When you first start making smoothies, keeping it simple, with basic ingredients, is the best way to start. Fresh berries, liquid, a banana and maybe even a handful of greens will blend together to make a creamy smoothie in seconds flat, leaving you with a healthy, delicious smoothie. But after awhile, you might find that you start to crave a few other varieties in your smoothie. Luckily, it is easy to blend in some key ingredients that will help up your flavor as well as your nutritional value.
It can be easy to blend extra ingredients into your smoothie and give you the variety you crave. While you might be tempted to reach for the latest "shake" powder, protein powder or smoothie mix, it is better to get the extra flavor and nutritional boost (such as protein), from an all-natural, simple source. Many powders contain excess ingredients that are extremely unhealthy. They can have added, processed sugar; refined oils; chemicals and additives; and other unnatural ingredients. Even those that are made with natural, or even organic, ingredients can contain a long list add-ins that alone would be great, but all together can irritate our digestion and lead to cramps and bloating.
Instead of adding in a protein powder or the latest shake craze, add in one of these 5 simple ingredients for a healthy smoothie that will make you feel good.
5 Ingredients to Add to Your Smoothie:
1) Seeds: These tiny ingredients really pack a punch. Seeds can help you get your daily dose of essential fatty acids (omega's), as well as protein (hemp) and fiber (flax).
- Chia Seeds
- Flax Seeds
- Hemp Seeds
2) Add healthy fats, fiber and protein, as well as a bit of flavor by adding nuts to your smoothies. Make sure to soak them first, so they are soft and able to blend easily.
3) Nut Butter: All the things nuts do, as well as thicken your smoothies.
- Almond Butter
- Cashew Butter
- Peanut Butter
- Sunflower Seed Butter
- Tahini (Sesame Seed butter)
4) Blue-Green Superfoods: A dose of plant-based vitamins and minerals (including B vitamins!), protein and anti-oxidants. You can find these at your local health-food store in the supplement aisle.
5) Protein: Some protein comes from surprising sources, such as beans and tofu. These also contain fiber and make your smoothies thick, creamy and enough for a meal.
- Beans and Legumes
The next time you make your go-to smoothie. Try adding one of these items to shake up the flavor and nutrition a bit. For even more resources on smoothies, grab a free sample of the upcoming book, "The Smoothie Life" with more recipes, ingredients and tips to make your smoothies even healthier and more satisfying.