Hi there friends,
I am just loving blending cool smoothies in the mornings especially being in the peak of summer weather! Smoothies are a great way to add fantastic nutrition to your daily diet without having to try hard. You can add as more or as little ingredients to your smoothies as you like, but the trick is to add ingredients that are nutritionally dense. Below I share my tips on how to take your smoothie to the next level in 10 easy steps!
1) Start with a solid base
Think of the base as the heart of the recipe. It will thicken, sometimes add flavor, and at times even texture, to the smoothie. Avocados are great bases and full of healthy fats. Nuts and seeds (unsalted of course), rolled oats and also frozen fruits (my favorite base are frozen bananas).
2) Add Ice
Smoothies taste best when they are cold. A great way to make sure your smoothie is frosty or chilled is to add ice. But plain ice is boring. A great way to add flavour is to make ice cubes out of coconut water, green tea or a nut milk and add that as your ice. Or you can always add more frozen fruit (amongst my favorites are mangoes, pineapples, mixed berries).
3) Pour Liquids
Yes you can add plain filtered water but we want to add flavour to our smoothies. So options here can be coconut water, kombucha, chilled green tea (you can make an extra cup the night before and chill in the fridge rest for the next day), nut and seed milks (almond, hemp or coconut milk). Unsweetened options are best. My go to liquid is mostly coconut milk when I'm making creamy smoothies and chilled green tea when I am making slushy smoothies.
4) Toss in greens
Its always a good idea if you can sneak some greens into your smoothie. This can be any type of greens you have in your refrigerator that day. Kale tends to have a stronger leafy flavour. If you prefer something less strong, spinach is a better option, and although it may sound horrid, I promise, you won't taste it in your smoothie but will reap the benefits! How wonderful does that sound?
5) Scoop some protein
I love adding protein powder to my morning or afternoon smoothies because they keep me fuller for longer and I can have it as a meal replacement if I want. Find one that works for you. I recently started adding a vegan protein powder in vanilla to my smoothies, so yummy and satisfying!!
6) Boost with superfoods
These are nutrient dense foods that you can add to your smoothies to add that extra nutrition. It can be goji berries, cacao nibs, chia seeds or flax seeds. I am enjoying adding hemp seeds and baobab powder to my smoothies recently.
7) Spoon in healthy fats
If you are not keen on the taste of avocado in your smoothie then a great alternative here is to add some coconut butter/oil. The healthy fats in this oil help you to absorb all the wonderful nutrients from the other ingredients.
8) Drop some flavourings
This is optional and most times your smoothie might already have a lot of flavor in it. However, if it's tasting a little on the bland side, or you want to sweeten it naturally, You can add raw honey or extracts like vanilla or mint. Maybe fresh herbs (sparingly) or fresh lemon or lime juice. I always have vanilla extract on hand for these occasions.
9) Blend & Drink
If you don't already own a blender, go get one! I love the nutribullet, it's powerful and fast. Blend your smoothie in less than 30 seconds and drink it up. For optimum benefits drink it within an hour of making it. If you store it in the refrigerator, put it in a jar with a rubber seal to keep it airtight, but do remember when leaving it in the fridge not only will the consistency and taste change as time goes on, but the nutrients become a little less potent too.
10) Be brave & Experiment
Don't be afraid to experiment with new ingredients and flavors. The only way you will know is to try. So be brave and try out different combinations. You might not want to always add a superfood or greens and thats perfectly ok as long as you are having fun with it!
Lots of love,