The smoothie fad has become increasingly popular over the past couple years. The primary reason for this is because more and more people are seeking to improve their health. Because smoothies offer a diverse nutritional profile, people are drinking them left and right, morning and night…and we love it! Smoothies can help give you an energy boost, keep you hydrated, and are easy ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Most people probably wouldn’t eat spinach, strawberries, bananas, dates, cucumbers, ginger, spirulina, kale, and blueberries on a plate, but a smoothie combines those ingredients into a flavorful drink.
People who make smoothies typically have their go-to ingredients. There’s nothing wrong with this, but sometimes it’s advisable to branch out and try new flavor combinations. Additionally, using different ingredients can provide the body with other nutrients and health benefits. The next time you make a smoothie, try using one or more of the following ingredients to change up your smoothie game.
Avocados are like bananas when it comes to smoothies, in that they help to yield a smooth, creamy texture. While bananas and avocados both offer potassium and magnesium, avocados are rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. The best part about avocados is that they are easily masked by other, more powerful flavors, meaning that you can add raw cacao powder or other fruit to a smoothie and not have it taste like dessert guacamole. Blending an avocado with banana, raw almond butter, raw cacao powder, and blueberries is a great smoothie option. Much like bananas, you can cut avocados that are overripe and freeze them in a re-sealable bag for later smoothie use.
Broccoli is one of the best plant-based proteins out there. You can hardly taste it when you add it to smoothies, so don’t worry about drinking liquid stir-fry or anything like that. Broccoli is a nutrient powerhouse, containing manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins C & K. Plus, it only has 31 calories per cup! Add 1 cup of broccoli to a smoothie with ingredients like bananas, strawberries, and raw almond butter.
Cucumbers are a great way to stay extra hydrated because they are comprised of about 96% water. They help liquefy smoothies, especially ones with thicker or frozen ingredients. Cucumbers add a subtle, refreshing taste and go great with lemons, blueberries, melon, and coconut water.
#4: Steel Cut Oats
Let us clarify that you should not add instant oatmeal to your smoothies. In fact, you should never by that chemical-laden, processed stuff that is advertised as a healthy product. Use steel cut oats to get a proper serving of plant-based protein in your smoothie. Several studies have found that steel cut oats contain nutrients that may help lower your blood pressure. Blend them in a smoothie with banana, almond butter, a dash of cinnamon, and 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk.
#5: Green Tea
This is an interesting one, but it can be a great addition to afternoon smoothies for a little pick-me-up. Steer clear of the afternoon coffee and add a half-cup of green tea to your smoothie. Find your favorite flavor combinations and you can add a little agave to sweeten it up.