Smoothies may be the smartest way to start your day. They sneak in numerous servings of fruits and veggies in just one meal, can be consumed on-the-go, and boost energy without forcing you to reach for a cuppa joe.
Start Your Blenders Start Start your smoothie off with a liquid base, such as fruit juice or non-dairy milk, which will prevent the blades from sticking when blending frozen fruit and vegetables. Next, add greens, nuts, and any tougher ingredients to ensure they’re properly pulverized and to prevent a chunky kale-and-sesame surprise from creeping up your straw. Finally, throw a healthy serving of frozen fruit into the mix. Frozen fruit allows you to enjoy out of season produce, thickens up a smoothie’s consistency, and eliminates worries about using food before it goes bad. Try the following recipes to get started, and then feel free to get creative and concoct your own!
Simple fruit smoothies are already a great way to sneak essential nutrients into your daily routine, but smoothies’ ability to mask strong or unusual flavors make them ideal for incorporating other health-enhancing components into your diet. Try adding the following ingredients into your favorite recipe for an extra immunity boost or energy kick.
- Greens: Not a fan of salads? Incorporate fresh spinach into your smoothies, and work your way up to more creative greenery, such as dandelion greens and kale. Dark, leafy greens are loaded with beneficial vitamins and nutrients, and the “green” taste is miraculously masked.
- Cacao nibs: Cacao nibs contain high levels of antioxidants, flavanoids, and catechins. Like chocolate, cacao nibs acts as a mood enhancer by encouraging the body to release serotonin.
- Spirulina: Packed with beneficial nutrients, such as easily assimilated amino acids, enzymes, chelated minerals, and vitamins, this single-celled plant also contains more protein than soy and supports the immune system and healthy inflammatory response. It also boasts impressive levels of beta carotene, iron, and antioxidants.
- Maca: This root extract, primarily cultivated in Peru and Bolivia, supports endocrine health by helping the hypothalamus, thyroid, and pancreas produce necessary hormones. Due to its role in hormone regulation, maca has also been lauded for its ability to improve sexual function and ease the symptoms of menopause.
- Goji berries: Grown in Himalayan valleys, goji berries protect the liver, improve circulation, and boost immune function. They are high in carotenoids, especially beta carotene and zeaxanthin, and act as a good source of B vitamins and vitamin C.
- Raw seeds: Different seeds boast various health benefits, but all are best consumed raw, since high temperatures can destroy many of the beneficial nutrients they contain.
Tips and Troubleshooting
- Crush ice before adding it to the blender for a smoother consistency.
- To thicken a smoothie and cram in an extra helping of protein, throw in an avocado.
- To cut down on extra calories or fat, substitute water for soymilk.
- When using any root or stalk veggies, chop into small pieces before blending to lessen strain on the blades. The same goes for firm fruits, like apples, or any large fruit you plan on freezing, like bananas.
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