Today I will be talking about how to build the perfect smoothie! Smoothies are a great addition to any healthy lifestyle. They are super easy and quick to make and are full of essential vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, just because you blend up some fruits does not necessarily mean you are maximizing the nutritional impact of your smoothies. These simple tips will ensure your smoothies are always flavourful and healthy! Having a smoothie as a part of your morning routine can be a great start to your day.
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So let's get into it!
The liquid part of the smoothie is the component that will control the viscosity (thickness) of your drink. If you prefer a very thick smoothie or a smoothie bowl, add less liquid and if you like a smoothie that is "thinner" add more! For regular smoothies, a good rule of thumb is adding the liquid that reaches up to half to three-quarters of the ingredients inside your blender.
So, should you use water or milk? It is really up to you! To be more specific, if you are looking to gain weight and are not opposed to drinking cow's milk, adding milk is a great way to bump up your caloric intake a bit. Otherwise, water, juice, coffee, and plant-based milk are delicious additions. Plant-based milk tends to be fortified with essential nutrients as well such as vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc, or magnesium. These are essential in the health of our bodies!
I personally change depending on what type of smoothie I am making that day. If I am making a richer smoothie with bananas, peanut butter, and cinnamon, I will add plant-based milk and coffee to it! It is on the fruiter side I will use water instead.
Adding some greens to your smoothie is the best way to increase the nutritional impact! A handful of greens is enough to add some extra vitamins. Specifically, dark leafy greens, are a rich source of vitamin B, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, antioxidants, calcium, iron, and potassium.
Some greens you can add to your smoothies are spinach, kale, beet greens, swiss chards, arugula, cucumber, or celery. They are super low in calories but provide amazing benefits. I would recommend you buy fresh greens instead of frozen.
Fruits are the backbone of a great smoothie. Frozen fruit is great and fresh fruit is just as good! Just remember to add some ice when you use fresh fruit to ensure your smoothie is nice and cold! I recommend combining one high sugar fruit with one low sugar (banana and green apple) or a mix of low sugar fruits (berries). Avoid using a bunch of high-sugar fruits in one smoothie! Although fruits are the best type of sugars for our body, we still have to monitor how much we consume. Depending on our personal health, we should be eating around 3-5 pieces of fruit every day. They contain essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibres that keep our bodies happy and healthy!
Proteins are a vital addition to smoothies to keep you feeling full. Beyond this, protein is crucial for muscle growth, bone health, blood pressure, weight loss, etc. A very easy way to increase your protein content in a smoothie is to add protein powders! There are a bunch of fantastic vegan protein powders but if you want to keep it all-natural, you can add peanut (or other nuts) butter, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, cow's milk, silken tofu, coconut milk, or chia seeds.
Finally, boosters include superfoods that have very high vitamin, mineral, and overall nutritional punch! Usually, these superfoods can be added in small quantities can still provide all their amazing health benefits. Consider adding pomegranate seeds, berries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, matcha, acai, bee pollen, avocados, etc. Here is a list of superfoods that you can try to incorporate into your smoothies and overall diet!
Don't forget flavour while creating your smoothie! Ginger, cinnamon, vanilla extract, turmeric, nutmeg, etc are great (essentially) 0 calories additives to make your smoothie richer and flavourful!
Do you like drinking smoothies? What kind of smoothie is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!
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