Smoothies. The idea is great: throw ingredients in a blender, and have a meal in a minute. Plus, they can work as a post-workout drink, a base for a breakfast bowl, a midday snack, or a full-on meal.
But, after a few brownish, less-than-thrilling attempts, we quickly learned it takes a little more skill than just tossing whatever in the blender.
Here's four tips we've been using to make tasty and healthy smoothies, even without a recipe.
Four Tips for Smoothie Success
- Match ingredients with similar colors. Red and purple fruits and veggies work well together. Avocados, greens and celery, go with apples and kiwis. Or, stick with orange colors, like we did for our Nectarine Ginger Smoothie. Besides just looking better, thinking about different colors helps us keep a varied diet to make sure we get a range of nutrients, instead of overloading on a few.
- Skip additional sweeteners like honey, maple syrup, or straight fruit juice. In-season fruits and berries should be sweet enough in the right balance, plus they have fiber with their sugar. It's easy to go a little overboard and make something closer to a dessert (unless you're making a dessert smoothie!)
- Try to mix veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds and spices. Adding in nuts and seeds helps make the smoothie more substantial.
- Get high-quality or organic ingredients when possible. Because smoothie ingredients aren't cooked or processed, we ingest all the good (and bad) parts of the plants and how they were grown. We reference the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list for ingredients to especially avoid if we can't find a quality source.
Below is our latest smoothie concoction. Nat tests our recipes so much that by the time we post, she's already on to the next idea. Keep your eyes peeled for new smoothies in the future :)
Raspberry Beet Smoothie
- 1.5 cups water, or nut milk
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp cashew or almond butter
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 small banana (about 100g), cut into smaller chunks
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (5 or 6 whole berries)
- 1/2 cup beets, peeled and cubed
- Add ingredients to blender, layered in the order of the ingredient list, bottom to top
- Blend until smooth
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