Tasty, portable, and a delicious way to help you sneak some fruit and vegetables into your diet. Done right, smoothies can be very nutritious, packing satisfying ingredients along with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other health-protecting substances. In this article, I am going to share with you my top 4 tips to improve the nutritional content of your smoothie, it’s staying power, and satiating capacity. With these tips, you will be able to have it as a breakfast or snack and stay satisfied and nourished until your next meal. If you’re more of a visual person, you can find these tips on video, right here:
PACK IT WITH PROTEIN Protein is an essential nutrient – it is satiating, it boosts up your metabolism, it is essential for your immune and hormonal system, is an important building block of your muscles, bones, skin, and blood, and so on and so forth. By adding some protein to your smoothie you will increase it’s staying power – meaning that your smoothie will keep you satiated for longer.
- By adding a fortified plant-milk as your liquid, you already add some protein to your smoothie. Soy comes first when it comes to protein content, followed by pea, oat, and hemp milk. Almond and coconut have a smaller amount of protein per 8 oz (230 ml), having 1g and 0g of protein, respectively.
- You could add protein powder, whether flavored or unflavoured.
- Plant-based yogurt – try to choose one without added sugars and with a good amount of protein – soy yogurts, plant-based greek and plant-based kvargg are usually good options.
- You could add seeds like hemp, pumpkin, chia, or flax seeds – and you’ll also end up adding some good mono and polyunsaturated fats – known as the “good fats”.
- Other options are nuts and nut butter.
- And if you’re feeling adventurous you could also add some white beans or cooked quinoa.
ADD SOME VEGGIES TO IT By adding a portion of veggies to your smoothie, you will feel more satiated and will ingest an extra amount of good nutrients like fiber, vitamins, phytochemicals, and minerals. Spinach and zucchini are the safest in terms of flavor and texture, so these are the most beginner-friendly, but beetroots, carrots, kale, steamed cauliflower are also really good. Just try to stay away, at least in the beginning, from strong-flavored veggies like cabbage, and Brussel sprouts, or broccoli.
SKIP THE ADDED SWEETENERS As we are so used to the sweet taste of everything, we should strive and make an effort to start to enjoy the real flavors of our foods, without the extra added sweetness. And if you’re already adding fruits (especially sweet ones like a ripe banana) to your smoothie, probably you won’t need to add other sweeteners to it. But if you’re still struggling with the natural flavors of your smoothie, you could add to it one or two dates, or a dried fig or plum or a drizzle of maple syrup and gradually decrease the amount you add.
DROP THE ICE Rather than adding ice to your smoothies that helps the texture, but waters down the flavors, freeze the liquid you’d use, like soy milk, oat milk, or coffee, as I did in this recipe. When you’re ready to make your smoothie, simply halve the amount of liquid you’d use, for example, if you’d use 1 cup of soy milk, add only half a cup, then join in a few “frozen cubes” to give your smoothie an icy texture. This also goes for your fruit – freeze your fruits in advance for some extra creaminess!
I’ll leave you with some of my favorite healthy and satisfying smoothie recipes. You might want to keep an eye on the serving sizes and adjust to your needs, depending on whether you’re having your smoothie a snack, meal, or side sip.
Want more tips like these? 😊 Here on the blog and on our YouTube channel, I share articles and plant-based recipes every week. Make sure you subscribe to the channel and join me on Instagram, Facebook and, Pinterest, so you don’t miss anything. Love, Ana 💛