Practice the following tips to increase a smoothie’s satiety and nutrient value, while preventing calorie overload.
Choose whole fruit
Make smoothies with whole fruit instead of juice to increase fibre and reduce calories from sugar. Stick to one medium sized fruit or one cup of cut up chunks of fruit or berries. Adding frozen fruit will help make your smoothie thick.
Enjoy the naturally sweet taste of fruit; avoid adding honey, agave or maple syrup.
Adding raw oats (one-quarter cup), raw oat bran (two tablespoons), psyllium husks (two tablespoons) or chia seeds (one tablespoon) will boost fibre and thicken your smoothie, increasing its staying power.
Blend in healthy fats
To increase your intake of plant-based omega-3’s, add one tablespoon of ground flax, chai seeds, hemp hearts or a teaspoon of flax oil. Or, try a tablespoon of almond or peanut butter or one-quarter of an avocado for an infusion of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and, in the case of avocado, the B vitamin folate.
One cup of milk, ¾ cup of plain yogurt or one cup of soy milk add 8 g of protein to smoothies (Greek yogurt delivers 18 g per ¾ cup). Almond, rice and coconut beverages have little or no protein; add half to one scoop of protein powder.
If using a plant-based beverage instead of dairy, choose an unsweetened product to avoid added sugar. Fortified products also supply 300 mg of calcium and 100 international units (IU) of vitamin D.
Blending spinach, kale or other leafy greens into smoothies adds fibre, calcium, folate and lutein, a phytochemical that helps keep vision sharp. You’ll get more minerals and antioxidants, though, if you add cooked greens instead of raw.
Steam or blanch a batch of greens, puree them in a blender or food processor, and then freeze in ice cube trays. Once frozen, pop out and store in a freezer bag.
All research on this web site is the property of Leslie Beck Nutrition Consulting Inc. and is protected by copyright. Keep in mind that research on these matters continues daily and is subject to change. The information presented is not intended as a substitute for medical treatment. It is intended to provide ongoing support of your healthy lifestyle practices.