My Ultimate Smoothie Guide
Let’s settle this smoothie debate right here and now. Are they good for us, are they bad for us, what’s the deal?! The answer: it depends. I know, so helpful, right?
Smoothies are typically perceived as “healthy”, but you have to be very careful about what’s going on inside of that blender. Smoothies can easily be packed with a ton (and I mean a ton) of sugar. The sugar can come from those boxed smoothie mixes (what they typically use when you buy them out somewhere), adding a lot of fruit, fruit juice, honey, protein powders, and flavored yogurts. And then, you blend it all together and make it easier for your all of that sugar to make its way into your blood stream very quickly, adding to the effect.
But, done the right way, smoothies really can be healthy. They can be a great place to pack a ton (and I mean a ton) of nutrients into your day that would otherwise be difficult to get. So, how do you make the ultimate, good-for-you smoothie?
Step 1: Make it yourself. Or, find a place where you can dictate exactly what you want in there.
Step 2: Get a really good blender. I have a Vitamix and I love it. I have had it for 7 years, use it very regularly, and it works just as well as the day I bought it. Totally worth the investment.
Step 3: Greens. Yes, vegetables in your smoothie. No, you don’t taste them. I always have fresh or frozen spinach handy and use that as the base of my smoothie.
Step 4: Fruit. Not too much and choose wisely. I always use frozen fruit. It keeps much longer, and it makes for a thicker, yummier smoothie. About 1 cup of frozen fruit and ½ - 1 frozen banana is all you need.
Step 5: Protein. Sometimes a smoothie just doesn’t fill you up and you feel hungry right away. The solution- add protein (and fat). With so many protein powders out there, it’s hard to know which is best. Here are some tips.
- Choose a protein powder with minimal ingredients
- Avoid added sugars and artificial sweeteners
- Plant based is a good option as well. Look for protein powders with pea or hemp as a base.
- My go to protein powders: Vital Proteins Collagen, Garden of Life, Thorne Protein Powder
Step 6: Fat. Adding fat will help keep you fuller, longer, and make your smoothie into a more complete meal. Some tasty options for adding fat – peanut butter, almond butter, chia seeds, hemp seeds, mct oil, or walnuts.
Step 7: Extras. A great place to pack some more nutrients and extra flavor. Here are some yummy extras you can use to customize your smoothie – cocao powder, cinnamon, ginger, parsley, basil, or coconut. You can also add a few ice cubes to make the smoothie even thicker and more like a milkshake.
Step 8: Liquid. Anything but juice. Putting juice into a smoothie is like pouring sugar right into the blender and drinking it down. Here are some other options (all unsweetened) – almond milk, coconut milk, coffee, or pea milk (my favorite is Ripple because it is super creamy and has 8g of protein per serving).
Step 9: Blend.
Step 10: Enjoy.
Here is my go-to smoothie recipe that I have been loving recently.
1 HUGE handful of fresh baby spinach
1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen
2 Tbsp organic peanut butter
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
2 Tbsp cacao powder
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen strawberries
6 ice cubes
1 cup unsweetened Ripple milk