If you are wondering how to make a healthy smoothie, for breakfast or any other time of day. We need to nail down what that word means first. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines smoothies as a noun: a creamy beverage made of fruit blended with juice, milk, or yogurt
Likewise, Dictionary.com uses words like beverage, fruit, blender, milk, juice and yogurt, but adds ice. Anyway, you get the picture. A smoothie generally steers clear of using processed foods, sugar and other components to make a thick, frozen (or at least cool) beverage designed to promote health. But you don’t have to use dairy in it.
Caveat; if you are lactose intolerant then use your favorite substitutes, like almond milk or coconut water.
But even if you love dairy as I do; try adding different flavors, such as a banana and/or blueberries and use water when you are able.
Another caveat; Eat and drink everything in moderation. From recent research – Perceived health benefits of smoothie…
“Smoothies are frequently consumed beverages, often made using a combination of energy-providing ingredients. Many consumers, particularly those that consume smoothies regularly, do so for the perceived health beneﬁts. Regular consumption of energy-dense smoothies may predispose individuals to excess energy intakes, which may offset potential beneﬁts from the drinks.”
You have probably heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So if you are going to replace your morning meal with a smoothie, there are some things you have to be sure and include. Protein is important at breakfast and gives you energy and throughout the day. People that eat protein during breakfast also tend to eat less all day long, leading to a more naturally regulated body weight. Adding protein is a good idea if you are substituting a smoothie for a meal.
How to make a smoothie in easy steps
Step 1: Ensure you get some type of protein in your smoothie. Some great sources of protein for your smoothie include eggs, spinach, kale, collard greens and protein powders.
Step 2: Adding fruit to your smoothies makes them taste great, but the fruit is sugar, so please don’t add additional sugar. Fruit also delivers a lot of wonderful nutrients and dietary fiber. This regulates your digestive system, once again promoting a healthy body weight. Apples, mangos, blueberries, bananas, strawberries, pears, blackberries and pineapples are all great tasting additions to any breakfast smoothie. (You can add fruit through the yogurt, but read the nutrition label carefully and know it is not the same as the actual fruit. Try do not to indulge in a processed, unhealthy product.)
Step 3: You need some type of liquid base. Try to steer clear of dairy products as much as you can. In the last few years, we are learning more and more that dairy products, like skim milk, may not be as healthy as we once thought. Great milk alternatives include soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, almond milk and oat milk. For your liquid, you also might want to choose orange, apple, grape or pomegranate juice. Just be sure to select sugar-free, healthy varieties and choose organic whenever you can.
Step 4: Mix! This is the easy part. Pour a cup or two of your liquid with 2 ice cubes into your blender and mix. Start slowly adding your protein source and vegetables. Add liquid as needed, and experiment with different combinations.
Eating and drinking are not just about getting nutrition to live, it is about beauty, smell and taste. Spend the time to garnish your smoothie just for you.
Try a Healthy Lunch or Dinner Smoothie (2 Scoops of Protein Powder, 1 Cup of Kale, Spinach, Apple, Avocado, 8 oz. of Water, blended) Or try adding rich beetroot juice.
Science demonstrates smoothies help dehydration and lowers blood pressure. – “Green smoothies provide a high concentration of water and mineral salts in a prompt and pleasant way, avoiding dehydration.”
- The consumption of vegetables high in nitrate and low in thiocyanate lowered systolic blood pressure.
- Research is demonstrating shelf life, which is defined as the period of time, established under intended conditions of distribution, storage, retail and use, that the food would remain safe and suitable is much shorter than we all currently believe.
The five smoothies in this post are all packed full of anti-aging ingredients that will help you nourish your body and skin from the inside out. The antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals these smoothies contain will reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, minimize the appearance of dark circles under your eyes, and make your skin appear more youthful and vibrant.
For each healthy smoothie, you get:
A list of the required ingredients
Step by step text preparation instructions
Apple Papaya Smoothie
Love your skin today with this great combination of sweet and tart apples mixed with juicy papaya in a base of almond milk and silken tofu makes for a protein-rich smoothie that’s full of fruity goodness! Remember to save time by leaving the apple skin because an apple contains skin-boosting enzymes that will help you maintain a youthful appearance. The papaya contains vitamins that nourish and tone the skin.
What You’ll Need:
Half a medium-sized apple, cored, sliced, and frozen
About half a cup of papaya chunks, frozen
¾ cup almond milk
Half a cup silken tofu (not to be mistaken with firm tofu)
Sweet basil or mint leaves plus a stick of cinnamon for presentation purposes (optional)
Berry Powerful Smoothie
If you love berries and love getting your protein in your smoothie as well, this recipe is for you! This blend of 2 popular berries, protein-rich silken tofu, and minerals-loaded banana will keep you full for hours. It’s also packed with antioxidants that fight both the visible and internal signs of aging. The recipe is enough for 2 as well, so it’s great for sharing!
