Summer Smoothie Guide
With summer heat, we tend to eat less heavy, dense food, preferring lighter, cooler items like smoothies. However, smoothies can be just as heavy in calories and sugar as any other item on the menu. The difference between a fresh, vitamin-packed smoothie and a sugary milkshake is in the details. Read on to find out how to order or make the perfect smoothie and skip the dessert imposters.
Start with a Healthy Base
When ordering out, make sure the first ingredient isn’t fruit juice. Fruit juices tend to be loaded with extra sugar and they lack fiber. Instead, go for spring water, coconut water, or a non-dairy milk, such as unsweetened almond or cashew milk. Secret tip: Make some green, herbal, or fruit tea ahead of time. Let it cool and use this as your smoothie liquid base. It adds flavor and phytonutrients without any extra calories or sugar!
Fill It with Greens
Green spinach, kale, chard, and lettuce are all great smoothie additions. You can drink your vegetables without even tasting them. Cucumber, carrots, and beets are also great veggies to add to your smoothie. By filling up on fresh vegetables instead of fruit, you reduce the amount of sugar in your drink and get a healthy dose of vitamins C, K, A, and folate.
Flavor It with Fruit
Use fruit as your flavor profile. You don’t have to use tons of fruit to get that refreshing fruity flavor. Berries are always a favorite because these little powerhouses are full of antioxidants and fiber, and they are very low in sugar. Other great choices include pineapple, orange, lemon, and lime.
Add Some Fat
Fat is the most satiating nutrient, so by adding a little fat, your smoothie will leave you feeling full longer. This also prevents huge spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels. Try adding 1 tablespoon of almond butter or a quarter of an avocado. These also give smoothies an extra creamy texture.
Along with fat, protein also keeps you full and your blood sugar stable. Include a scoop or two of protein in your smoothie to fuel your muscles and give you steady energy. Some great sources of protein include whey or plant-based protein powders. Collagen is another great form of protein for hair, skin, and nails. This is also a fun way to change the flavor of your smoothie; there are many new flavor choices beyond the traditional chocolate and vanilla. With flavors like caramel latte, bananas and cream, peanut butter bliss, you can create a luscious dessert-like smoothie without the guilt.
Amp up the health benefits of your smoothie by adding some boosts. The possibilities are endless. You can add flax seeds, matcha, cinnamon, turmeric, bee pollen, ginger, mushroom extract, and more. So whether you want to reduce inflammation or increase your energy, there’s a supplement boost for that.
Now that you know how to build the healthiest smoothie, get creative and start playing around with new ingredients and flavors. You may find you feel lighter and healthier.