When you think “smoothies”, you naturally assume that all possible varieties must be healthy. After all, they are packed with juicy fruit and nutritious veggies, right? Well, the smoothie story isn’t quite that simple, and it takes some time and practice to master the art of smoothie-making, as you will find which ingredients suit you best and how to blend them to get the right texture and flavor.
However, once you do decide to start learning about making smoothies, you’ll quickly abandon the store-bought blends which, until now, most likely seemed impossible to make at home. Rest assured, you’ll make them even better with a few ideas of your own, and of course, with a little bit imagination! Until then, the following are the basic guidelines of making these delicious treats in a healthy, nutritious manner, so as to make the most of all ingredients and enjoy your tasty sips!
Do: Focus on whole fruit and veggies
Whether you like apples, bananas, oranges, mangoes, or a wide range of other fruits, remember that using them in their natural state, that is, raw and whole, is best for your smoothies. You can, of course, mix and match different fruits to add a different aroma to every drink you make, but whole fruits as well as veggies should be the very basis of your smoothie.
It’s quite simple: whole foods are brimming with healthy ingredients, which is the very reason why you’d choose to make a smoothie instead of just munching on a single apple. They are filled with vitamins, minerals, as well as healthy fats, and packed with all macronutrients, thus serving as an excellent snack and a quick sip on the go.
Don’t: Add store-bought juice
Unlike your whole-food choice, pre-made juices you can find in stores are unfortunately anything but healthy. Since they are mostly made with plenty of preservatives, added sugar, as well as other useless ingredients, they are void of any nutrients, but rich in sugar, instead.
You might be able to find a local healthy food store that also uses whole fruits and veggies in their juices, but using your own amount of freshly-cut greens remains a superior option to the pre-made kind.
Do: Use gut-friendly ingredients
There are so many different tasty treats you can add into your smoothie mix, that you’re probably at a complete loss on how to choose which ones are the best option for your wellbeing and your dietary goals. Among a slew of them out there, one of the best options is to add resistant starch powder into your blend, to speed up your digestion, improve your gut health, and your body’s natural ability to absorb nutrients.
While there are foods such as sweet potatoes, beans, and legumes which are rich in these exceptionally healthy fibers, it’s still very difficult to include ample amounts into your diet through food alone. That is why smoothies are a great opportunity to add these hard-to-find ingredients in greater amounts and balance your diet in one go.
Don’t: Reach for sugar
Finally, those with a sweet-tooth may feel tempted to add some sugar into the smoothie, just to get that perfect level of sweetness. However, you truly don’t need this unhealthy ingredient to achieve that goal. In fact, you can do much more with organic ingredients, even sweeteners.
Do: Spice it up with the right flavor
While you may be thrilled with the very first mix you make and you may feel as if you could stick to the same trusted recipe over and over again, you should prepare yourself to step out your comfort zone and experiment a little! After all, smoothies are one of the simplest recipes that allow a great deal of playing with the ingredients to focus on different tastes and micronutrients every time.
Don’t: Overstuff with supplements
On the other end of the spectrum are people who don’t just focus on what their diet actually lacks, but they add anything and everything into their smoothies. Sure, it’s fine to add a scoop of protein powder every once in a while, especially if your diet does lack protein, but relying on supplements for all of your nutrition needs is not an ideal way to make smoothies or achieve your health goals.
Instead, you can easily add more protein by using milk or yoghurt as your smoothie base, or by adding a spoonful of nut butters into the blend. They not only contain ample protein, but they also enrich your smoothie’s taste and texture.
Stock up on different spices and herbs for starters, and you’ll quickly notice how apple smoothies pair oh so deliciously well with a dash of cinnamon, while bananas and peanut butter are even yummier with a bit of cocoa powder.
Do some research, and you’ll discover which fruits are sweet enough to make your smoothies more delicious and to your preference, and you’ll never again reach for that spoon of sugar!
Contributing Author: Claire Hastings is Australian designer, writer and regular contributor at ripped.me. She’s been writing as long as she can remember, and she is very passionate about fashion, running, other cultures, and her cat. Social media links: facebook, twitter