Wanting to make the perfect smoothie every time? This post is the ultimate guide that will help you start blending perfect smoothies today!
Smoothies are my absolute fave! They're refreshing, easy to make, and flavorful!
When people started raving about the smoothie trend, I never really understood why they were obsessed with smoothies. Until I finally decided to get blending and boy, I'm literally the biggest smoothie fan now!
I love how they can be enjoyed over breakfast, lunch as a snack, pre or post-workout meal, or even as a dessert!
I can go on and on endlessly about how much jumping on the smoothie bandwagon changed my life. But that's not why we're here today.
Making smoothies is hardly rocket science, but it does take some trial and error. So, today, I figured I'd share a complete guide on how to find the perfect blend for your next smoothie. In a nutshell, here are the smoothie topics we’re gonna cover in this post:
- Are smoothies healthy for you?
- What should I put in my smoothie?
- How can I make my smoothie thicker?
- Can I make my smoothie vegan/dairy-free?
- What's the best time to drink a smoothie?
Read on to get blending!
Are Smoothies Healthy For You?
Truth be told, your morning smoothie might actually be a total sugar bomb. But it also can be completely packed with nutrients that can lead to weight loss.
It all depends on the ingredients you decide to put in your smoothie.
Smoothies can definitely be a nourishing and fun way to add fruits and veggies to your diet. But if you're adding liquid sweeteners and other ingredients that aren't healthy, expect some negative effects on your weight.
Keep in mind that the most nutritious smoothies are made with a balanced ratio of fruits, vegetables, protein, and milk.
What Should I Put In My Smoothie?
As a rule, making a healthy smoothie needs a good balance of macro-nutrients.
You must be thinking, " Aren't smoothies just made of fruits, water, and milk?" I would usually mix up some healthy fats (like Greek yogurt), fiber, protein, greens and fresh fruit for a well-balanced and long-lasting smoothie.
If you're struggling to find which ingredient to add to your blending session, here's a list of items that you can easily throw together until you find your favorite.
In this section, I'll cover each of the main components of the ultimate smoothie in detail, including:
- Liquid Base
- Healthy Fats
Read on for details on each portion plus serving recommendations.
Liquid Base: First things first, when preparing your smoothie you need to choose the liquid base. You need to add this to your blender first, that way it will be much easier for the blades to cut through the ingredients. I personally love using almond milk for that extra nutty taste!
- Per Serving: 1 cup of liquid
- Fruit juice such as pure orange juice
- Green tea
- Coconut water
- Cow milk
- Plant-based milk such as oat milk
Fruits: After adding the liquid base, it's time to add on the bulk of your smoothie. So this is applicable to both fruits and veggies depending on the type of smoothie you are planning to make. A common mistake that first-timers make would be adding a high amount of fruits to their smoothies which often leads to an unwanted sugar overload. So if you're worried about sugar content you can use low-sugar fruits instead!
- Per Serving: 1-1.5 cups
Greens: Not a salad fan? No worries! Sneak in some veggies into your diet by adding some spinach or kale to your smoothie. Green smoothies don't sound or look that appealing but I'm telling you that with the right balance, they're just as flavorful! Truth is, you can make any of your smoothies green by tossing in a handful of veggies in the blender. Since they are packed with vitamins and minerals you'll definitely benefit more by blending some in!
- Per Serving: 2-3 cups
- Super greens powder
Healthy Fats: There's a common misconception that "fat" is bad for you. This is why people tend to skip adding fats to their smoothies thinking it will make their drink healthier. But remember that there are different kinds of fats. Studies show that monounsaturated fats which are usually found in nuts, avocado, coconut oil, and the like improve your blood cholesterol and reduce your risk for cardiovascular diseases. One of my favorites, coconut oil is a healthy fat that contains healthy fatty acids that encourage the body to burn fats and significantly suppress appetite.
- Per Serving: 1-2 tbsp
- Almond butter
- Peanut butter
- Coconut oil
- MCT oil
Fiber: Seeds are another must-have ingredient for smoothie-making! Not only do they provide you with that added texture they are also packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and more importantly fiber! Adding fiber into your smoothie will keep you fuller for a longer period and can also help you with digestive problems.
- Per Serving: 1-2 tbsp
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Pumpkin seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Cooked quinoa
Protein: Tossing in some protein in your smoothie is a real game changer. Numerous studies show that adding protein to your diet encourages weight loss benefits and muscle maintenance. I believe in protein powder so strongly that Dustin and I created our own brand! It's called cleanish Plant-based Protein Powder and it mixes easily into the easy smoothie recipes that I'll share below. This awesome-tasting protein powder comes in 3 flavors and has 0 added sugars.
- Per Serving: 1 tbsp
- Pea protein powder
- Plant-based protein powder
- Nut butter
- Sunfleed seed butter
- Coconut butter
Superfoods: Last but not least, you can add some superfoods to your favorite smoothie. Not only are they nutrient-rich foods but they also have these amazing flavors that will give your smoothie an extra kick!
- Per Serving: 0.5 to 1 tsp
- Goji berries
How Can I Make My Smoothies Thicker?
I've had my fair share of running into the problem of a thin, watery smoothie ( with Dustin ending up having to drink them! haha), and here's what I learned.
It's often a result of adding too much liquid or starting with room-temperature ingredients. If you've been to Jamba Juice have you noticed how they get their ingredients from the freezer? Yep, that my friend is a hack right there.
One way to get a creamier smoothie would be to use frozen fruits and veggies, doing so will help keep your drink chilled and thick. Bananas are known to be one of the best frozen fruits to add to your smoothie. You gotta love a strawberry banana smoothie! But if you're not a fan of bananas, I have 10 Ways to Make Banana Free Smoothies that you can easily do.
Another hack that you could do to get a thicker consistency would be to add some oats. Surprised? Yes, this pantry staple will give you that extra volume you're looking for. Adding oats to my Blueberry Muffin Protein Smoothie made it creamier and thicker, just the way my family likes it!
Can I Make Vegan/Dairy-Free Smoothies?
Of course. If you've browsed through my blog I have so many alternatives for dairy-free and vegan lifestyles. So when you want to make a dairy-free smoothie, just use plant-based yogurt and non-dairy milk like coconut milk, or plant-based milk. It's that easy!
Now for the sweetener: instead of honey, you can just stick to maple syrup, agave, or molasses ( which I have used on cookies if you want something to snack on with your smoothie try this recipe out: Healthy Ginger Molasses Cookies.)
What's The Best Time To Drink A Smoothie?
I've got asked this question more times than I can remember. Well here's the million-dollar answer....ANYTIME! Whether you are on-the-go, getting ready for a workout, or heading out to the office, a smoothie is a healthy way to keep you full and curb your cravings.
Smoothies can keep us fueled throughout the day. Not only do they taste amazing, but they are also packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Healthy Smoothie Recipes To Get You Started
Here are some of my top healthy smoothie recipes you should absolutely try. Remember to try smoothie bowls. They're delicious too!
- 10 Ways to Make Banana Free Smoothies
- 5 High Protein Fruit Smoothie Recipes For Weight Loss
- 7 Easy Make Ahead Smoothies For Fall
- 14 Smoothie Freezer Packs
- Green Protein Smoothie
- Kiwi And Kale Smoothie
It’s all a matter of adding the perfect balance of liquid, fruits, vegetables, protein, fiber, healthy fats and superfoods for a smoothie that’s equal parts nutritious, delicious, and satisfying.