What You’ll Need:
A quarter cup of liquid of your choice could be water, milk, almond milk, apple juice, or orange juice (not shown)
1 cup silken tofu (not to be confused with the tofu for stir-fry)
1 cup frozen bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup frozen bananas
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They say that you should never, ever skip breakfast but we all know how that is often easier said than done at times. With this tasty and refreshing green smoothie, you’ll have all the motivation you need to get out of your bed in the morning and start your day right. The secret is in the pineapples; the riper they are, the fruitier this smoothie tastes. You’ll never guess how much greens are in this! All these greens firm the skin and protect against the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.
What You’ll Need:
About a cup of ripe pineapple, cut into chunks and frozen
2-3 big handfuls of fresh baby spinach
1 small orange, peeled and frozen (or two if using the micro Chinese variety)
Half a cup orange juice or pineapple juice (add more if preferred)
Half a cup silken tofu
Tropical Trio Smoothie
Wishing that you’re in the tropics and sipping away at some fruity tropical concoction? You can make this at home, and it’s vegan, too! Not only is it super tasty, but the high levels of vitamin E in almond milk also make your skin more elastic and keep it looking youthful.
What You’ll Need:
Half a ripe mango, only the flesh, frozen
About half a cup of fresh pineapple chunks, frozen
Half a cup banana, sliced and frozen
Half a cup to a full cup of almond milk (or whatever cow’s milk alternative you prefer)
A dash of cinnamon (optional)
Fruit slices or a stick of cinnamon for garnish (also optional)
Watermelon Kiwi Smoothie
Perfect for a hot summer day or whenever you need a burst of freshness, this watermelon kiwi smoothie will quench your thirst, leave you feeling invigorated, and will satisfy your sweet tooth. It’s also a powerful anti-aging smoothie that nourishes the skin and prevents the skin discoloration associated with aging.
What You’ll Need:
1 kiwi, peeled, sliced, and frozen
Half a cup ice cold water
Lemon juice to taste
Agave syrup to taste (no more than a tablespoon)
1 cup watermelon chunks, frozen
Some mint leaves for garnish (optional)
Smoothies Too much of a Good Thing?
A client was introduced to me who had only consumed refrigerated smoothies for a month. She had not empowered her self-healing by only having sugar, dairy and liquid. Yes, if she only had soda it would be worse but only drinking or eating one thing for a month is unnecessary and unhealthy. Fatigue and stomach issues were only the beginning of her problems. Studies suggest that there needs to be an increased awareness of the erosive effects of smoothies especially as their consumption seems to be on the increase. One a day at most is a much better idea.
What’s Wrong with Store-Bought Fruit Juice and Smoothies?
In recent years, there has been a global movement away from soda and to fruit juice and smoothies under the premise they are a healthier replacement. But as soda consumption dropped by 9% globally over the last 10 years, obesity rose during the same time frame by 15%.
Part of the rise is thought to be caused by the increased consumption of fruit juice and smoothies. But how can that be? Aren’t they made from all-natural ingredients?
The 3 P’s of store-bought smoothies
While most store-bought fruit juice and smoothies do contain some natural fruit, as usual, the problem comes from the processing, packaging and promoting of the product.
Juicing removes almost all of the fiber and many of the nutrients that you would otherwise get if you ate the whole fruit in its natural state. Most people would be satisfied eating an orange or two, but instead choose a smoothie. A store-bought smoothie can have the sugar of six oranges, but without the fiber to keep you full, you are looking for something else to eat an hour or two later once the sugar wears off.
As with many foods, when we buy a packaged product, most of us think it is one serving, but you have to look at the nutritional label to be sure. In the case of fruit juices and smoothies, there can be two servings in a bottle. So if you drink the whole thing, which is the common thing to do, you have ingested twice the calories (and twice the sugar) that you would have otherwise had you had just one serving.
Companies are deceptive in their advertising. For example, one company states their 8-ounce orange smoothies “are made entirely from fruit and therefore contain the same amount of sugars that you would find in an equivalent amount of whole fruit”. But if you look at the label, it has 29 grams of sugar! Compare that to the nutritional label of an 8-ounce serving of orange juice and it lists sugar as 19.05 grams. So where did the other 10 grams of sugar come from?
A couple better alternatives to fruit juice and smoothies are to either eat unprocessed fruit or freshly squeezed juice, or smoothies made from vegetable juice. Real fruit in its natural state has all the fiber and nutrients, and you know what you are getting; no hidden ingredients. Smoothies or juice made from vegetables have far less sugar than ones made from fruit, so you are getting fewer calories per equal serving and can avoid your blood sugar spiking.
Drinking juice and smoothies can be healthy if you select the right products or make your own drinks so you know what is in them. Smoothies are the beginning of a new healing lifestyle for you that will inspire you to keep going! Empowered Self Healing is about making important changes while increasing the joy and decreasing the pain in your life.
For more info
20 super healthy
Suggestions from the USDA