When it comes to smoothies, the possibilities are limitless. As long as you have a blender on hand and a fridge stocked with fruits and vegetables, you can throw together any combination you like for a healthy, delicious beverage. However, elevating your smoothie to a nutritious meal means considering ingredients, balance, and portions.
Start With a Concentrated Source of Protein
Packing enough protein into your smoothie with plants alone can be tricky, as even the most protein-rich plants, such as nuts, beans, peas, and soybeans, on their own lack all nine essential amino acids the body needs, and they must be combined to form complete proteins. While this is certainly not impossible, it’s not a very smoothie-friendly way to go. Making a scoop of gluten free protein powder the base of your smoothie is a much simpler, tastier way to pack a powerful protein punch.
Go Easy on the Fruit, Heavy on the Vegetables
Fruit is hard to beat for its fiber content, but some fruits are higher in sugar than others. A ripe banana, for instance, has roughly three times the sugar of a handful of raspberries. The amount of fruit a person should have in a day varies according to weight and body type, so a good rule of thumb is to add one serving of fruit to your smoothie and fill the rest of your blender jar with fiber-rich vegetables such as kale, spinach, beets, or swiss chard.
Add Fats and Superfoods
Though it may be counterintuitive to add fat to a smoothie, the body can’t properly function without a moderate amount of healthy fat. Some healthy fats include nuts, seeds, avocado, dairy milk, and coconut milk, and all make great additions to any smoothie recipe. Superfoods such as ginger, maca powder, and goji berry also provide a powerful, nutritional bonus.
Remember, balance and variety are key. If you stick to these ratios, you’ll never have to perform any complicated math to create a delicious, super-nutritious smoothie.