Smoothies are not only delicious, but they are also a fantastic way to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies. The beauty of smoothie making is that you can use whatever ingredients you have to make something unique and flavorful. But if you want smoothies to be a part of your weekly menu, certain ingredients should be staples in your kitchen.
Fruit and Vegetables
The key ingredient in any smoothie is, of course, fruit and vegetables. For the most nutrition-packed smoothies, opt for organic produce whenever possible. Popular fruits that work well in smoothies include bananas, berries, mangoes, peaches, and pineapple. When it comes to vegetables, you can't go wrong with leafy greens like spinach or kale, as they provide a boost of vitamins A and C and fiber. You can also add frozen chunks of avocado for an extra creamy texture.
Nuts & Seeds
Adding nuts and seeds to your smoothie will give it a nutty flavor and provide added protein and healthy fats. Nuts like almonds or cashews pair exceptionally well with banana-based smoothies, while pumpkin seeds bring out the best flavors in green vegetable-based blends. Chia seeds are another great option as they offer a good amount of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
Your liquid base can either make or break your smoothie, depending on what type you choose. The most common types are milk (dairy or non-dairy) and water, but coconut water is another great option. Just be sure to add only a little liquid, as this may cause your smoothie to become too thin or runny.
Dates are always a great choice because they contain more vitamins than other sweeteners, plus they provide additional fiber, which helps balance out blood sugar levels after consuming them.
Extra Tips + Tricks
Adding collagen and protein powder to your smoothie can do wonders for controlling a blood sugar spike. Adding this extra boost of protein helps to stabilize blood sugar levels, which leads to more stable energy throughout the day. To maximize a smoothie's nutritional value, it is essential to aim for a ratio of more veggies than fruit in each blend. While adding one or two pieces of fruit can help provide sweetness and make the smoothie easier to drink, veggies will give you a good dose of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Adding some frozen banana or mango will give a hint of sweetness without compromising nutrition.
With these essential ingredients handy in your kitchen at all times—fruit & vegetables, nuts & seeds, liquid base, and an optional sweetener—you'll be able to whip up something delicious in no time.