Behold, the smoothie: Done right, smoothies can be a great meal or a snack in a glass, since they're packed with fibre and vitamins. Done poorly, they can add to your waistline -- fast. Some smoothies, especially those you purchase rather than make, contain 500 to 800 calories, making them a hefty meal. They can also be high in natural sugar which can spike your blood sugar and make you hungrier. One challenge of the perfect smoothie is achieving the right sweetness, without overloading on sugar.
But when you control the ingredients, smoothies are a fantastic way to get a no-cook, nutritious meal or snack that you can take on the run. I love starting the day with a smoothie. Feel like I've just done so much for my health and I'm still in my jammies!!!
Here are my tips on how to enjoy the health benefits of Smoothies without the downfalls:
- Leave your smoothie a little chunkier and chew some of it.
- Swirl the smoothie in your mouth a bit before swallowing so digestion gets a head start before it hits the stomach.
- Don’t use high-sugar fruits or vegetables in your smoothies such as bananas, mangoes or carrots if you are worried about fruit sugars. Use apples or berries instead. (List below.)
- Keep a 4:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit.
- Add ground hemp, flax or chia seeds to up the fiber and protein content, slowing down sugar absorption.
- I list gluten and dairy free options for those who are sensitive to these and because I try to leave these out myself most days.
My list of ingredients: There could be more added but this is what I like and what I've used so far. I try to use low sugar fruits and vegetables and always have a leafy green vegetable in there. Some days when I want something sweeter there might be more fruit vs veg.
You can freeze the berries overnight if you want a cold smoothie. Great when the weather is warm!!! Though you do need a powerful blender to chop through them.
Here's the recipe I started with, this one is delish!
- handful of blueberries and/or raspberries
- handful of spinach
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 stick of celery
- about half a small cucumber
- one green apple
- tablespoon of ground hemp seeds
- tablespoon chia or flax seeds
- almond milk/coconut water
- Juice of a lemon/lime
- few fresh mint leaves (if they're looking good in our garden
I blend the seeds first so they're super smooth, then add the rest and blend until creamy.