There are some really great smoothie recipes out there that include healthy ingredients, and even vegetables and superfood powders.
Smoothies are wonderful in the mornings or after a workout because they are absorbed quickly and taste great. You can sneak in other beneficial ingredients effectively, often without tasting them.
Many of my clients struggle with chewing their food slowly. When you don’t chew at least 15 times per bite, digestion is compromised and you aren’t able to use all the nutrients in the food. This can also cause some unpleasant symptoms such as your gut feeling heavy or even constipation and gas. Smoothies can help provide many essential nutrients and ensure they are all being absorbed. So…all of you fast-faced people who hate to chew have a perfect solution!
Some individuals get on a health kick and want to make the best superfood smoothie they can. Using a blender or Vitamix, in goes the kale, celery, cucumber, dandelion greens and maybe even greens powders or algaes. These are all awesome ingredients with some powerful nutrients and antioxidants; however, all have a very distinct and strong taste. If you make the common mistake of adding an abundance of these ingredients, you will likely put the blender away for a couple years and throw that smoothie idea out the window.
Pick one and add a very small amount to begin with. Make sure you have something sweeter to offset any possible bitterness. I always suggest organic spinach or parsley to start because the taste is relatively mild. Adding pineapple or berries will give some natural sweetness.
1. Overloading with multiple carbohydrates and sugars such as: juice, yogurt, fruit purees and syrups, ice cream, sugar, honey, milk
2. Not using a protein to balance the meal and that will provide energy and increase metabolism
3. Not adding healthy fat to stabilize blood sugar and promote satiety and balance
4. Using too many dairy products and milk
5. Adding excessive amounts of bitter vegetables
6. Dumping in protein powder that has a terrible taste
7. Not blending thoroughly or adding too much ice
When introducing smoothies with my clients we customize, based on taste and individual needs. Together we have developed unique and tasty concoctions, and certain ones may even get cranky when they can’t have it for a few days:) (I won’t mention names!)
-Limit fruit and other carbohydrates
-Avoid syrups, refined sugars, and fruit purees
-Use natural sweeteners
-Start small with protein powders
-Slowly introduce vegetables and superfoods
-Limit dairy, try almond or coconut beverages instead of milk
-Be very mindful of store-bought smoothies. They typically use a lot of sugary ingredients
-Include a liquid, protein, carbohydrate, fat and ice if desired
For Example: almond milk, protein powder, coconut yogurt, chia seed
Remember, trial and error is key here. It may take a couple tries but don’t give up! There are many strategies to make them nutritious and friendly to your palette. When you perfect your basic smoothie, you can then get adventurous with new ingredients. Flavors like banana almond, berries and greens, chocolate and spinach are all favorites.