Easy Tips On How To Make A Great Healthy Smoothie
Juices and smoothies have rooted themselves into cookbooks and conversations as healthy snacks, or even as great meal replacements. While it can definitely be more convenient to drive to your nearest juice bar and pay $8 or so for a smoothie, you could be saving a lot more time and money by making your own at home. What’s better is that when you control the process, you can customize the drink to your own personal preference and dietary needs. Here are the basic steps that go into creating a great smoothie, as well as tips on building the right drink to suit your needs.
Liquid Base Ingredient
Every smoothie needs some sort of liquid to act as a base for the rest of the ingredients in the drink. It’s also important to remember that the liquid should be the first ingredient you place in the blender. While you can use water, many people use a denser liquid to thicken the smoothie for a richer taste and texture. Milk is one of the most common bases to use; you can use whole or skim, depending on how many calories you are fine with consuming. However, if you’re lactose intolerant, or just don’t like the taste of dairy, you can opt for a non-dairy liquid such as almond, oat, rice, or soy milk.
Protein is an essential ingredient for any meal, even a smoothie. Protein strengthens our muscles, fires up our metabolism, and increases our energy levels, all while keeping us feeling full throughout the day. A popular way to add protein to a smoothie is via a powder, such as brown rice, whey, or casein. You can also use egg whites, peas, tofu, or Greek yogurt for added calcium.
Yes, some fat is good for you. In fact, unsaturated fat is essential to ensuring that your body is functioning properly. To thicken a smoothie and bulk up its healthy fat content, choose avocados, or go for nut butter from almonds, peanuts, or sunflower seeds. You can also put raw nuts directly into the mix for added fat and protein. Chia seeds and flax seeds are also great additions to a smoothie, as they are loaded with healthy antioxidants as well as healthy amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Like protein, fiber helps us feel full throughout the day while maintaining the health of our digestive and intestinal tracts. Many fruits are high in fiber content, such as blackberries, raspberries, pears, oranges, apples, and blueberries. Bananas are a popular smoothie ingredient because they thicken the smoothie while adding fiber and potassium. You can also get fiber and other nutrients by adding vegetables such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard.
That’s it! Have fun experimenting with your favorite ingredients. You can top them with granola or dark chocolate bits if you’d like.