Between the heat and summer chaos, cooking and planning ahead is a challenge in my household. I tend to gravitate toward smoothies.
There are many misconceptions about fruit smoothies. Most people think they are healthy because they contain fruit. The truth is that most commercial smoothies contain approximately 50-100 grams of sugar! Another problem area is that they are lacking protein or low quality protein powder is added. This kind of imbalance will spike your blood sugar, crash your energy, and put on weight.
How do you make a healthy smoothie?
Balance is the key. Make sure to balance your smoothies with complex carbs, quality protein, healthy fat and greens. Instead of mixing with juice or milk, blend with water or unsweetened almond or coconut milk and ice. Utilize my Smoothie Combination Guide to learn how to create your own balanced smoothies.
SMOOTHIE COMBINATION GUIDE
Always combine at least one option from each category. Play around with these combinations to create tons of balanced smoothies.
COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATE OPTIONS
- Fruit (fresh or frozen): Fruit contains a lot of natural sugar so monitor portions and avoid juice.
- Beans or oats: It may sound weird, but I add a small portion of beans (canned/rinsed) or old fashioned oats (raw) to my smoothies for more fiber and quality energy.
- Plain yogurt: Do not use fruited or vanilla yogurt because it is loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
QUALITY PROTEIN OPTIONS
- Protein powders: In most of my smoothies, I use a vegan protein powder (blend of pea and rice protein) that I believe in so much, I offer it on my website. Avoid soy and whey protein because they are known to be inflammatory.
- Nut butter: Try a variety of nut butters, like peanut butter without additives, almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower seed butter.
- Plain Greek yogurt: 1 cup of Greek yogurt contains at least 2 oz. of protein (14 grams).
HEALTHY FAT OPTIONS:
- Seeds (flax meal or chia seeds)
- Avocado: If you like creamy smoothies, add ¼ of an avocado.
- Coconut Oil
- Nut butter
GREENS and VEGGIES:
- Greens: Add raw spinach, kale or mixed greens for a boost of vitamins and fiber.
- Veggies: If you have a powerful blender, experiment with adding various veggies.
Use an insulated cup! It will keep your smoothie icy cold for a long time.
If fresh fruit or greens are starting to turn, freeze in a baggie and use in smoothies.
Betsy’s Go-To Smoothie:
- 1 scoop Chocolate Daily Sustain Protein
- ½ banana
- ½ cup black beans
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 cup water
Tropical Green Smoothie Recipe:
- 2-3 handfuls of kale
- 1/2 banana
- ½ cup mango
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ¼ avocado
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk