With summer weather in full swing, we could all go for a nice refreshing smoothie these days. All of those beautiful Instagram-worthy creations are starting to look extra delicious. 😋
But smoothies range widely in nutritional value, and sometimes they turn out as more of a fruity dessert than a health-supportive, balanced meal. We’ve laid out the basics for what makes a truly healthy (and delicious) smoothie.
No added sweeteners.
First and foremost, the only sweeteners in your smoothie should be in whole fruit form. An apple, banana or a few pitted dates can go a long way! If you are using nut milk, make sure it is also unsweetened.
Add a handful of greens.
We believe every smoothie needs a handful of greens. Leafy greens are arguably one of the healthiest foods we can eat, so a smoothie without them feels like a missed opportunity. Whether you’re going for a more herbaceous “green smoothie” or keeping it classic and fruity, adding handful of baby spinach or kale is a great way to boost vitamins and minerals.
Include a healthy fat.
Those of you who have been with us for a while now know that several key vitamins (like A, D, E, and K) are fat-soluble, meaning that they cannot be absorbed properly without some form of a healthy fat. To get the most out of your fruits and greens, try adding one of the following to your smoothie:
- half an avocado
- a tablespoon of ground flaxseed
- a tablespoon of almond flour
- a handful of your favorite nuts or seeds as a topping
Add some crunch.
The main nutrient that smoothies are prone to lacking is fiber. When we eat fruit in its whole form, all of the fiber is kept intact - this slows digestion, boosts nutrient absorption and helps keep blood sugar stable. Much of the fiber in fruits and veggies will get lost when they are blended, which is why we always recommend topping your smoothie with some form of a whole food for added crunch. Try a handful of berries or unsweetened coconut flakes. 😋
*Bonus - add some fresh ginger or turmeric root for even more anti-inflammatory power. No need to peel or grate - just rinse and toss in!
Now you’re ready to whip up a smoothie that not only looks pretty, but will make you feel great too. 🕺