What to Use and What to Lose When Making Healthy Smoothies
Smoothies are the newest trend in eating right and having a healthy lifestyle. These drinks are a great way to get your daily fruits and vegetables in one simple, delicious serving. But the endless possibilities of what can be added to these drinks leaves smoothie makers confused about what ingredients are good or not to put into their healthy drinks.
Use Fresh Fruits and Vegetables for the Best Healthy Smoothies
When it comes to choosing the right fruits and vegetables for healthy smoothies, fresh ingredients are always best. Not only will this help boost the flavor of the drink, fresh produce contains higher nutritional value than most canned or frozen products. Want to take your healthy smoothie one step further? Consider using only organic ingredients – they are full of vitamins and nutrients and are also free of pesticides or other chemical food enhancements.
When everyday fruits and vegetables start to taste bland, try experimenting with different spices. Spices such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg can add sweetness as well as other health benefits. Cayenne pepper is great for adding some spice to smoothies – this will not only kick up the smoothies’ taste but cayenne also provides a wide range of health benefits such as burning calories, relieving pain, and treating cluster headaches.
What Ingredients to Avoid When Making Healthy Smoothies
Even though making a healthy smoothie may seem straightforward, there are some ingredients that should be used in moderation or even avoided. Although fruit has many health benefits some are high in natural sugars and eating too much can cause weight gain. To balance this out, use more vegetables than fruit – you will be surprised how sweet a smoothie can be with only half an apple or small handful of raspberries! Kale is one of the recommended greens for a smoothie but, if you find the taste too overpowering, try using spinach instead.
Also, when using milk or yogurt, opt for low or no-fat products to help keep the smoothie light and healthy. It is important to stay away from ice cream and other heavy creams as well. Although delicious, these ingredients can add unnecessary sugar and fat to an otherwise healthy smoothie. More often than not, using the fruits and vegetables own juices is the easiest way to make sure smoothies stay healthy and do not have the opposite effect than desired.
A great rule of thumb it to try to limit all of your fruit ingredients to about a 1/4c of each. This will add the flavor, but significantly reduce the sugar and caloric intake for the drink. Start using a handful of the green and then add more as is tolerable. If spinach goes down without a problem, try adding the kale to see if it is palatable. Something else to add to the smoothie is a tablespoon of some type of nut or seed, such as sunflower, hemp, or almond.
Smoothies are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins and nutrients without having to prepare many different foods. By using fresh produce, adding spices for increased health benefits and staying away from excess sugars and fats smoothies may just become the easiest, most nutritious meal of your day. However, always take the time to figure out the caloric and sugar content of your smoothie before settling on a recipe so you can make sure it is a healthy as it is tasty. So grab the blender and some fruits and vegetables – its smoothie time!