Ingredients, recipes, superfoods….Here are some smoothie ideas for you to play with!
I was inspired to write this blog after speaking with one of my clients about a post workout smoothie. She was buying a medium Banana Buzz from Boost Juice – a “health” drink chain that makes what seem like healthy smoothies and juices. While these drinks do use natural ingredients, the smoothie my client was consuming was providing her with a whopping 56grams of sugar. She sometimes got an original size which yields, 67 grams of sugar. Thats the equivalent of 13 teaspoons of sugar in one drink!
So I decided to create a breakdown of ingredients so you can easily make yummy smoothies at home, post work out or not, and still get delicious results with a lower amount of sugar.
It’s easy to build your own smoothies from a few key superfood ingredients that have health benefits. This is a list of common ingredients that are easy to purchase and try.
ABC of ingredients
A purple berry from the Amazon with a super high antioxidant content (arguably one of the highest in the world). This comes from the deep purple colour in the skin of the berries. You can buy it frozen or as a freeze dried powder.
VIP NOTE: some frozen acai is sweetened. Look for ones labeled unsweetened on the package, and blend with banana and/or coconut water to add sweetness.
Almond milk is a nice base for smoothies if you are #dairyfree or vegan. I recommend a brand called Australia’s Own , which makes certified organic, plain almond milk. Look for the “unsweetened” version which has no sugar or vegetable gums added. It is easily purchased at Woolworths and Coles.
I would highly recommend getting a bunch of bananas and allowing them to become quite ripe then freeze them. Adding frozen banana to a smoothie makes it SO creamy and amazing!!! Its also a great way to repurpose really off ones that get brown spots, just skin them and freeze for your next smoothie time.
Raw form of cocoa (chocolate). Incredible antioxidant and very rich source of magnesium. Makes anything taste super rich and chocolately and delish. It is naturally bitter, so balances well in a smoothie with berries or banana.
These are little crumbled pieces of cacao pod. They add a crunchy texture and a rich chocolately taste. Like healthy natural chocolate chips? Definitely recommend trying.
A humble spice but great for blood sugar control. 3g per day has research to support healthy insulin signalling. Look for the Cinamomum verum species as this is the therapeutic one (not cassia). Cassia is still yummy and is fine to use, but won’t provide you with the blood sugar balancing effect. Regardless, any type of cinnamon helps improve sweetness and flavour.
A nice alternative to milk or almond milk as a smoothie base. Contains natural electrolytes so is great to use in summer and to rehydrate. Definitely recommend this as a base if using acai or greens
You can get either mixed or individual frozen berries. Try to get organic where possible as berries are heavily sprayed. Add 1/2 cup as a serving size.
Also a thing these days! Definitely requires some mango or banana to help soften flavour. Can also use normal kale (unfrozen). I recommend using a coconut water base for something with kale or greens in it as milk and greens doesn’t really appeal as much
Also super yummy, makes smoothie super creamy. Stick to 1/2 cup of frozen fruit so your smoothie has a nice consistency, and your sugar content doesn’t get too high.
Can get various combinations here. Would definitely recommend combining with cacao and banana for flavour support. Typical ingredients of a combination greens powder are spirulina, chorella, wheatgrass, and barley grass. You can also get these all as individual powders as well. A great way to support liver function, and provide lots of minerals and nutrients to your smoothie. Try Synergy Natural Super Greens powder
Combines well with banana and/or cacao. Any nut butter does really. Almond butter is also popular.
Raw nuts and seeds
Boosts protein and mineral content! recommend flaxseeds, walnuts, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts, hemp seeds and chia seeds – Seeds and nuts adds fibre, protein and even healthy omega 3 fats to your smoothie. Walnuts, hempseeds and flaxseeds are great plant sources of omega 3 fatty acids!
Tip: blend your smoothie a little bit before adding them in to avoid lumps as some can congeal in water and form a gel like consistency. Remember adding these will effect your smoothie consistency as well.
Vanilla protein powder
By adding this to your smoothie you are getting a solid serve of protein. Protein is essential to stabilise the absorption of sugars in the smoothie, while providing you with a huge chunk of your daily target. It is great for a post work out smoothie, to repair and build muscles. Choose an organic WPI or a plant based one. (WPI stands for whey protein isolate and is a form of protein powder derived from cows milk)
Brands I’d recommend include:
Vanilla is the best flavour to get as it is adaptable. No point getting chocolate, especially if you love chocolate because it will never taste quite as good as real chocolate!!! You can easily add cacao/berries/banana/peanut butter to adapt your vanilla base to a new flavour, while still getting a nice serve of protein.
Basic smoothie breakdown
As a guide I always start with 300-350ml liquid (either almond milk, regular milk, coconut water, water), add 1 scoop of protein and then add 1/2 cup of fruit/veg OR 1 banana. With superfoods, generally a 1 tablespoon serve will suffice (unless it suggests otherwise), but always add less if you’re unsure as you can always add more to taste!
- 300ml milk / almond milk
- 1 tablespoon greek yogurt
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg – so yum!!
Optional/post workout: add a scoop of vanilla WPI or plant based protein powder
Yummy green smoothie
- 1/2 cup of frozen mango or banana
- 1/2 cup of kale/ cucumber /spinach
- 350ml coconut water or filtered water
You could even add protein, frozen berries or acai if you wish! Or a greens powder top make it extra green.
I hope this helps inspire you to make some smoothies at home!!! As you can see, smoothies really are a fun way to add a whole bunch of nutrition to your diet. There are endless combinations as well. Tag me in your smoothie creations so I can see!