Image source: Strawberry Mango Protein Smoothie
The smoothie world is a fascinating one. There are endless options and essentially every gulp of deliciousness can come from a new recipe. And the great thing is, even if you’re a klutz in the kitchen, smoothie making is easy enough for anyone to go from newbie to master in a matter of a few blends. All you have to do is learn a few basics.
First, start with a base liquid: so go ahead and pick your favorite dairy-free milk; coconut water, tea, or juice can work too! Different bases offer different nutrients. If you want to dabble in all the offered health benefits and create exotic taste, experiment with a blend of different liquids.
Next, add your fruits and vegetables. Literally ANY fruits or vegetables. Obviously some work better than others (onions not recommended) but really, take a look and see what you have on hand then go wild. Bananas might be the most popular smoothie fruit because they add a great smooth and thick texture. You’re free to use fresh, frozen, or canned; again, whatever is easily accessible. If you’re working with frozen fruits and veggies, you can skimp out on some of the ice, since you’ll already have a nice cold smoothie mix.
After you add the fruit and vegetables, this is when things really start to get creative. You can keep your smoothie simple or you can mix in everything from oats to nut butters to protein powders for an extra boost! Other mix-ins include avocado, tofu, dairy-free yogurt for extra creaminess; cinnamon, vanilla, or other spices for mouth-watering flavor; cocoa powder, agave syrup, or maple syrup for decadence; and even beans. Yes, you read that right, beans! Beans provide extra protein and calories– perfect for the athlete looking for a nutritious post-workout recovery shake. Once you have these three basic smoothie guidelines down (1. liquid 2. fruits and veggies 3. mix-ins) let the fun begin.
Health benefits of nutrient-dense smoothies:
- liquid load of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from the fruits and vegetables
- easy way to incorporate superfoods like goji, maca, acai, leafy greens, and others into diet
- simple and convenient for breakfast to kick-start morning metabolism
- blended nutrients = easy digestion
- easy digestion = easy absorption
- sweet-tasting thanks to the fruit without added or refined sugar!
- helps maintain good hydration
- delicious way to add healthy fat to diet with hemp seeds, flax, and/or nut butters
- can be a complete and satisfying meal on the go
Here are Five amazing recipes to keep your blender always busy: