5 Essential Smoothie Ingredients
You can not escape the green smoothie trend.
Why? Read any women’s interest magazine or take it straight from Dr. Oz’s green-tinted smoothie mustache, the more greens you can get the better. High in folic acid, vitamin C and minerals, they aren’t called super foods for nothing. Daily consumption of about a cup of greens has been linked to everything from higher energy to weight loss. Isn’t that something you could use? Enhanced energy?
The real question is how to take the plunge when a green smoothie looks, and smells, like the bottom of the lake. I’ve got this- I haven’t won over my mom, yet, but I’m confident my 5-must-have-green-smoothie-ingredients will have you drinking green, and liking it.
My morning green smoothie routine is straight forward, down and dirty. It is quick, tasty, and like any breakfast, a balance of protein and carbs. There are a million and one smoothie recipes out there (google green smoothie, I dare you), to keep it simple I stick to my five basics, and a 6th for extra credit.
#1 Greens: 1/2 cup. Frozen chopped kale (found in the frozen section) is simply way to chill down your smoothie without adding ice. I love how easy and convenient it is, as I shouldn’t be handling knives at 6AM before coffee.
#2 Frozen Fruit: 1 handful Frozen mango, blueberries, raspberries, just about any fruit will do, even frozen cantaloupe chunks add sweetness. To save on frozen fruit, which can get pricy, look out for deep discounts at the supermarket on fresh seasonal fruit. Prepare fruit by peeling, dicing and/or removing pits. Place the fruit on a baking sheet or cookie tray and freezer for a couple hours. Once the fruit is frozen, you can transfer it from the cookie tray to a air-tight freezer bag.
#3 Flax Meal: 1 spoonful Omega3 and a little fiber all from these tiny silky seeds! I recommend already ground flax seeds for ease. Keep them in the fridge as the natural occurring oils can cause the ground flax to go rancid quickly if left out at room temperature. Why not flax oil you ask? Flax oil is 100% fat. Not a terrible thing, but using the meal gets you all that great fiber whereas the oil leaves you with a lot of extra calories.
#4 Almond Butter: 1 dollop Don’t skip the protein I happen to prefer almond butter over peanut butter, but you could try cashew butter, hazelnut butter, tahini, sunflower butter, whatever strikes your fancy- be judicious with the amount, as 2 tablespoons of Almond butter has around 180 calories.
#5 Non Dairy Liquid: 1-1 1/2 cups Almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, hazelnut milk, hemp milk, even coconut water will do! My current goto is SoDelicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk. It is low in calories, sugar and sodium, and has a very neutral flavor
**#6 (for extra credit) Chia Seeds, Macca Power, Amazing Grass: 1 teaspoon Most days I add a scoop of Greens Plus for a little energy boost. I will admit it gives my smoothie a, freshly cut grass flavor, but I kinda crave it.
So I’ve mentioned calories a few times, I’m not a calorie counter, I promise, but they add up! You can quickly create a 700 calorie smoothie monster if you aren’t careful.
Are you a green smoothie devotee? What are your smoothie staples?