Smoothies are a convenient way to consume a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables. Throwing a few ingredients into a blender and reaping the health benefits of smoothies is quick and easy. If you’re new to making smoothies or find yourself repeating a few recipes, you might be wondering how to make a variety of tasty and healthy smoothies.
Making smoothies is simple but determining the right ingredients and quantities can be challenging. From basic tips to the use of nutrition-boosting add-ins, here’s a beginner’s guide to making better smoothies.
Follow these steps to learn about the various ingredients and how to make smoothies healthy. Remember to keep track of your portion sizes and ingredients. Even healthy ingredients can quickly add up to produce a calorie-laden beverage with more calories, fat, and sugar than some desserts.
How To Make Smoothies Healthy
While there is no need for a recipe to make a good smoothie, following a few general guidelines will help you achieve better results. Even when starting from recipes, making your own smoothies can be overwhelming when you first start.
Some people prefer strict recipes that tell them exactly what to put in their smoothies, while others want to build their own but need a good starting point.
If you fall into the latter category, the following ratios will come in handy.
Consider these guidelines a starting point for how to make smoothies healthy. Experiment to find the perfect smoothie combination for you.
Using ratios removes the guesswork from making smoothies. These ratios will allow you to scale your smoothies, allowing you to make a smaller or larger quantity as needed. You can use these basic ratios with any combination of ingredients to make a flavorful, nutritious, and filling smoothie.
The amount of liquid listed will result in a drinkable but thicker smoothie. If you prefer a thinner smoothie, add more liquid.
The Standard Fruit Smoothie Ratio
-2 to 3 cups frozen fruit
-1 part liquid (milk, milk alternatives, yogurt, etc.)
Ratio of Green Smoothies
-1.5 cup frozen fruit
-1 cup leafy greens
-1 liquid part
Select Your Ingredients
After you’ve determined the proper ratios for a fruit or green smoothie (one with vegetables), you’ll want to choose your ingredients.
You’ll learn more about the ingredients in the following sections, but here are some quick tips:
Choose at least one liquid and one type of produce – As you learned in the ratio section, you’ll need a liquid and a solid. A fruit smoothie requires at least one type of produce, but others are frequently added. You must then select a liquid that is appropriate for the type of smoothie you desire.
Making a thicker smoothie – You can blend up fruit and juice if you prefer, but it will be more like a juice than a smoothie. Consider adding bananas, yogurt, honey, or other thickening ingredients to a smoothie to make it thicker.
Make sure you use enough liquid – This is critical! Whether you’re using a personal blender like a Ninja or a large blender like a Vitamix, you’ll need enough liquid for your other ingredients to blend properly. Begin with a small amount of liquid and gradually add more if the frozen fruit is not blending properly.
Don’t forget about extra ingredients – Another thing you’ll learn later in this resource is that you can go basic with liquid and produce, but there are a lot of extras you can add as well. These are for flavor, nutrition, and a denser smoothie that will keep you satisfied for longer.
Aim for Good Nutrition
Smoothies are delicious, but that isn’t the only reason most people drink them. Whether you make it to replace a meal or as an additional snack, it should provide adequate nutrition.
This is when you don’t just throw anything together, but instead concentrate on the vitamins and minerals in the ingredients you’re using.
As an example:
Add both fruits and vegetables – Adding both fruits and vegetables is the simplest way to ensure a nutritious smoothie every time. This helps to reduce the overall sugar content of fruits while also allowing you to get more vitamins and minerals from vegetables. This will also assist you in transforming it into a nutrient-dense green smoothie packed with superfoods.
Consider adding nutrients – There are additional ways to make your smoothie more nutrient-dense. Consider the flavoring ingredients you frequently use, as well as the nutrients your body requires.
-Consider adding milk, nut milk, or yogurt to your diet for calcium and vitamin D.
-If you want more protein in your smoothie, add some nut butter.
-Instead of a bunch of fruit, consider maple syrup or raw honey for sweetness.
-Chia seeds, hemp seeds, and coconut oil are also high in nutrients.
Focus on proper balance – Instead of focusing on more simplistic approaches, you can achieve better balance by combining these ingredients. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Choose a green, a berry, a liquid, and any extra ingredients for an easy balance that won’t make assembling your smoothie difficult.
Making Your Smoothie
How do you make a smoothie healthy? It’s simpler than you think! It truly is as simple as putting all of the ingredients into your blender and turning it on, but here are some pointers to make the process go more smoothly.
Replace ice with frozen bananas if your smoothie is too watery- Use more dense fruits and vegetables and fewer fruits with high water content. Another option for thickening is to replace the ice with frozen bananas. Cut them up before freezing so you can just grab what you need for each smoothie.
