What is a healthy smoothie and what are some tricks that I can use to make it even healthier?
Do you want your teens to fall in love with smoothies but wonder what makes a good smoothie? Do you want to use smoothies as a quick treat that satisfies their taste buds as well as daily nutrient needs? A smoothie is a great way to pack in all of the nutrients that you need and have an on the go meal or a tasty treat.
Healthy smoothies is an easy way you can influence their taste buds and introduce them to the differing flavors of various fruits, greens and add-ins that can give you an extra boost such as nuts or a chunk of ginger.
I will start out by sharing the basic composition of a smoothie and then move to 3 challenges that often come up when making a smoothie and how to overcome those challenges.
Smoothie composition: Below is the composition of my smoothies I use only whole products and try to get all the nutrients from natural sources that already have the nutrient in it naturally ex: protein can be found in greens.
- Liquid – Water coconut water (no added sweetener)
- Green – Spinach and
- Fruit – Mango and
- Healthy fats – Avocado and flax seed
- Proteins –Almonds and sunflower seeds
- Extras– Ginger and Turmeric
Click here for superfood add-ins for healthy smoothies from The Huffington Post.
Below are 3 tricks for making the perfect smoothie despite popular challenges:
Healthy Smoothie Challenge #1: How can I make a smoothie creamy without milk – So when I was introduced to milkshakes I was like “whyyy have I missed out on this for so long!!!” despite this the same expression occurred when I realized how smooth the smoothie could be just from changing around the timing in which I put in the ingredients.
Healthy Smoothie Solution #1: Sequence– instead of putting everything in at the same time, put the almonds, chai or other nuts in with the water and let it blend until in a milk like substance (about 10-30 seconds) and then add in the remaining ingredients. This will make a noticeable difference in the texture of the smoothie.
Healthy Smoothie Challenge #2: How can I get more greens in my smoothie – So I tried kale initially and boy did I know it was there! It made its presence known with a sharp flavor. This experience left me wondering if I would have to experience the strong taste every time I wanted to get my needed green intake. Fortunately, I found a trick.
Healthy Smoothie Solution #2: Use spinach– using spinach as your green veggie makes for a smoothie whose flavors are dominated by the other fruits and kinder tastes in the smoothie. The taste of spinach is subtle when blended but you still get the awesome benefit.
Healthy Smoothie Challenge #3: How do I make sure that my smoothie is healthy? This is very important as you make your smoothies you want to be sure that they are achieving the goal that you want. Do not fall into the trap of making it taste delicious and as a result limiting the phenomenal nutritional benefits that it can provide.
Healthy Smoothie Solution #3: Decrease/ eliminate sugar from the smoothie When making your smoothie try to start to do it without any added sugars and even better with more greens than fruits.
Below is the ideal progression:
- Good – No refined sugar instead use raw honey or turbinado
- Better – No sugar instead maybe use a little more ripened banana( note that bananas have a high sugar content)
- Best – No sugar and minimal banana (half a banana)
This is a wonderful opportunity to train the taste buds to appreciate the natural sweetness of fruits and the other ingredients in the smoothies. The addictive effects of sugar have been compared to those of strong drugs and it is beneficial to get used to not excess sugar as early as possible.
Click here for more findings on sugar in this article from National Geographic
Try out these tips and let us know how they helped.
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This is a guest post by Lillian Daniels who is a health advocate with extensive knowledge on healthy eating. Connect with Lillian on Instagram.