By Ivie McCoy -Guest Blogger
People are drinking smoothies now more than ever before. What should be in a smoothie to make it a complete, healthy alternative? Many people run into issues with things like texture, taste, and variety. Part of the misconception with taste is that we are so used to things being sweet that it is difficult to eat a green smoothie that tastes like “dirt” or is “earthy”. What if a green smoothie didn’t have to taste bad? What if a healthy smoothie that is also delicious could be made every day? By following these five easy steps, compiled mostly from the teachings of SWIHA holistic nutrition instructor Janet Lee, it is easy to create amazing green smoothies!
Every smoothie needs a liquid component. The liquid provides nutrients as well as hydration for the body. Some ideas of what can be used are water, coconut water, and nut milks such as almond milk.
In order for a smoothie to hold more than the nutrients and sugars found in fruit, make sure the smoothie is made up of at least 80% greens. A greater array of nutrition can be found by following this guideline. The drawback is that it can potentially give the smoothie a “dirt and earth” taste that many people don’t like. If at first it seems a little too earthy, just cut back a little on the greens and slowly build up to 70% or 80% as you get used to it. The list of potential greens is quite a long one but that just means there is a lot of potential for variety. Here are a few ideas: spinach (sweetest option), kale, chard, bok choy, celery, and broccoli.
This component holds its own nutritional value since many fruits are packed full of great things. Unfortunately this component is also over used. A smoothie that will either replace or supplement meals in a diet needs to hold more than what fruit can offer the body. Also, even natural sugars in fruit can be consumed to extremes just like soda can. Some examples of great fruit to use are bananas, mangos, pineapple, berries, green apples, cherries, and even dates. Keep the amount to one fruit for example, a banana or apple, or measure about a cup of fruit. This will help give an element of sweetness, and will make the smoothie smooth and creamy, especially when using bananas, mangos, or dates.
Although all whole foods contain nutrients that are beneficial for health, superfoods are foods that contain a higher range of nutrients than your average fruit or vegetable.
By adding this component to a smoothie, the smoothie goes beyond just tasting good and providing health benefits. It goes straight into kick starting health into overdrive. When considering what superfood to add, do the research! There are many different superfoods available and any of them can be added to a smoothie. Some examples are blueberries, spirulina, maca powder, cacao, chia seeds, flax seeds, algae, and turmeric.
This component is a little more optional than the other four but many people find great benefit in adding fats into their smoothie. Fats provide skin, hair, nails, and bone health, give an increase in energy, help curb overeating, provide essential fatty acids, and help the body absorb fat soluble vitamins. Fats are good for the body but not all fats are created equal. Some good fats for smoothies are nut butters, avocados, and coconut oil.
Take these five components and do some experiments. Keeping track of recipes is highly recommended, so if an amazing one is found it can be repeated! Enjoy!
About the Author, Ivie McCoy
Ivie McCoy is a SWIHA student studying Mind-Body Wellness and Holistic Nutrition. She hopes to help future clients find balance in their lives through nutrition. Despite Ivie’s personal battles with health, she has persevered through the realm of unknown diseases, a slew of doctors and began seeking her own education toward healthier living. Ivie came to SWIHA looking for tools to earn extra income, and instead discovered a whole new lifestyle that has changed her entire world.
Currently, Ivie works with children of preschool age, which she loves, and spends her spare time working on her business. Most of all, she loves to cook and find new recipes to share with loved one – especially desserts!