SMOOTH MOVES: 6 Tips and Tricks for Deliciously Healthy Smoothies

No time to eat? Now wait just a minute! If you plan to conquer the day, you’ve got to head into it with a body full of nutrients – and the fastest, simplest way to do that is with a smoothie. Instead of grabbing an anything-but-healthy breakfast sandwich, upgrade your breakfast to a drinkable, nutrient-packed, energizing meal that won’t weigh you down. Smoothies are a snap to make, they’re super refreshing (take that, summer heat!) and, when done right, they’ll front-load your body first thing in the morning with servings of veggies, fruit, protein and fiber – the perfect fuel to keep you going till lunchtime. So what’s the secret to building the perfect blender breakfast? Keep nutrition high, sugar and calories low and creativity flowing! Here’s how to do it:

SWIFT SMOOTHIE
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: None  
Serves: 1

INGREDIENTS
1.    8 to 12 ounces cold water (use more water if you like it thinner) 
2.    Fruit: 1⁄2 small banana (peeled and then frozen) 1⁄2 cup fruit, frozen or fresh in season
3.    Vegetable: 1 cup fresh or 1⁄2 cup frozen green of your choice (spinach, kale, watercress, etc.) 
4.    Protein: 2 level tablespoons raw, unsalted nut or seed butter
5.    Spice: A dash of spice of your choice (ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, orange peel, etc.) 

Optional: You can add a protein powder if you’d like an even higher protein boost. One of my favorites is Omega Nutrition pumpkin seed protein powder.

DIRECTIONS
Step 1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on medium speed until smooth (20 to 30 seconds).

SWIFT TWISTS
You can adapt the basic recipe in a variety of ways, but here are a few more of my favorites:
    
•    Berry Best: 1⁄2 banana; 1⁄2 cup blueberries; 1 cup leafy greens; 2 tablespoons raw, unsalted almond butter; 8 to12 ounces cold water
•    Creamsicle: 1⁄2 banana; 1 orange, seeded and peeled; 1 cup leafy greens; 1⁄2 tablespoon coconut butter; 2 tablespoons macadamia nut butter; 8 to 12 ounces cold water
•    Kiwi Kraze: 1⁄2 banana; 1 peeled kiwi; 1 cup leafy greens; 2 tablespoons raw, unsalted almond butter; 8 to 12 ounces cold water
•    Tropical Treat: 1⁄2 banana, 1⁄2 cup pineapple, 1 cup leafy greens, 1⁄2 tablespoon coconut butter, 2 tablespoons macadamia nut butter, 8 to 12 ounces cold water
•    Peanut Butter Chocolate: 1 banana, 1 cup spinach, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1⁄2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder, 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 8 to 12 ounces cold water
•    Strawberry Dream: 1⁄2 banana; 1 cup frozen unsweetened strawberries; 1 cup leafy greens; 2 tablespoons raw, unsalted almond butter; 8 to 12 ounces cold water

So, what to put in your blender? For inspiration, check out How To Be a Smoothie Criminal, the ultimate e-book guide to smoothies, written by Australian smoothie king and founder of the country’s popular Green Press organic juice bar chain, James McLoughlin. In it you’ll find over 20 tasty smoothie no-sugar-spiking recipes, plus sage advice on the best fruits, veggies and proteins to toss into your blender every day. Get it here for free.

And here’s one final tip to help get you out of the house even faster in the morning – assemble your smoothie at night! Before you go to bed, combine all the ingredients – except the water – in the blender cup and store overnight in the fridge. In the morning, just add the liquid and hit blend!  And don’t worry if you have a little leftover -- just pour the excess into ice cube trays, freeze, then add the smoothie cubes to the mix tomorrow. 

Happy Blending!

Kathie SwiftComment