With the right blend of ingredients, a smoothie can be a nutritional powerhouse—full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein. Just a few misguided add-ins, however, and you’ve got a high-calorie, sugar-laden dessert on your hands. To ensure your blend is both delicious and nutritious, follow these simple smoothie tips.
DON’T: Throw everything into the blender.
It’s easy to think of a smoothie as a free-for-all, tossing in handfuls and drizzles of various ingredients. But this carefree method is destined for danger, adding calories, sugar, and fat to your drink.
DO: Measure your ingredients.
Measuring ingredients will keep the nutrition stats in check, while also ensuring a good solid-to-liquid ratio.
2 of 8Photo: Oxmoor House
Think about liquid.
DON'T: Add fruit juice.
The liquid component of a smoothie is essential—it’s what helps the ingredients blend with ease. Fruit juice is a popular choice, but using it can load your smoothie with sugar.
DO: Use Greek yogurt or coconut milk.
Plain low-fat Greek yogurt and light coconut milk are optimal choices for creating healthy, creamy smoothies. Greek yogurt provides a boost of protein, while light coconut milk adds a hit of rich flavor and creamy texture.
3 of 8Photo: Randy Mayor
DON’T: Reach straight for kale.
We’re all about adding greens to our smoothies, but don’t dive into kale right away. If you start with such a bitter green, you may be tempted to pile on too much sugar.
DO:Start with spinach.
It’s easy to mask the flavor of spinach, making it the perfect choice for green-smoothie starters. Once you’ve acquired a taste for greens, begin branching out to kale or parsley.
Protein powders are often filled with highly processed ingredients more suitable for bulking up. Use natural sources of protein instead to help sustain your energy throughout the day.
DO: Try nut butters, flaxseeds, or tofu.
A small dose of peanut butter or a tablespoon of flaxseed is a healthy way of adding protein to a smoothie. Silken tofu is another great option and blends easily with other ingredients.
5 of 8cooking light diet
Get a customized diet plan and daily reminders to keep you on track. Support for vegetarian, gluten free, ingredient exclusions, and more. Now with Progress Tracker: track your weight loss, earn badges and rewards!