Thursday, August 23, 2018

Healthy Smoothie Hacks, Tips & Recipes

Trying to keep to a healthy diet with a busy schedule can seem like an impossible task. However, getting the nutrients you need doesn’t always have to take hours of cooking and preparation. For busy mornings or late-night cravings, filling your stomach with a healthy smoothie is a quick, easy way to get what you need. If you’re new to the smoothie trend, here are some tips on how to make a smoothie before throwing everything you have into a blender.

Consider Your Goal 

Depending on your health goals, certain ingredients may be better for you than others. If you’re looking to lose weight, the last thing you want to do is accidentally make protein-packed smoothies meant for bulking. It’s important to keep in mind that each and every ingredient should have a specific purpose, whether it be for vitamins, thickness or sweetness. This way, you can be sure that you’re adding exactly what you need and nothing that you don’t. 
Although throwing in a bunch of your favorite fruit may seem like a safe choice, this is actually not best if you’re trying to lose weight or follow a bariatric diet. Of course, fruit is nature’s candy and a great source of vitamins, potassium and fiber, but too much fruit can just mean extra sugar and calories. Limiting your smoothies to 15 grams of sugar, 20 grams of protein and 300 calories will ensure that you meet your weight loss goals. 

Use Frozen Fruit

When making smoothies, give frozen fruit a try. There’s no question that one of the best things about a refreshing smoothie is the temperature. Although adding ice is an easy way to keep your smoothie cold, blending ice can change the taste or texture, watering down your delicious drink, and it can be hard on your blender. Using frozen fruit will keep your smoothie tasting great - plus, it’ll last a lot longer.


Instant Smoothies & Quick Preparation

In the spirit of keeping things as quick and easy as possible, you may want to consider instant smoothies. These smoothies will fill you up, and they come in convenient packages ready to go. With flavors like Caffe Latte and Aloha Mango, you can choose your favorites and enjoy their great flavors in no time. These specific instant smoothies are already packed with healthy weight loss ingredients and essential vitamins so you don’t have to plan what you’ll put in your smoothie - all the good stuff will be there already. 

Or perhaps you’re not into smoothie mixes. Try your hand at making your own (almost) instant smoothies. Fill ziploc bags or Mason jars with a single serving of all your smoothie ingredients and stock them in the freezer. When you’re ready to enjoy your smoothie, just dump the bag in the blender and blend away! This smoothie hack will save you loads of time when you just want something quick without sacrificing your health. 

Switch Things Up

The beauty of smoothies is that there is no limit to the number of combinations that you can make. Eating the same thing every day can get boring - but smoothie variations are countless, so you can change up your go-to with ease. Here are some of our favorite easy smoothie recipes from a wide range of smoothie realms. 

Green Smoothie: Green Dream

Ingredients:
1 banana
1½ cups baby spinach
1 cup frozen mango
Juice from 1 lemon

Directions: 
Blend together all ingredients until smooth. Use any leftover mango for garnish & enjoy!


Fruit Smoothie: Strawberry & Peach Smoothie

Ingredients:
½ cup of coconut water
1 cup of plain yogurt
½ cup of frozen peaches
1 cup of frozen strawberries

Directions: 
Add all ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth. Use strawberry as a garnish as needed. Enjoy!


Fruit & Spice Smoothie: Chia Seed, Beet, Mint, Lime & Berry Smoothie

Ingredients:
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup grated beet 
¾ cup frozen blackberries or blueberries (as preferred)
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon of honey
Pinch of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds 
¾ cup of almond milk (or preferred milk)

Directions: 
Blend all ingredients together until smooth & creamy. Enjoy!


Chocolate Smoothie: Chocolate Banana

Ingredients:
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup water 
¼ cup flavored protein powder (vanilla or chocolate) 
½ cup of cottage cheese or tofu cheese (plain flavored)


Directions: 
Blend all ingredients together until creamy & smooth. Enjoy! 

Now that you have a few smoothie hacks, tips and recipes, you’re ready to start your smoothie journey! Even if you don’t drink smoothies every day, these delicious drinks are the perfect thing to cool you off and give your body the nutrients it needs. Have a favorite smoothie recipe or new hack? Share it with us in the comments below!