Alright, if you know me by now and you watch my Instagram Stories, then you know that I LOVE me some Smoothies and I probably consume one a day. They are quick, easy to make and plenty of calories for me, especially after a hard workout. With that said, today, I am chatting with you all about smoothies and how you can build yours and make it easier for your days!
What Are Smoothies?
Smoothies are a type of smooth, blended drink that contains fresh fruit and other assorted ingredients. They are extremely popular in health and fitness circles due to their great taste, high nutritional value and low-calorie count. However, since they’re sweet, satisfying and refreshing, they also have a broad general appeal. In this article, I’m going to be taking a deeper look at smoothies, the ingredients they contain and the reasons why they’re so popular.
What’s In A Smoothie?
Smoothies typically contain a combination of ice and fruit. They may also include fruit juice, milk, nuts, protein powder, seeds spices, and yogurt. Since they’re made using natural ingredients but also contain the right amount of ice, they’re relatively low in calories and very hydrating. In addition to this, they have a very high fiber, vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content and enhance your health by supporting your vital organs, protecting against chronic disease and much more.
Why Are Smoothies So Popular?
1) They are Versatile: Smoothies are incredibly versatile, and you can make a wide range of smoothies based on your personal preferences and tastes. Depending on the ingredients you use, you can make creamy smoothies, crunchy smoothies, fizzy smoothies, slushy smoothies, sweet smoothies and much more, so you’re bound to find plenty of smoothies that you love.
2) They’re Great For Weight Loss: As mentioned above, smoothies contain lots of fiber, can be very filling and can be low in calories (depends on what you put in!). As a result, they’re extremely filling and a great way to satisfy your appetite and drinking them won’t cause you to pile on the pounds.
3) They’re Healthy: Due to their high nutrient content, smoothies are very good for your health and a much better choice than milkshakes or soda.
4) They Save Time: If you’re busy (aren’t we all busy), you may not have time to sit down and eat a few portions of fruit. However, drinking your fruits and greens in liquid form is much quicker and even if you don’t have much time to spare, you can always enjoy a smoothie.
5) They are Portable: While certain fruits (such as apples and bananas) are quite portable, other fruits (such as blueberries, mangos, and watermelons) are less portable. Smoothies take care of this problem and allow you to enjoy any fruit while you’re on the move. Simply blend it up, place the smoothie in a sealable bottle or flask and enjoy it whenever you want.
“Rulon Rules to Making Smoothies”
On the surface, making smoothies is a simple process. However, if you want to make a super smoothie every time, there a few tips and tricks that you need to implement. In this article, I’ll be sharing 5 of these smoothies making tips with you and showing you how to blend like a pro.
1) Be Creative With Your Ice Cubes
Ice cubes are a staple ingredient in any smoothie but that doesn’t mean you have to use water every time. Coconut water, fruit juices, and tea are all excellent alternatives to water which can be frozen just as easily and make perfect ice cubes.
2) Clean The Blender Straight Away
Cleaning may not be the most enjoyable part of the smoothie making process but the longer you leave it, the harder it gets. Fruit puree takes just a few minutes to clean off the blender while it’s still moist. However, if you let it harden, it’s a much more difficult task and requires lots of soaking and scrubbing. So even if you don’t feel like it, clean your blender as soon as you’re finished blending.
3) Don’t Overfill Your Blender
This may sound like common sense but many people do pack their blenders to the brim and are then left with uneven, poorly blended smoothies. For the best results, always leave a small gap at the top of your blender. By doing this you’ll get a much consistent, evenly blended smoothie.
4) Keep An Eye On Your Total Calories
Another mistake a lot of people make when blending up smoothies is focusing on the healthy, natural aspect and ignoring the overall calories they contain. While smoothies are very good for you and contain high levels of many health-boosting nutrients, the calories can quickly add up if you don’t pay attention to them. So make sure you’re aware of the total calories in your smoothie and if the number gets too high, swap out some ingredients for ice. Use My Fitness Pal to see how many calories you are actually consuming in your smoothie!
5) Use A Range Of Ingredients
While it’s fine to have your favorite ingredients, blending up the same smoothie every single time is going to limit the nutritional benefit you get from them. So make sure you’re blending up a variety of ingredients each week which provide you with a mixture of fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, healthy fats and protein. Doing this will give you the maximum nutritional punch and also allow you to enjoy a range of great tasting smoothies.
And let me share with you my “Top 5 Smoothie Ingredients” and I learned a lot about some of these ingredients from Simone Lovell from Fuel For Fat Loss!
Almonds are a concentrated source of calories, so you do need to use them sparingly in your smoothies. However, a 1-ounce serving adds lots of healthy fats, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B2, and vitamin E at a cost of just 161 calories. In addition to this, almonds give your smoothies a thick, crunchy texture.
A large banana contains just 121 calories along with high levels of fiber, manganese, potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C. It’s also less juicy than other fruits and gives your smoothies a satisfyingly thick and fluffy texture.
Blueberries contain just 84 calories per cup and are packed full of health-boosting anthocyanins, fiber, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin K. They’re one of the sweetest and juiciest fruits around and a great way to naturally sweeten your smoothies without loading up on calories. FYI: Berries, in general, are amazing and the best way to go with berries, is frozen organic!!
4) Chia Seeds
Like almonds, chia seeds are a calorie-rich food, so you do need to limit the amount you put in your smoothies. However, a 1-ounce serving contains a reasonable 137 calories. Be VERY mindful of consuming TOO much Chia Seeds because if you are a runner, you will need to eliminate things during your run. HA!
5) Almond Milk
Since I have gone dairy free for almost a year now, I use almond milk and LOVE it. It is lower in calories, 40 calories per cup and lower in CHO than milk.
6) Vegan Protein Powder
Once again, since I have gone dairy free (for the most part), I have eliminated Whey Protein. But here is a great infographic of the difference between Whey and Plant Based Protein from Ideal Raw.
I hope that gives you a little idea of how to make smoothies, what to put in them and what you could use. I would play around with it. The key is to figure out how many calories are in your smoothies. My favorite smoothie is about 500 calories, so be careful, as calories and your macros can add up in smoothies alone.
Interested in getting a Smoothie recipe, along with learning about the “Fuel For Fat Loss” Program that I did last year to get in the best shape of my life? Cool! Click the photo below to learn more!