With summer in full swing, now’s a great time to start a new healthy habit! One great way to get more fruits and vegetables into your day, and one of my personal favorites, is by making smoothies. Smoothies are a quick and easy way to make sure you’re getting tons of important nutrients and fiber into your daily diet! The 3 key components to any great smoothie are fruit, greens, and liquid. Amounts and ratios of these 3 ingredients will vary depending on your preference. But as long as your smoothie includes all 3, you’re sure to have a nutrient rich meal right in your hand!
Let’s start at the beginning. Fruits, and especially berries, are packed with tons of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber! Adults need 2 cups of fruit per day. Putting fruit into a smoothie helps you get the recommended amount in a fun and easy way. I like to use fresh and frozen fruit in my smoothies. Adding a fresh fruit, like half a banana, makes the smoothie extra creamy. Frozen fruit is also great because it saves money and time! Frozen fruit is picked and frozen at peak freshness so you get the optimal amount of nutrients Here’s a tip: stock up on your favorite frozen fruit when it’s on sale. Not only will it save you some money, but you won’t have to worry about your produce going bad! Using frozen fruit also means you don’t have to use ice cubes which saves you a step in the smoothie making process. About half a cup of fresh fruit and 1 cup of frozen fruit should do the trick to make your smoothie flavorful and creamy.
Next is the greens. Putting kale or spinach in a smoothie may seem a little scary, but trust me! Adults need 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day, and that includes leafy greens. Once they’re blended up, all of the other fruits and add-ins will mask the flavor of the greens. So, if spinach or kale isn’t your thing, just give it a shot; you can barely taste it! Adding 1 cup of leafy greens to your smoothie will increase its nutrient content and cover a large part of your recommended vegetable intake for the day.
Now we need to get that creamy smoothie consistency. Adding a little amount of liquid will make your smoothie extra thick; adding more liquid will make it smoother and easier to drink through a straw. Depending on the kind and amount of liquid you use, you could be adding some healthy protein to your day too! Adding yogurt or milk will make the smoothie extra rich and incorporate some protein into your day. Try using half yogurt and half liquid if you want! Start with a little and add more liquid as you continue to blend. You can always add more liquid, but you can’t take it back. Don’t be afraid to try different things to find what works best for you!
Lastly, there are some extra add-ins that you can put in your smoothie to make it your own! Things like honey, peanut butter, protein powder, cinnamon, ginger, chia seeds, and many others could really take your smoothie to the next level by adding more nutrients and flavor! Smoothies make a great on-the go- breakfast or snack. Here’s another tip: prep your smoothie the night before in the blender and put it in the refrigerator. Then, in the morning, all you have to do is take it out and push a button! Smoothies are all about trying new combinations and experimenting with different ingredients and ratios. If your first smoothies doesn’t come out so great, try again the next day! Soon you will learn what works for you, what combinations you like the best, and what consistency you prefer. Happy blending!fresh drinks fruits and vegetable drinks smoothie summer beverages