Smoothies get a lot of love from the health and wellness community and for good reason. They offer an easy way to create a nutrient-packed meal that only takes a few minutes to whip up. Below, I’ve shared my tried-and-tested tips for how to make a healthy smoothie. The best part? There are hundreds of delicious ways you can do it!
How to Make a Healthy Smoothie
Ingredients to Avoid
Let’s start off by running through a few ingredients to avoid. As you might have guessed, refined sugar is at the top of this list. And since there are so many ways to sweeten a smoothie naturally (fruit, honey, maple syrup — oh my!), there is no need to despair.
It’s also a good rule of thumb to avoid common food allergens, like soy, dairy and gluten. Many people are sensitive to these kinds of foods and have trouble digesting them so I suggest limiting them whenever possible. I opt for almond, coconut or hemp milk instead of soy.
Healthy Smoothie Ingredients
Now that we have the bad stuff out of the way, let’s focus on all the wonderful foods you can use to make yourself a delicious (and nutritious!) smoothie. The foundation for a healthy smoothie is to make sure it consists of:
- Complex carbs: whole fruits, green vegetables
- Lean protein: chia seeds, hemp hearts, protein powder
- Quality fats: avocado, coconut oil, nut butters
This nutrition trifecta is essential to building a smoothie that will satisfy your body and leave you feeling your best. By the way, if you’re wondering about how to choose a quality protein powder, I’ve got a great one right here.
Getting the Right Consistency
A smoothie really isn’t a smoothie until it’s, well, smooth. To get that perfect creamy texture, I like to use whole foods that are full of nutrients my body will love. My go-to’s are:
- Bananas — also serve as a natural sweetener
- Avocados — my favorite superfood in all the land
- Almond butter — full of protein and fat (the good kind!)
- Kefir — a fermented dairy product (look for unsweetened varieties)
It’s also equally important that your smoothie isn’t too thick to drink. My favorite liquid bases for smoothies include delicious dairy-free options like almond milk, coconut milk and coconut water, which you can find at any grocery store these days. Good ol’ plain tap water works just fine too.
Top it Off, Superfood-Style!
All that’s left to do now is to top off your smoothie with something special. These superfoods will not only make your creation Instagram-worthy but will also add one last incredibly nutritious touch.
- Cacao nibs — full of antioxidants, flavonoids and magnesium (plus um, chocolate!)
- Goji berries — tons of vitamin C and fiber
- Chia seeds — loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and other amazing micronutrients
- Coconut flakes — protein, fiber, iron and zinc never tasted so good
- Cinnamon — an ancient marvel that balances your blood sugar and decreases inflammation
As you can imagine, there are endless possible combinations of ingredients to create a healthy smoothie. My favorite flavor combos are:
- Chocolate Cherry
- Raspberry Avocado
- Strawberry Coconut
- Banana Cinnamon
- Almond Vanilla
Remember, one of the best things about a smoothie is that it is so easy to customize just the way you like it. My advice is to use foods and flavors you already know you love as a starting point for your own creative concoctions. What’s your favorite kind of smoothie?