According to the Produce for Better Health Foundation, only 33 percent of adults are meeting the recommendation for fruit consumption and 27 percent are meeting the vegetable recommendation each day. Check out our top 5 recommendations for meeting your body’s needs with a delicious and nutritious smoothie.
Try it Frozen
Freezing your fruits and vegetables the night before your morning smoothie can shorten your preparation time and reduce food waste! Many of us shop with optimism, buying bunches of fresh leafy greens and perfectly ripe berries while imagining all of the healthy smoothies we’ll blend up throughout the week. In practice, this is not always the case.
Not sure you’ll get through that carton of strawberries? Starting to see a little wilt in your kale? Chop and set them aside in an airtight container, then place in your freezer overnight. In the morning and throughout your week, you’ll have ingredients that maintain their flavor and freshness all while reducing time spent chopping when you need a quick meal.
Using frozen ingredients reduces the amount of ice needed for cold smoothies and increases the density of fiber and vitamins.
Pack in Protein with Nut and Seed Butters
Peanut butter is a classic way to include protein in your smoothies, but why stop there? According to Healthline, both peanut butter and almond butter are high in monounsaturated fat, a fat that is linked to a reduction in heart disease and better blood sugar control. A 2 tablespoon serving of almond butter contains about 25% more monounsaturated fat than peanut butter.
Increasing awareness of food allergies has made nut butter alternatives more widely available. We are spoiled for options like sunflower, sesame, hemp, pumpkin, and watermelon seed butters. In 2 tablespoons of watermelon seed butter, you’ll find 8g of protein and more than 10% of your daily iron needs. Hemp butter boasts even more benefits with 9g of protein minerals including phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, calcium, iron, and zinc.
Each type has a unique flavor, but also unique textures. Almond butter is often more grainy than peanut butter, adding more texture to your smoothie. Hemp butter tends to have an earthy, grassy flavor best complimented by fruits like cherries.
Add Some Healthy Sprinkles
We love interesting textures in our smoothies. Sprinkling nuts and seeds over the top of your smoothie can add aesthetic flair and increase your nutrient intake. Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, preventing cell damage caused by inflammation or even exposure to pollution. Pumpkin seeds are also loaded with antioxidants and are even shown to have some antimicrobial benefits.
Soak your chia seeds overnight. Chia seeds absorb lots of water and when left to its’ own devices will create a jelly like consistency. Pour your smoothie over your soaked chia seeds or blend together.
Try Something New
When many of us think of smoothies, we think of a short list of staples. Who doesn’t love a classic banana for a potassium rich breakfast? Add more color to your smoothies or find new sources by expanding out to new ingredients like:
Avocados add a rich, creamy texture to any smoothie. Blend it up and you might think you’re having a milkshake for breakfast! Avocado is also a fatty food that can help in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Not all smoothies are made equal. Introduce some savory spice to your next smoothie. Turmeric contains curcumin which fights inflammation and in some studies, activates a gene that stimulates proteins that promote healthy neural activity. Curcumin can help improve memory and attention, and may even delay the onset of neurological decline.
Cooked sweet potatoes load your smoothie with fiber. Purple sweet potatoes pack an extra punch thanks to their gorgeous hue. Anthocyancins, the pigment that gives purple sweet potatoes their color, also provides a great amount of antioxidants.
One cup of shelled edamame can provide as much as 17g of protein. The tiny bean doesn’t stop there, one cup can also add 8g of fiber to your smoothie.
Make It A Bedtime Habit
We know we can freeze our ingredients for preparation in the morning, but sometimes we have even less time to grab our meals before we get the day started. Livesimply suggests blending and freezing your meal the night before and placing in a jar for smoothies on the go. Let it defrost on the counter, or pack it in your lunch bag to defrost for a mid-day treat.
You’re never to old for Gogurt. Pick your ingredients, blend, and pour into Zipcicle bags for a nostalgic snack.
Make your next smoothie a party! Join professional chefs from around the world for LIVE virtual cooking classes. Curate your own cooking experience for groups of any size making the meals of your dreams.