Kids love them, they’re easy to make and they can also be nutritional powerhouses. So how can you optimize your ingredients to provide a nutritionally balanced yet irresistibly detectible smoothie? The answer is in the basic smoothie recipe below:
1 cup liquid (unsweetened): water, coconut water, almond or coconut milk, tea
1 cup leafy greens: spinach (our family favorite…you can easily use 2 cups without changing flavor), kale with stems removed (or baby kale), romaine lettuce. Note – I have also used carrots and cucumbers in exchange for the greens but you would want to use about 1/2 cup each (as they have a more potent flavor).
Once the greens are well blended add:
2 cups fruit* (choose at least 2 different kinds for variety): Note – bananas make for a very creamy consistency (and strong flavor) while fruit that is juicy (e.g. melons, or strawberries) will have more of a slushy consistency.
*If you use fresh fruit I recommend adding 1 cup of ice. You can skip this step when using frozen fruit
Feel free to power up your smoothie with some protein and healthy fats. These macronutrients help to create a more balanced nutritional profile and can help to regulate blood sugars and make you feel more satiated/full. A small amount of healthy fat can additionally help your body to absorb the fat soluble vitamins A,D, E and K.
Protein: Greek yogurt (plain or flavored), nut butters (or even nuts – a small handful of walnuts is one of my favs), ricotta cheese, silken tofu, 1-2 scoops protein powder – whey, egg albumin, plant-based (do your research as many whey varieties were found to be contaminated with heavy metals), 1 Tbsp collagen hydrolysate (precurser to gelatin – I’d recommend the Great Lakes brand).
Healthy fats: ½ avocado (creates a creamy consistency), 1-2 Tbsp flaxseed, 1 Tbsp chia seed (will thicken the smoothie if it sits), 1-2 Tbsp nuts or their nut butters. Note – if using full fat Greek yogurt or coconut milk there is no need to add additional fats for a carbohydrate-protein-fat balance or for blood sugar regulation.
Fun extra add-ins for flavor (to taste): Raw cacao or unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, pure vanilla extract.
Need a little extra sweetness? Add a few dates, prunes, or a couple tsp of local honey or pure maple syrup.
What is your favorite concoction!