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Build a Better Smoothie - Best Ingredients for a Refreshing Summer Shake



Who doesn't love a good smoothie? Done right, smoothies can be a great addition to your routine, packing in extra vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein, whether as a morning energizer, post-workout refuel, or afternoon snack. But even the healthiest smoothies can be calorie dense, unintentionally interfering with weight loss or general wellness goals.

One of my favorite things about smoothies is the endless iterations, especially with the ever-increasing popularity of experimental ingredients like cauliflower, beets, and sweet potato.

Next time you power up the blender, keep these tips in mind to make sure your smoothie is serving you well:

1. Skip the Juice - Stick with Whole Fruits

While 100% fruit juice can be a great option in your daily routine, adding too much fruit juice to your smoothie can quickly increase calorie content without the benefits of whole fruits. Juices provide the sweetness of the fruit without many of the vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Stick with the whole fruits to get the most out of your smoothie. 1/2 cup fruit plus 1/2 of a banana will do the trick.

Top choices:

Berries: blueberries, strawberries, raspberries

Mango

Pineapple

Banana

Oranges/Citrus

2. Vary your Veggies

Every smoothie should have at least one vegetable included, the easiest (least noticeable) being leafy greens. Adding vegetables is a great way to take care of one of your daily required servings, while increasing the nutritional value of your shake. Add at least 1 cup of fresh spinach or kale into every smoothie and experiment with other veggies too!

Top Choices:

Carrots

Cucumber

Leafy Greens: spinach, kale, chard

Cauliflower

Beets

3. Pack in the Protein

Protein in your smoothie is essential for sustained energy and recovering after workouts. Smoothies without protein and healthy fats will have you feeling hungry within an hour, as well as unsatisfied. Add one of the following to your ingredient list to boost the power of your next smoothie

Top Choices:

1/2 cup Greek yogurt or plain Kefir

1 scoop of protein powder

1/2 cup oats offers 7 grams of protein, as well as other health-boosting nutrients

1-2 tablespoon hemp seeds for nearly 15 grams of protein

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

4. Don't Forget the Healthy Fats

Adding a serving of healthy fats will keep you feeling fuller longer, and energized until your next meal. Healthy fats will also help to maximize absorption of any vitamins contained in your smoothie!

1 tablespoon ground flax

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1/2 tablespoon natural nut butter

1/4 of an avocado can go a long way for making your smoothie- nice and smooth.

5. Pick a Liquid

Add 1 cup or less of liquid to your blender. Add a little bit at a time and blend to reach your desired consistency. Add ice cubes as needed.

Top Choices:

Unsweetened soy milk offers additional protein

Low-fat or fat-free dairy milk

Other unsweetened plant milks: cashew, almond

Flavor-boosting add-ins:

Depending on the flavor profile, you can experiment with various add-ins.

Cinnamon

Turmeric

Ginger

Vanilla extract

Lemon zest

Cocoa powder

Recipe Round-up

Orange Dreamcicle

  • 4 mandarin oranges peeled

  • 1 banana sliced and frozen if possible

  • 1 cup spinach

  • ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt or non-dairy alternative

  • ¼ cup coconut water

  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 5 ice cubes

Recipe Here

Chocolate Peanut Butter

  • 1 frozen chopped banana (peeled)

  • 1 cup tightly-packed fresh spinach

  • 1 cup ice

  • 1 cup milk (your choice — dairy milk, almond milk, etc.)

  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe Modified From here

Blueberry Avocado

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond or soy milk

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 cup baby spinach

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

  • 1/2 ripe avocado

  • 2 - 3 tsp maple syrup or honey

Recipe Here

Peanut Butter Oatmeal

  • 2 bananas

  • 1 cup skim milk

  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt

  • 1 cup oats

  • ¼ cup natural peanut butter

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2-3 large scoops ice or more

Recipe Here

Berry Cauliflower

  • 1/2 cup orange juice, or 1 whole peeled orange

  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower

  • 1 cup favorite berries

  • 1/2 cup favorite Greek yogurt

Recipe Here

Banana Almond Flax

  • 1 medium well ripened banana , peeled diced into pieces, frozen

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk

  • 1/3 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp creamy almond butter

  • 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal

  • 1 tsp honey

  • 2 - 3 drops almond extract (pour into extract lid first then drop in blender so you don't add too much)

  • 4 ice cubes (optional)

Recipe Modified From Here

Tropical Greens

  • ¼ cup cold water

  • ¼ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

  • ½ cup green grapes

  • ½ cup diced mango

  • ¼ ripe banana

  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds

  • 2 ice cubes

Recipe Modified From Here

Raspberry Green Tea

  • 1 cup green tea, chilled

  • 1/3 cup plain non fat Greek yogurt

  • 1-2 tablespoons hemp hearts

  • 1/2 pint raspberries (about 1 cup)

  • 1 large frozen banana

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup ice

Recipe Modified From Here

Blackberry Almond Protein

  • 3/4 cup frozen blackberries and blueberries

  • 3/4 cup almond milk

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons creamy almond or peanut butter

  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon hulled hemp seeds

Recipe Modified From Here

Berry & Greens

  • 1-2 cup leafy greens (spinach leaves)

  • 1/2 cup frozen or fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

  • 1/2 ripe banana

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk

  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds, ground flaxseed, or hemp hearts

  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut or almond butter

Recipe Modified From Here

Lemon Meringue

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt, plain

  • 2 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1 cup non-fat milk

  • ¼ tsp. coconut extract

  • 1 tablespoon raw almonds

  • ¼ tsp. stevia to taste

Recipe Modified From Here

Red Beet Power

  • 1 small red beet, trimmed and peeled

  • 1 large apple, cored

  • 1 stalk of celery

  • 1 cup carrot juice

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • 2/3 cup frozen sliced peaches

  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced

Recipe Here

Weigh In: What's your favorite smoothie combo?

#healthysnacks #smoothie #healthy #breakfast #nutrition #dietitian #healthyshake #frozendrink #drink #summersmoothie #fruits #vegetables

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