an abomination, a simply preposterous idea. But there’s really no need to be afraid of adding some green stuff to your blend. Spinach and kale, for example, are both surprisingly neutral in taste and almost completely unnoticeable amongst the sweetness of the fruit. Not only do they contribute added nutritious goodness, but they also give your creations a funky color! Just be sure not to use too much to avoid giving your smoothie a bitter edge.
Pack with Protein Adding seeds to your smoothie is a great way to pack in some protein for an extra nutrient-boost, and the seeds also add great texture to your blend. Flaxseed is a great example that is also full of fiber. If you are wanting to add protein to your smoothie, though, it’s important to stick to a natural source like seeds rather than protein powders that contain hidden extra sugars and calories that you really don’t need. Add Some Healthy Fats Adding fat to your smoothie is another great way to make it more filling, and pack in some nutritious omega-3’s! A spoonful of peanut/almond butter or half an avocado when mixed into your smoothie will give you all this plus an extra dimension to the texture of your blended creations. Just be careful to add in moderation to ensure you end up with something drinkable and delicious. Give It A Try: For some delicious and creative ideas for your next smoothie invention, check out the recipe section on the MindMate app.