How to Make a Healthy Smoothie

How to Make a Healthy Smoothie

Smoothies have been and continue to be an extremely popular health food, but are they really that good for you? Like anything I suppose the easiest answer is “it depends.” The healthiness of a smoothie really depends on what is being put in it. Lucky for you I crafted a list here of the basic elements of a healthy smoothie.

I also included a recipe to one of my favorites: Peach Cobbler Smoothie.

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Smoothies are an amazing way to get fresh fruit and veggies on the go. This portability is what also makes them extremely popular. You can grab a smoothie on the way to work, home from the gym, or even just when you don’t have hands free to snack. Smoothies are also an excellent way to “hide” health food you might not otherwise eat (hello raw kale or spinach for breakfast?)

The downfall of smoothies also comes from this ability to “hide” ingredients. Many smoothies purchased from stores and restaurants are loaded with sugar and calories. Now naturally occurring sugars from fruits and veggies may not be a bad thing, but added sweeteners and condensed fruit juices create additional calories without added health benefits.

One of the best solutions to really know what you are getting in a smoothie is to make your own at home. Which brings me to the promised list:

A cup with filled with peach cobbler smoothie.

The key ingredients for making a healthy smoothie.

1.Fruit. The basic element of almost all smoothies is fruit. Fresh or frozen will work, with frozen giving you a slightly creamer finished product (without the addition of ice). Frozen fruit can also be nice because you can find it even when out of season and store it at home for longer periods of time.

Stuck on what kind of fruit to try?

  • rasberries
  • peaches
  • bananas
  • apples
  • mango
  • kiwi
  • strawberries
  • blueberries

2. Vegetables. The hidden star of every great smoothie. Here is a great place to get some veggies into your life without eating a salad. Mind you fresh raw veggies are always the best way to go, but getting some of your daily serving in a morning smoothie is not a bad thing. Here are some veggies to consider:

  • kale
  • spinach
  • carrots
  • cucumbers
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • zucchini

3. Liquid or the Base. There are so many great options for the base of your smoothie. Some common gotos are milk (animal or plant-based) but I also love using chilled coffee or tea!

  • low-fat milk
  • coconut milk
  • almond milk
  • fruit juice (try to avoid from concentrate)
  • chilled coffee
  • chilled tea

4. Natural Thickeners. There are a few elements that will naturally thicken your smoothie. The first option is to use a dense frozen fruit like bananas, these naturally give the smoothie a creamy texture. Otherwise creamy additives like greek yogurt or dairy substitute yogurts can thicken the drink. I have also found that adding ice cubes gives a smoothie more of a slush vibe rather than just watery juice.

5. Nutrient and Flavor Boost. You can really go wild here. Basically, these are all the additional elements that boost the flavor and health benefits of your smoothie. You can try fresh herbs like mint or basil, or dried spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or tumeric. Nut butters, nuts, grains, or seeds are another great option. Some people even like to add protein powders or supplements.

Personally, I tend to stick to nuts, grains, and spices. Often because this is what I have on hand, and I know I’m getting protein from the yogurt and milk I typically use in my smoothies. Here are some more examples of extras to add to your smoothie:

  • Nut butter (almond, peanut, cashew..)
  • Dried fruit
  • Oatmeal
  • Seeds (flax, chia, pumpkin…)
  • Protein Powders or supplements
  • Coconut
  • Chocolate chips
  • Herbs or Spices (tumeric, cinnamon, sage, basil)
  • Extracts (vanilla, peppermint, pumpkin pie spice

6. Sweeteners. I really think you should try at all cost to avoid adding sweeteners to your smoothie. The reason being that it is already packed with sugar-laden fruit (albeit natural). I think in the long run it is better to try to curb our excessive sweet tooths. But, if you need something to sweeten your smoothie I would suggest a more natural option such as:

  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • sugar in the raw
  • date paste or sugar
  • molasses

With so many ingredient options there are no limits to the combinations you can make! So be creative! Try something new, and if you stumble across a combo you LOVE I would love to hear about it!

To get you started here is a smoothie recipe of my own…

How to make a healthy Peach Cobbler Smoothie

Healthy Peach Cobbler Smoothie

A delicious way to start your morning. This healthy peach cobbler smoothie uses simple ingredients like frozen peaches, oatmeal, and spinach, to keep you full throughout the day. 

Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Drinks
Cuisine American
Keyword greeen smoothie, healthy peach cobbler smoothie, healthy smoothie, peach cobbler, smoothie, smoothie ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 person

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen peach slices
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup milk regular or plant based
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tbsp almond butter

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend for 3-4 minutes or until the ingredients are smooth. 

Got a favorite smoothie recipe of your own? Tell me about it!

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Until we cook again!

~ Chloé M.



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