Smoothies can be a dieter’s downfall. In other posts, we’ve discussed why it’s inadvisable to drink your calories. And we’ve pointed out the benefits of eating things in their natural form – you get satisfying and organ-protecting fiber, for one thing. Many smoothie recipes contain a lot of fruit and dairy, with the net result that they have as much sugar a milkshake.
All the same, a smoothie can be a great meal replacement, time-saving and portable. How can you make a more nutritious smoothie?
- Start with a low or non-caloric base: hibiscus tea is our current summer favorite. Exquisite rose-red color, beneficial effects on blood pressure, and a sparkling, tart flavor. Green or black tea is equally beneficial. Crystal Light, though artificially sweetened, is tasty and comes in a wide range of flavors. We use leftover black coffee in smoothies – sometimes as frozen “ice” cubes.
- Use unsweetened, frozen fruit, and only ½ a cup. Berries are the absolute best choice here, followed by melons. Perk the taste up with a pinch of salt. Sounds odd, but it makes a huge difference.
- Use Greek yogurt, not flavored.
- Always add a vegetable element. You will not taste spinach or kale when you’ve whipped up your smoothie. Use ½ a cup of packed leaves. Beet powder, grated carrots, chopped cucumbers – virtually any veggie will boost the taste and nutritional value of your smoothie.
- Use a protein powder supplemented with plant-based nutrients, and add chia or flax seeds (preferably ground). This thickens your smoothie as well as enhancing its nutritional value.
- Add herbs or spices. Incorporate a grind of cardamom, a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg, or a few mint leaves, and garnish with borage or other edible flowers or a celery stick.