If spending an undisclosed portion of my income on overpriced smoothies is wrong, I don’t want to be right.
In fact, I really wanted to incorporate their blended deliciousness into the name of this blog but for some reason “Smoothied” remined me of getting punked, and“You just got smoothied!” was one catch phrase I did not want to be responsible for. And so…..JUICED was born.
So what are the benefits of these addictive concoctions? First off, it’s very easy to incorporate a large number of healthy ingredients into one superfood packed meal.
And of course, all of the fruits and veggies that normally come to mind when thinking about smoothies. These foods pack a punch in terms of nutrition and can either add to the delicious flavor of the drink or be easily disguised if you prefer something more fruit or veggie forward.
Smoothies are also easier on the digestive track. The blending process breaks down any large bits of food making it easier for the digestive system to extract the beneficial vitamins and nutrients and send what’s left on its merry way. This makes smoothies an especially good choice in the morning when the digestive system is still waking up.
Although I firmly believe to each their own when it comes to designing the perfect smoothie, there are a few basic components all smoothies thrive off of:
- Liquid: The liquid you choose can do a lot in terms of the flavor of your smoothie. I recommend a dairy free milk such as almond, cashew, or soy if you can tolerate it. Coconut water is also a great option, adds a sweet taste, and pumps up the hydrating power of your drink. Water or dairy milk can also be used but given the number of individuals with sensitivities to dairy I tend to lean towards non-dairy options. I also recommend staying away from juice. If looking to add some sweetness I recommend doing so through the addition of whole fruits rather than through juice which has substantially higher sugar content.
- A Base: Here is where the fruits and veggies get their time to shine! Try using frozen options to add to the creamy, cold texture of the smoothie. Frozen banana (learn from my mistakes and peel before freezing!) is great for this. I usually incorporate blueberries as they are high in antioxidants and a delicious tasting superfood! For veggies, aside from the usual spinach, try using frozen kale (stems removed) or frozen cauliflower. I typically buy mine fresh then freeze it, but I’m sure buying pre-frozen tastes the same.
- Protein: An essential component to help keep you feeling fuller longer. This is also an easy way to get extra protein into your diet if you limit other sources of protein (meat, fish, eggs, etc.). There are a lot of protein powders on the market with a scary number of ingredients in them. Look for an organic version with ingredients that you can read (ie no scary chemicals or preservatives). Personally I look for rice or pea based proteins. Should you choose a whey based protein, just be aware that whey contains dairy! Two of the brands I love are Ritual and Vega Protein.
Also – let us not forget nuts! Nut butters are another great way to add protein and delicious flavor to your drink.
- Bonus: I highly recommend picking a few superfoods, like those listed above, and tossing them into your smoothie. It’s easy to spend a lot of time and turn your kitchen into a war zone if you over complicate the ingredient list. That is why I recommend picking one or two additional superfoods to add at a time. Mix and match them depending on your specific nutrition needs and to keep things interesting. For example, add some matcha powder when in need of an energy boost, or collagen peptides when trying to improve digestive health, hair, skin or nails.
I’m realizing I could probably do a whole other post just on the benefits of the various superfoods listed above. More to come!
And with that, I hope you will consider making smoothies a regular part of your diet!