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SMOOTHIES 101: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

by Out and About STYLE Mag

Who doesn’t love a cold and refreshing smoothie? You can never go wrong with these refreshing drinks because most smoothie recipes are blend-and-go. All you have to do is toss all the ingredients (the goodies, nuts, nut butter, milk and so on...) into a blender, give them a whirl and grind until you achieve the desired consistency.

Smoothies 101: The Mistakes to Avoid

If you’d like to make a healthy and energy-boosting drink for workout sessions, avoid the following mistakes and consider these smoothie prep tips:

Having breakfast and sipping a protein-dense smoothie.

If the smoothie has nut butter, Greek yogurt or protein powder, it’s dense enough to replace a meal. And if it is the case, do not drink such a smoothie with breakfast unless it’s a lighter version to prevent a heavy calorie load in one sitting.

Adding too much fruit

Don’t overload with fruits or you’ll go too heavy with the carbs and calories. Stick to the main rule of thumb of adding just a cup of fruits per serving. And if you’re mixing fruits into one recipe, watch out on the total
amount of calories you’re adding to the smoothie to prevent a caloric surplus.

Not minding the sweeteners

While smoothies are healthy, they can easily turn bad if they’re added with too much sugar – no matter what it is – honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar and many more. As fruits are already sweet, see if you could skip the added sugar for a healthier drink.

Overdoing with the boosters

Protein powders for instance, are great additions to a smoothie. But avoid adding too much of such powders. At the end of the day, not paying heed to the ingredients you add to the smoothie can overload calories.

Blending the best smoothie

Follow these tips to get more of your smoothie experience:

  • When it comes to fruits, start with only one cup of frozen or fresh fruit. A few base suggestions include blueberries, strawberries, bananas, mangoes and cherries.
  • You should also add in some plant-based fat, including seeds such as flax seeds and chia seeds, and nut butters such as peanut butter and almond butter. And on some days, you can also add avocados in your smoothie to make it more filling and satisfying.
  • Don’t forget the protein such as Greek yogurt, tofu, cottage cheese or legumes. You should also take note of the protein source if you’re going for a certain diet that has to exclude soy or dairy.
  • Vegetable-wise, you can add in kale, spinach or other greens to load your drink with antioxidants while adding more flavour and body to the smoothie. It’s barely noticeable if you mix the veggie with fruits.
Best Smoothie Recipes for Any Day

Need a workout boost? Want to gain muscle or burn fat? Or simply want a healthy, refreshing smoothie? No sweat!

Try any of these easy-to-make minute smoothies and achieve a more explosive gym session. Have a smoothie within an hour prior to a workout. But you shouldn’t have too much of them or you might feel heavy.

STRAWBERRY BANANA SMOOTHIE

If you love the combination of both fruits in your smoothie, you should try this recipe. Just blend all the fruits and add in the kefir or yogurt until you achieved nice consistency. Add in the chia seeds, but let them soak for a couple of minutes before giving all another whirl. For this recipe, you’ll need....

  • 1/2 cup of banana
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup of kefir/Greek yogurt
  • Vanilla extract (optional)
SUMMER GOODNESS SMOOTHIE

The star of this smoothie is the juicy, low calorie and lycopene-rich watermelon. The tropical fruit is one of the most popular summer fruits and smoothies made from it are fantastic for pre-workout sessions. And there is a bonus – the lycopene content can protect you from the sun. So if outdoor running or cardio is your thing, try this refreshing smoothie. To make it, you will need:

  • 3⁄4 seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/3 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1⁄2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla whey protein powder
  • 3 ice cubes
OAT AND PEACH SMOOTHIE

Note: This isn’t a blend and go smoothie because you need to soak the chia seeds overnight. It is a peach and oat combination, which packs a punch in terms of nutrients, including antioxidants and fibre. To prepare the smoothie, you’ll need:

  • 1 peach
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1⁄2 frozen banana
  • 1⁄2 of an orange
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 date (optional)
BANANA JAVA SMOOTHIE

Let banana take the spotlight this time. Banana is known for its load of potassium and carotenoids, both of which are good for the eyes. So if you want a refreshing and energising drink, try this banana java by blending the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/8 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
OAT AND BANANAS SMOOTHIE

Oats aren’t just fibre-rich; they’re also a slow digesting carbohydrate source. It only means it can keep you feeling full for a longer time. That’s good news if you don’t want to splurge after a workout session. This smoothie also has kefir that packs a punch in probiotics to improve digestion and strengthen the immune system. To prepare, you’ll need...

  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup of plain kefir
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A piece of banana
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • A pinch of cinnamon
MORE SMOOTHIE IDEAS

The following are other yummy and healthy drinks packed with protein especially ideal after a workout; these smoothies will help you build lean and strong muscles. Gulping any of them post-workout will also speed muscle recovery and enhance training efficacy. So reap all these rewards and pack in these liquid proteins after a session for a rebuilt and conditioned body.

JELLY AND ALMOND BUTTER

Well, I know what you’re thinking – the good, old peanut butter jelly smoothie. But this time, let’s make another version. Instead of peanut butter, use almond butter. Almond butter has higher amounts of vitamin E, iron and fibre than peanut butter. It’s a much more healthier option. For this smoothie, you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 tablespoon jam
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 ice cubes
SWEET POTATO PIE

Do you love vegan food? Then this decadent and nutrient-dense smoothie is for you. If you had just finished an intense workout, you need to replenish your glycogen stores. Let this sweet potato smoothie help. For this recipe, you will need:

  • 1 1/4 cups of unsweetened rice milk or
    almond milk
  • 1 piece banana
  • 1 1/2 cups of mashed sweet potato
  • 3 tablespoons of pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon flax oil (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Ice cubes
CANTALOUPE

The spotlight for our refreshing smoothie is the endearing cantaloupe, a super food that helps in restoring lost fluids. This food is about 89% water and a cup of it contains the same amounts of potassium as a medium banana:

  • 1/2 chopped cantaloupe
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 ice cubes
FINAL THOUGHTS

By incorporating fruits, vegetables and plant-based fats and protein into your diet through a healthy smoothie, you can strengthen your immunity, increase muscle gain, boost muscle recovery and get other mental and physical benefits that will help you get more of life.

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