Add yogurt to make it smooth – Using yogurt, you can make a smoothie that is thick and smooth just the way you like it. If you are lactose intolerant, you can substitute soy or another dairy-free yogurt for the same effect.
Nut butter thickens it up – Nut butter is a great addition to any smoothie. It thickens your smoothie, adds more protein, and adds more nutrients in general.
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Choosing The Ingredients You Need
Your smoothie will include at least one liquid and one fruit. To boost the nutrition of your smoothie, add fresh leafy green vegetables. The liquid, fruit, and vegetable ingredients you can use are listed below.
Water is the simplest option for a light smoothie. It’s a great liquid for first-time smoothies because you don’t have to worry about how it tastes with the other ingredients.
Water will not add extra calories and will keep you hydrated. Water-based smoothies can be bland, so focus on adding flavorful ingredients to your smoothie.
Coconut water – Another great option for a light smoothie is coconut water. The mild coconut flavor will give your smoothie a tropical twist and goes well with most fruits. Because coconut water contains electrolytes, it is an excellent choice for a post-workout recovery smoothie.
Milk – A variety of milks can be used to make creamier smoothies. Regular milk is fairly neutral and adds calcium and protein to your smoothie if you consume dairy. Nut and seed milks are great for making dairy-free smoothies.
They impart a mild nutty flavor and a creamy texture. Any nut or seed milk will do, but almond, cashew, or hemp seed milk are all good options. To avoid extra sugar and calories, make your own or purchase unsweetened nut milks.
Coconut milk – Another dairy-free option for making creamier smoothies is coconut milk. Buy the kind sold in cartons alongside the other nondairy milks. You can use canned coconut milk, but you should probably thin it with some water first.
Yogurt – Plain unsweetened yogurt, either dairy or nondairy, can also be used to make a creamy, nutritious smoothie. Greek yogurt is high in protein, making it ideal for a quick meal replacement smoothie. Smoothies made with yogurt will be thicker than those made with liquid. First, thin your yogurt with an equal amount of water.
Coffee or tea – For a unique and flavorful smoothie, try using coffee or tea. For a less overpowering flavor, dilute the coffee or tea with water. These liquids’ stronger flavors will not go well with all fruits, but coffee, in particular, can go well with bananas, nuts, and cocoa.
In your smoothies, avoid using undiluted fruit juices. Your smoothie already has a lot of fruit in it, so you don’t need the extra calories and sugar from the juice. If you want to flavor your smoothie with juice, combine a small amount of juice with one of the other liquids.
In your smoothie, you can use any fruit you want. For more variety and nutrition, use a single fruit or experiment with different combinations. Many fruits pair well together, and you might find yourself enjoying some unexpected combinations. Incorporate berries into your smoothies. Berries are not only high in antioxidants, but they also go well with other fruits.
Fresh fruit can be used, but frozen fruit has several advantages. Frozen fruit is convenient because it can be added to your smoothie without requiring any preparation. Frozen fruit is usually less expensive, especially if you can buy large bags in bulk at Costco or Sam’s. Using frozen fruit eliminates the need for ice, resulting in a more flavorful smoothie.
Fruits that are ideal for smoothies
While you can use any type of fresh or frozen fruit, the following are some that work particularly well in smoothies:
Bananas are commonly used as a base in smoothie recipes. They complement most fruits and add sweetness and creaminess to smoothies. For best results, freeze your bananas. Simply peel the banana, cut it into chunks, and freeze it in freezer bags. They will keep in the freezer for several weeks.
A good smoothie can be made without using bananas. Many of these options are extremely healthy, but they will be less sweet than a banana-based smoothie. Avocado adds creaminess as well as healthy fats. Chia seeds and flaxseed are both good sources of Omega-3 fats and can be used to thicken a smoothie.
To achieve the desired consistency, you can also use yogurt, kefir, cottage cheese, or nuts. Mango can be used alone or in combination with other thickening ingredients to add sweetness and density.
Green Leafy Vegetables
To easily increase your vegetable intake, try adding a handful of leafy greens to your fruit smoothie. Start with milder tasting greens like spinach or lettuce if you’re new to green smoothies. Incorporate kale, chard, or another dark leafy green into your smoothie.
Even these more assertive greens will not be overpowering when combined with the sweetness of the fruit. Use freshly washed greens that have been cut or ripped into large pieces. Some people like to blend the greens and liquid before adding the fruit, but if you’re using a high-powered blender, this step is probably unnecessary.
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How To Make Smoothies Healthy With Added Nutrition
Once you’ve mastered the art of making a basic fruit or green smoothie, you can experiment with different ingredients to transform your smoothie into a superfood powerhouse. The ingredients listed below are only suggestions; there is no limit to the number of healthy supplements you can add to your smoothies.
