Don’t we all love a good smoothie??
With busy schedules and training demands, sometimes 5 minutes is all we have before we’re running off to our next workout/meeting/appointment. Fueling our body with the nutrients it needs is essential in giving us the energy we need to get through the day. Smoothies can be a great option for an easy, portable, and nutritious meal on the go. However, buying them out can often lead to a high-calorie added sugar bomb, causing our blood sugar to crash and we’re left with no energy, right when we needed it most! The thing is, it’s actually very simple to make a healthy and filling smoothie at home, and you don’t need more than 5 ingredients to do so!
Here are the 5 basic ingredients to building a better smoothie:
1. START WITH GREENS- Most people don’t get their recommended 2-3 servings of vegetables per day, especially those dark leafy greens. In fact, athletes may need even more due to their higher calorie, vitamin, and mineral needs. Smoothies are the perfect way to fit them in. They might turn your drink green, but believe it or not, you may not even notice the flavor of Spinach or kale when incorporated into a smoothie.
2. ADD FROZEN FRUITS - Fruits bring natural sugars to our smoothie, fulfilling our sweet tooth, while also adding antioxidants, fiber, and a host of vitamins and minerals our bodies need to fuel properly. One cup of raspberries, cherries, strawberries, banana, or whatever else your favorite fruit is will make your smoothie taste amazing. A bonus of fruit is that frozen fruit works perfectly for smoothies, so you don’t always need to have fresh fruit on hand. Bananas about to go bad? Peel and freeze them, they’ll be the perfect base for your next smoothie!
3. PROTEIN - We all know how essential protein is for training and recovery, it helps our muscles repair and gives us the energy we need throughout the day. Making sure your smoothie has enough protein is key to making it a complete post-workout meal. Plant-based protein powders are a fantastic way to sneak some protein into your meal without any added effort or prep. Just make sure to check the label - you don’t want too many added, processed ingredients. The good news is there are also a lot of non-protein powder options for smoothies: natural peanut butter, hemp seeds, and silken tofu are all great options for amping up the protein factor in your smoothie.
4. LIQUID to BLEND- your choice of liquid can change up the flavor and/or nutrient factor of your smoothie. If you’re looking just to be able to blend your other ingredients, water, coconut water, or almond milk are all great options. If you’re looking to increase the calorie content try using cashew milk.
5. EXTRA FLAVOR - because hey, why not? Try adding a pinch of turmeric, ginger, matcha, cinnamon, and/or cocoa powder to any smoothie combination for a flavor boost and added anti-inflammatory benefits.PRO TIP: Another secret smoothie ingredient - CAULIFLOWER! Cauliflower has the perfect neutral flavor to add a ton of fiber, and creamy texture to your smoothie without sacrificing taste.
Matcha-Pineapple-Spinach-Hemp Seeds-Cashew Milk
Cocoa Powder-Cherry-Cauliflower-Peanut Butter-Almond Milk
Vanilla Extract-Banana-Kale-Greek Yogurt-Almond Milk
Ginger-Strawberry-Celery-Hemp Seeds-Coconut Water
Cocoa Powder-Banana-Kale-Silken Tofu-Almond Milk
Optional Add-ins: Feel free to add a touch of honey or agave nectar if you need a little extra sweet boost!