There are few things more perfect than a smoothie to start the morning or as an afternoon pick-me-up. However, many of those Instagram-worthy drinks are heaped with sweetened yogurt or additional sugar, making them little better than dessert. As smoothie addicts, we’ve put together some of our best smoothie-making tricks to ensure you can squeeze in some of your daily fruits and veggies to your favourite drink — without the sugar rush.
- Base: Many store-bought smoothies might rely on sweetened yogurt, fruit juice, or non-dairy milks saturated in sugar. Try unsweetened non-dairy milks or, for an extra probiotic boost, coconut milk kefir. Coconut water is naturally sweet, rich in potassium, and will help you stay hydrated. Or take a bit of an untraditional approach and use chilled green tea as your liquid of choice.
- Veggies: Though many smoothies or acai bowls rely on fruit, think of them instead as a delicious vehicle to make sure you’re eating the recommended serving of veggies. Toss in some spinach or frozen zucchini — most likely, you won’t even taste them, but your body will thank you later. Aim to match each fruit you add with a veggie to achieve balance.
- Fruit: It really wouldn’t be a smoothie without delicious, beloved fruit. Loaded with antioxidants and other vitamins, fruit is fantastic — in moderation. Limit yourself to ½ cup of fruit per smoothie, and try to stick to what’s in season. This will ensure you’re getting fresh produce and give you more opportunities to get creative with flavours and combinations.
- Fat: Supercharge your smoothie — and your day — by adding healthy fat. Throw in some coconut oil, avocado, or a tablespoon of your favourite nut butter — we’re partial to almond butter, which has high levels of fiber and unsaturated fatty acids, beneficial for your cholesterol and energy. Bonus: the combination of these fats and veggies are great sources of clean protein.
- Extras: There’s an almost endless list of herbs, leaves, flowers, and spices that are great for your physical and emotional health, and smoothies just happen to be a great way to sneak a few more in your diet. Some of our go-to additions? Cinnamon, cacao, turmeric, ginger, garlic, and spirulina. Chia seeds will give you a fiber and omega-3 boost, while a powder like maca root helps balance hormones and provides an energy boost.
Though we know these can’t be added to all smoothies — garlic and spirulina don’t have the most subtle flavours — try to integrate them as much as possible. These foods are nutritional powerhouses and boast everything from antibacterial properties to supporting a healthy weight.
Extras you should aim to avoid include things like honey, agave, or dates, which will dramatically increase the sugar content. Balance is key when creating, or ordering smoothies, and trust us: it will be delicious enough without any additional sweeteners. (It won’t hurt that you’ll feel more energetic, focused, and happier afterwards, too!)
At Soulara, nutritionists craft our plant-powered meals with a balanced diet in mind. Delivered straight to your door, our dishes are designed to help you feel happy, healthy, sexy and strong.