While the end of summer seems near, the hot weather isn't going anywhere. I have been staying cool this summer with smoothies. They're cool, refreshing, and super easy to take on the go! Smoothies often get a health halo, but just because you're drinking a smoothie, doesn't mean you're healthy. In reality, many of us are making some common mistakes in our smoothie making and consuming.
The most common smoothie making mistakes I see:
Only including fruit
Assuming smoothies lead to weight loss
Not making them home (you will never truly know what goes into it)
If you love smoothies but make one of the mistakes above or find yourself with gnawing hunger soon after consuming, keep reading. Today’s post is for my smoothies lovers as well as those debating if smoothies should or could be included in their current eating patterns. I'm sharing my smoothie hacks to create a smoothie that is more filling, more nutrient dense, and more delicious!
Healthy smoothie hacks
Mix up the fruit. Berries are low in sugar and high in antioxidants! Go heavy on berries and lighter on starchy fruit like bananas. Half of a banana adds texture, so i recommend including it, but maximize your nutrient content by also including plenty of colorful fruit!
Add a date. Instead of adding honey or syrup, add a medjool date! They add natural sweetness plus plenty of fiber and healthy goodness. Natural sweeteners for the win
Add veggies. Spinach or a power greens blend make a simple addition to any smoothie. Add a handful for a hidden veggie boost to your breakfast. Also, try adding frozen cauliflower for more veggies and a great texture.
Fill up on fat. Upping fat in your smoothie will help prevent a quick blood sugar rise and fall. Fats add the fullness and satisfaction factor, not to mention anti-inflammatory benefits! Try chia seeds, almond or peanut butter, avocado (don’t worry, you won’t taste it), coconut oil, full fat yogurt or cottage cheese. The more the merrier!
Include protein. It is important to have protein with breakfast! Try a protein powder I like Orgain plant-based vanilla protein powder. Feel free to use a whey if your stomach tolerates it, or try collagen peptides. Nut butters will add protein, as will dairy products (if included). You can add 2 Tbsp hemp seeds for a great source of protein, too!
Smoothies are liquid, so it is normal they will move through the stomach faster and not keep you as full as a solid breakfast. This reason alone, plus the potential for a fairly swift blood sugar response, can leave you starving and potentially hangry or overeating later. If you find this happening to you, smoothies may actually be working against your healthy eating efforts. Try the tips above and consider adding a solid to round out the meal. Try consuming your smoothie alongside a hard boiled egg (another easy prep ahead food) or topping with granola or low sugar cereal.
Some more tips
Get a thicker texture by using frozen fruits only and adding ice.
Want a creamier smoothie? Make sure your liquid base is creamy and not just water. Mooala is great (you can check out my smoothie segment with them here). Feel free to use milk if tolerated or a milk for lactose sensitive people like Fairlife or a2.
Invest in a good blender, traveling cup, and straw cleaner! (Amazon has your back)
Share your favorite smoothie hack with me! Have a favorite recipe? I'd love to hear about it!
Note: This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. The brands mentioned are brands I trust and use myself, and recommend to my clients.