Do you remember your very first smoothie? I do. I should have known I was destined to be a dietitian at 12 years old because my very first smoothie is permanently ingrained in my brain. My family and I were on a summer vacation down in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina and one day when my Dad and I were wandering downtown we walked into a cafe and saw these fruit smoothies listed on the menu board.
Now obviously this doesn't sound out of the ordinary now, but back then smoothies really weren't a common thing, at least not in New England, and certainly not in my family. So my Dad and I decided to try the "Berry Berry Smoothie", which was filled with strawberries, blueberries, banana, and orange juice all blended together. Needless to say, I was hooked...and so was my family.
Once we got home we all started making smoothies for after school snacks, or breakfasts in the summer. We would go blueberry picking from the local farm nearby and freeze blueberries for smoothies all year round.
For awhile our smoothies stayed this way, loaded with fruit, juice, and maybe some yogurt for my sisters (I was always dairy free) and while I wouldn't exactly say it was unhealthy, our smoothies definitely could have benefited from a little less fruit and a little more protein, healthy fats, and greens.
Luckily today it is so easy to make traditional fruit smoothies way more balanced, filling, and blood sugar friendly at home. With the variety of protein powders, organic dairy options, natural nut butters, and fiber options like chia seeds readily available, smoothies can easily be made in a balanced way that will help support a healthy diet.
SIMPLE BALANCED SMOOTHIE RECIPES
simple steps to making the perfect balanced smoothie
Start with your veggies. Frozen veggies are a great way to add healthy fiber, and other vitamins and minerals to your smoothies. I love adding two cups of fresh spinach to almost all of my smoothies.
Add your fruit. I like to keep my fruit to roughly 1/2 cup in my smoothies. This helps promote a more balanced smoothie that is going to give you the sweetness you desire, without overdoing it on the natural sugar.
Choose your protein. All smoothies in my opinion need to include some kind of protein. I like to switch it up by using a plant based protein powder. Some of my favorite go-to brands are Aloha, NuZest, and Tone It Up
Add your fat. Similar to protein, all smoothies need to include some kind of fat source. Fat is essential for our bodies hormones to function normally (especially us women), and will help maintain a stable blood sugar level over time. I love adding a 1/4 avocado, a 1 tsp of coconut oil, or usually a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter.
Add your liquid. I usually add about 1 cup of an unsweetened non-dairy milk like almond milk, cashew milk, or coconut milk to help blend the smoothie together. This is also where I would add a few ice cubes that will help make the smoothie a little more frozen tasting, and a little thicker.
Add your extras. Now this part is optional, but some of the fun in making smoothies is adding in a few extras that make them taste great and boost up some of the nutrition. Personally, I almost always add chia seeds (for extra fiber and omega-3's), cinnamon (for spice and balancing blood sugar), and occasionally an adaptogenic powder (depending on how I'm feeling).
By following these simple steps you can be sure that your smoothies will always be balanced, and delicious additions to your healthy lifestyle.
Because so many people want to include smoothies into their diet in a healthy way, I created a Simple Balanced Smoothie Guide that has everything you will need to learn how to create the perfect smoothie.