How To Build The Perfect Smoothie

Above: Might as well put that blender to good use
How To Build The Perfect Smoothie

Who doesn’t love a good smoothie? Whether it’s your breakfast on the go, post-workout snack or just your go-to strategy for packing more fruits and vegetables into your diet, a smoothie is never a bad idea. There are tons of flavour combinations and add-ins that can make your smoothie as nutritious as possible, so there’s no reason to settle for the same old strawberry banana every single time. Here are some of the staples of the perfect smoothie.

A punch of protein

Protein is arguably the most important part of your diet and should be incorporated into every one of your meals, especially if you’re physically active. There are plenty of ways to get protein through things other than meat and eggs and luckily, a lot of them are perfect smoothie add-ins. Protein powder is a simple choice and there is a variety of different kinds available including whey, pea, casein, soy or hemp. Choose whey or casein if you’re trying to build muscle and soy or pea if you’re vegan. If you’d rather avoid powders, spinach, hemp seeds, almond butter, and kale are all full of both protein and other important nutrients.

A hint of something sweet

If you’re going to be having a smoothie on a daily basis, you probably want it to taste good, right? A lot of berries that are good in smoothies like strawberries, blueberries and raspberries can be tart, so adding half a banana can tone that down a little bit. If you need a little more than that, add a bit of honey or vanilla extract, a pinch of cinnamon or a splash of coconut milk. Avoid fruit juices because they contain a lot of added sugar which is exactly what you want to avoid.

Good fats

In spite of what you might think, we all need a little bit of fat in our diets—it just has to be good, or unsaturated, fat. Think full-fat (but unsweetened) Greek yoghurt, cottage cheese, nuts and nut butters, coconut oil or half an avocado. Not only will these healthy fats keep you full longer, but they’ll also make your smoothies creamy and delicious. With the right amount of healthy fats in your diet, you’ll notice softer skin, healthier hair and nails, more energy and a reduced urge to overeat.

Don’t forget the greens

Don’t make the mistake of sticking to strictly fruit-based smoothies. It’s easy to incorporate some vegetables into your smoothie, so you might as well throw some in there—at the very least it means you’ll get a serving or two of your daily vegetable intake out of the way. Spinach is the obvious choice for its smorgasbord of nutrients including potassium, iron, vitamins A, C, B and B-12, protein and calcium. Switch it up with swiss chard, kale and arugula for a different flavour and plenty more benefits that will keep you feeling energized all day long.

A little fibre

No smoothie is complete without a little fibre. Luckily, it comes along with many of the fruits and vegetables you’ve already thrown in the blender. For a little extra, you can add oats (they go great in a banana smoothie), chia seeds, flaxseeds or figs. Blueberries are the perfect fruit for extra fibre—and they provide plenty of antioxidants as well.

With literally hundreds of flavour combinations, you should have no problem building a smoothie that provides the nutrition you need—and you’ll actually enjoy drinking it too.

Tags: protein, smoothies, weight loss

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