Need a nutritional powerhouse of a meal that’s quick to make, easy to take on the go and not lacking in flavor? Then whip out that blender and keep on reading to see what ingredients you need to include when preparing the perfect smoothie.
Smoothie’s are an excellent way to pack in tons of vitamins, minerals, nutrients, carbs, etc. in a fast and easy meal. But, they’re are also an easy way to take in too much sugar and unnecessary calories if you don’t watch what you’re adding. You’d be surprised, the natural sugar from fruit, yogurt and milk actually provides enough sweetness to not require additional sugar–artificial or not.
There are tons of recipes out there, fruit smoothies, green smoothies, protein packed smoothies, weight-loss smoothies, your head could spin off reading them. Find some fruits, vegetables and ingredients that you like and experiment with different flavors. Be sure to watch how much milk or yogurt you’re adding, or how much of any ingredient for that matter, just because it’s liquid and blended, doesn’t mean you’ve zapped the calories, fat and sugar.
To help make your smoothie ingredient search easier, we’ve provided you with five foods that will boost the nutritional value and flavor.
- Almond butter- Rich in monounsaturated fats that help reduce cholesterol levels, can help maintain blood sugar levels and is high in protein and fiber. A tasty smoothie additive, when used in moderation, almond butter also adds a rich and sweet flavor.
- Cinnamon- One of the highest antioxidant rich spices in the world, cinnamon adds a great boost of flavor, and studies have shown that just 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon per day can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.
- Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze– A great milk alternative at nearly half the calories of skim milk. This almond and coconut milk blend is lactose, soy and gluten free and has 50 percent more calcium than regular milk!
- Raspberries- High in ellagic acid, which can inhibit the growth of cancer cells, and also adds a natural sweetness to boost flavor! Raspberry seed oil has a natural sun protection factor and contains high levels of Vitamin C and quercetin.
- Flax seeds- Great for adding a rich, nutty flavor, these seeds are high in alpha linolenic acid (an omega-3 fat), which is shown to have anti-inflammatory benefits, protect bone health, prevent and control high blood pressure and is rich in beneficial fiber. Just sprinkle on top of your smoothie, blend and enjoy!
Give these ingredients a try, and don’t forget to experiment and add your own spices, fruits, vegetables, seeds and flavors! To help get started on your recipe building, check out some great recipes from Eating Well.