Smoothies are a great and delicious way to boost your nutrition and incorporate more fruits and vegetables in your diet. With the right ingredients they make a perfect breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up that can be made in minutes, and are easy to take on the go.
To create the perfect nutrient packed smoothie, it’s all about the ingredients and how you put them together. The Date & Thyme team shares some tips and recipes to help you get the most out of your smoothie!
CHOOSING YOUR LIQUID
The type of liquid you choose as a base for your smoothie plays an important part not only for flavor, but also for nutrition. For example NUT MILK can be used for a creamier smoothie while giving you a good dose of healthy fats. COCONUT WATER could be used for extra hydration on a hot day and goes really well with fruity smoothies. APPLE and ORANGE JUICE will give extra sweetness to the smoothie but also increase the sugar content. If you have enough flavor from the fruits and ingredients, a simple WATER base can also be used.
Always put the liquid in the blender first. As a rule of thumb you want to use 8 oz of liquid to 1.5 cups frozen fruit (or 1 banana and 1 cup other diced fruit). This creates a thick 16 oz smoothie.
CHOOSING & PREPARING YOUR BASE INGREDIENTS
FRUITS Bananas make a great base ingredient in any smoothie, and the riper they are the better. They add a layer of sweetness and creaminess and can be used with any combination of other fruits. Use one banana with one cup of mixed fruit or two bananas if using only banana. If you are trying to reduce your sugar intake then avoid bananas and tropical fruits and choose lower glycemic options like dark berries instead. We always recommend organic fruit.
FREEZING Using frozen fruit means you don’t need to add ice to your smoothie. Plus, if you package the fruit in pre-measured individual portions it makes it even easier to whip up your favorite smoothie during your morning rush! You can buy already frozen fruit or use fresh and just measure out the ingredients into zip lock bags.
EXTRAS To make your smoothies thicker, try adding a tablespoon of nut butter or 1/4 of an avocado.
Adding a few stalks of kale or a handful of spinach or other leafy greens is a great way to get more fresh raw nutrients into your smoothie. Dark leafy greens are rich in free radical fighting antioxidants, as well as vitamins C and K, and minerals like iron and calcium. Many parents use this method to get more greens into finicky kids’ diets!
You can enjoy your smoothie with just the liquid and the base ingredients or you can boost it up with some superfoods. Here are a few of our recommendations:
CHIA Did you know chia seeds are a complete protein, have more omega 3’s than salmon, more potassium than bananas, more calcium than milk, and are loaded with antioxidants? This superfood does absorb quite a bit of water and will make your smoothie thicker, so it’s best to start with a teaspoon or less and go from there.
COCONUT OIL Unlike most other fats, coconut oil is composed of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCTs), which have been shown to boost metabolism, suppress hunger, and promote healthy brain function.
CACAO Raw cacao is packed with antioxidants – per ounce it has 20 times more than blueberries and 119 times more than bananas! Cacao can also increase energy, and its MAO inhibitors have been shown to reduce appetite and boost mood. A true feel good superfood!
MACA Maca is an amazing supplement for anyone with an active lifestyle, with benefits for mood, energy, and overall health. Many athletes take maca for peak performance, and within days of using maca you may notice an increase in energy and stamina. Maca is also rich in B vitamins, vitamins C and E, as well as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and amino acids.
SPIRULINA It may surprise some people to know that spirulina is 65% protein – compared to red meat which is only 22% protein, and lentils, which are only 26%. In addition to being protein-rich, spirulina is an excellent source of vital amino acids and minerals easily assimilated by your body. Just two tablespoons of spirulina can supply an entire meal’s worth of protein.
PROTEIN POWDER Plant based and nutrient dense raw vegan protein powder delivers all the essential amino acids to help build lean muscle, along with fiber to support healthy digestion. Try out Sunwarrior™ or Vega™.
See our SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIE RECIPE post for great suggestions on how to use these ingredients to make great-tasting, nutritious smoothies!