These add-ins can quickly add up, so keep your portions and nutrition in check. To avoid overpowering flavors, select only one or two.
Smoothies, while high in nutrition, are typically low in protein. Although milk and yogurt can provide protein, most other fruit and green smoothie ingredients do not. If you’re drinking your smoothie as a meal replacement, try adding a scoop of unflavored, unsweetened protein powder.
For a nutritional boost, try adding a green supplement powder to your smoothie. These whole food powders blend well and complement the other fruit and vegetable ingredients.
Seeds and Nuts
Nuts, seeds, and their butters make excellent smoothie ingredients. Because these ingredients are high in fat, watch your portion sizes to avoid adding too many calories to your smoothie. Almonds, cashews, and other nuts thicken and add healthy fats to your smoothie.
To give your smoothie more substance, add a small handful to your blender. A tablespoon or two of any seed works well as well. There are many nutritious seeds to choose from; if you’re new to seeds, start with chia, hemp, or flax.
Nut and seed butters are another good option for adding nutrition and staying power to your smoothie. The healthy fats will help to balance out the fruit’s sugar. Add a tablespoon or two of peanut, almond, cashew, or sunflower butter to taste. Choose unsweetened nut and seed butters whenever possible.
If you don’t mind consuming some saturated fat, coconut oil is a tasty way to boost the nutritional profile of your smoothie. Even a small amount of coconut will give your smoothie a slight tropical twist.
Avocados are high in many vitamins and minerals. These nutrient-dense foods are high in good fats and will give your smoothie a creamy texture. Avocados have a lot of calories packed into a small package. Try adding a quarter or half of an avocado.
Nibs or Cacao Powder
Unsweetened cocoa contains a high concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It has few calories and may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. To your next smoothie, try a tablespoon or two of raw cacao powder or nibs. It goes well with bananas, other fruits, and nuts.
Oats are high in fiber and can aid in blood sugar and cholesterol control. To improve the consistency and staying power of your smoothie, add a quarter cup of oats. Oats are not overpowering, but they may impart a slight nutty flavor to your smoothie.
Any spice can be added to your smoothie, and many have high antioxidant levels. To increase the anti-inflammatory properties of your smoothie, add a teaspoon of turmeric or ginger. Cinnamon is another beneficial spice that can be used to combat inflammation. Spices can quickly overpower a smoothie, so use only a few teaspoons of a single spice.
Bee pollen is popular among natural health enthusiasts due to its high antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content. A teaspoon of bee pollen may help you reduce inflammation, among other potential health benefits. If you are allergic to pollen, use bee pollen with caution as it may cause an allergic reaction.
Maple Syrup and Honey
Smoothies are naturally sweet from the fruit and do not require any additional sweeteners to be enjoyable. A small amount of honey or maple syrup can be added to provide sweetness as well as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Avoid making your nutritious smoothie into a dessert. A tablespoon of added sweeteners or less is usually sufficient.
There are numerous other nutrient-boosting powders that can be added to your smoothie. These powders can be purchased online or at most local health food stores. Try incorporating one of these superfood powders into your smoothie. Matcha is a powdered green tea that is high in amino acids and antioxidants.
Matcha may even improve your energy levels and brain health. Spirulina, an algae, contains a lot of iron and essential amino acids. It is a nutrient-dense food that is high in protein. Peruvian maca root powder is derived from a radish relative and may aid in hormone balance and energy production. Maca root contains a lot of vitamin C, copper, and iron.
Strive for Variation When Making Smoothies
Rather than always using the same two ingredients, try to vary your add-ins on a regular basis. This variety will keep your smoothies interesting while also providing the most nutritional diversity.
While you can certainly make the same smoothie every day if you enjoy it, there are some distinct advantages to using more variety.
Here are some reasons why you should go this route:
You will not be bored – Having the same thing every day can get old quickly. Whatever your reason for drinking smoothies, you may not want to drink the same one every day with the same ingredients. This can become tedious and discourage you from continuing to make them.
You can easily change it up by using different fruits, varying your liquid, or occasionally adding some greens for a more green smoothie.
It helps to add more nutrients – Using a variety of fruits and vegetables in your smoothies will ensure that you are getting as many vitamins and minerals as possible. You get a lot of potassium, antioxidants, and vitamin C from your daily strawberry banana smoothie, but what about nutrients from greens, other fruits, nut butter, or herbs?
To get more superfoods and nutrients in your smoothie, mix it up every now and then.
You can experiment – You can also experiment with your smoothies by changing the ingredients. If you like berries, instead of strawberries or blueberries, try raspberries or blackberries. Experiment with more exotic fruits and vegetables to see what other combinations you can come up with.
Follow these simple instructions to learn how to make smoothies and ensure that you have nutritious, superfood-filled, and delicious smoothies for a healthy lifestyle.