Photo courtesy of Pablo by Buffer
With a few basic ingredients, a little creativity and a quick whir of the blender, you can be sipping a delicious smoothie in minutes. Many people start their day with a blended concoction of frozen fruits. Others toss in kale, carrots or celery for a veggie boost. Milk or yogurt is often added for creaminess and a bit of protein.
“How Healthy are Smoothies”?
No one would argue that smoothies are convenient and delicious. And what a great way to sneak some extra veggies into the kids! Before slurping down another smoothie though, here are a few things to consider:
1. Smoothies can pack a LOT of sugar!
A simple smoothie with a cup of frozen fruit, a banana and a splash of orange juice contains over 30 grams of sugar... quite a dose! This sounds more like a liquid treat than a balanced breakfast meal. For starters LOSE the juice. The whole fruits add more than enough sweetness to the smoothie.
2. If the smoothie is a breakfast meal, it really MUST contain a significant protein source.
Here are a few protein ideas for your smoothie:
Raw, unsalted almonds (or other nuts)
Peanut butter or almond butter
Powered pea protein
Unsalted sunflower seed kernels
Cottage cheese (don’t worry… the blender gets rid of the lumps!!)
3. Healthy fats belong in your smoothie!
The berries, kale, peaches, carrots and other veggies and fruits in the smoothie are FULL of antioxidants…….plant compounds that boost our health in so many ways. Fat MUST be present in order to be absorb these antioxidants. Here are some tasty ways to add healthy fats to your smoothie:
Several slices of avocado
A handful of nuts (also loaded with protein!)
Two teaspoons of coconut oil
2 tablespoons of peanut butter, almond butter (also adds protein!)
Whole milk Greek yogurt (also gives a protein boost!)
4. Other Healthy smoothie additions to consider:
A tablespoon of whole oats (for fiber)
A sprinkle of ground flax seed (for healthy omega 3 fatty acids and fiber)
A pinch of cinnamon (for flavor and antioxidants)
A pinch of turmeric or ginger (for antioxidants)