Smoothies make the best anytime snack or light meal. They are an amazing way to start you day and are super quick for an on-the-go breakfast. Smoothies are also wonderful for pre or post workout fuel. There are endless possibilities for what you can add into a smoothie, ranging from creamy peanut butter to leafy kale. With the right amount of right amount of protein, fiber, and antioxidants you can make a killer smoothie that will satisfy you for hours. While there are plant-based protein powders out there, these are necessary for getting super nutrients. Check out these eight unique ingredients to add to your next smoothie:

1. Granola

Cherry Chocolate Stovetop Granola With Toasted Cashew Banana Yogurt [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

 

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Do you rush your breakfast? A granola smoothie is perfect for those mornings that you run out of time and can’t sit down for your first meal. Choose a simple low-sugar granola that is high in protein and fiber. You can make this Sugar-Free Buckwheat Granola and blend it in with your smoothie for extra crunch and texture. You can also top your smoothie with granola like in this Superfood Smoothie for Lasting Energy.

2. Cacao

 

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Chocolate will always save the day. Adding natural cacao powder will provide your smoothies with loads of antioxidants and a super creamy flavor. Cacao powder is known for fighting sugar cravings since it has naturally sweet undertones. Blend up this Peanut Milk, Banana, and Cocoa Smoothie for a classic banana chocolate treat. If you don’t have cacao powder, cocoa powder will give a similar taste with just fewer antioxidants and nutrients.

3. Coconut Water or Oil

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We all know that coconut oil is amazing for us. Throwing in a tablespoon of coconut oil into your smoothie is a great way to get healthy fat and it tastes awesome with fresh fruit or greens. For something a little lighter try using coconut water in your next shake. Being a natural energy-booster, coconut water has electrolytes, potassium, low sugar and antioxidants- making it way healthier than any sports drink. Use coconut water in place of milk or water. Make this Supremely Green Power Smoothie to try it out.

4. Goji Berries

Spotlight on Goji Berries: Health Benefits, Tips and Recipeskattebelletje/Flickr

Goji berries may be small in size, but they sure do pack a punch with good-for-you nutrients and health benefits. They have tons of antioxidants that are known for reducing cancer risks and have anti-aging properties. Goji berries blend beautifully with a fruit smoothie, especially strawberries or blueberries. Goji berries are also tasty in a green smoothie. Try out this Energy Boosting Superfood Protein Shake to start feeling good.

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5. Ginger

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Feeling zesty? Ginger is known for boosting metabolism and improving digestion, making it a healing spice to throw into a smoothie. If you don’t love the taste of ginger just add a pinch in of freshly grated ginger like in this Peachy Ginger Green Monster Smoothie. If you’re feeling more adventurous, throw in a shot of ginger juice. Ginger tastes delicious with either a green or fruit smoothie. Make this Coconut Ginger Smoothie and feel the burn!

6. Maca Powder

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Maca Powder is becoming an increasingly popular superfood. Maca root contains calcium, iron, magnesium and selenium as well as essential fatty acids and 19 amino acids. Just like protein powder, maca can be added into a smoothie to create thickness and substance, and is awesome for athletic recovery. Maca is known for being incredibly energizing, making it a powerful smoothie booster. The taste of maca is mildly nutty, but it blends well with any type of smoothie. Try this Cacao Maca Energizing Smoothie to jump start your day or as an afternoon pick-me-up.

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7. Avocado

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Add some avocado for a different kind of green smoothie. Like coconut oil, avocados will give you loads of healthy fats and will add richness to your smoothie. Avocados can easily replace dairy and be blended into sweet shakes like this Raw Avocado and Cacao Smoothie. This Chai Chocolate Green Smoothie uses a whole avocado to keep you full for hours.

8.Wheatgrass

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Wheatgrass is a wonderful addition to green smoothies. Wheatgrass tastes similar to spinach or any other dark greens and contains iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E. Use wheatgrass juice or powder to add to your smoothie like in this Super Green Smoothie and Green Fruit Smoothie With Wheatgrass Juice. Good for diabetes, digestion, the common cold, high blood pressure, and even a hangover, you can’t go wrong with wheatgrass.

Get blending and make a delicious smoothie with one of these unique ingredients. With simple ingredients like fruit, non-dairy yogurt, milk or water, using one of these add-ins is sure to give your smoothie just the boost it needs. For more smoothie inspiration, check out these 22 Amazing Smoothies to Kick Start Your Day. We would love to hear your ideas! What unique ingredients do you use to make a nutritious and delicious smoothie?!

Lead image source: Blueberry Hempseed Protein Smoothie Bowl