by Stevi Dinizio
Smoothies are one of those crazes I’m all about. Despite all the products, recipes and super ingredients thrown our way to make our smoothies mega-healthy and our lives even healthier, all you really need to make a good smoothie is a blender and the right ingredients.
There are four basic ingredients that will give you a wholesome and fun smoothie.
- One vegetable: I list this one first because most people have an aversion to most vegetables, so go ahead and put it in your blender right off the bat. The best and worst part about vegetables is their funny taste (or lack of taste). But if you choose veggies like kale or spinach, which are rich in nutrients, you will hardly taste them alongside the other ingredients you put into your smoothie. Also, I recommend not putting in more than one cup of your vegetable, whatever you choose. Some suggestions: baby spinach, kale, carrots, cucumber, or lettuce (any variety will do).
- One – or, if you’re feeling a little wild, two – fruits: Personally, I love fruit because I get the sweetness without the added sugar. If you’re partial to a particular fruit add a lot of it to your smoothie, at least two cups (to overpower the vegetable, of course). If you choose a fruit that doesn’t have a strong taste, like watermelon or cantaloupe, I suggest pairing it with another fruit, like kiwi, mango, or anything in the berry family. Combination suggestions: strawberry/banana, peach/blueberry, pomegranate/blackberry or orange/peach.
- Something to give you a boost: This can be done in many forms. I have seen people add protein powder, flaxseed, or Greek yogurt to their smoothies. There are many foods that can give us the protein, calcium, energy and fiber we need or desire for ourselves. So pick something, anything! Flaxseed and almonds are rich in fiber. Yogurts, milk and sesame seeds are chock-full of calcium to keep your bones healthy. If you have a specific need, do some research, check labels and find that little something to add to your smoothie.
- Something extra: Here you can spice up your smoothie. I do suggest you think about this before adding any old ingredient, because I assume you want your ingredients to go together. There are numerous things you can add at this point to satisfy your taste buds. You can go for a spice like cinnamon, ginger or nutmeg. If you want extra sweetness and not extra calories, try honey or chocolate. For something different, you can add green tea, which is an antioxidant, or vanilla extract.
There really is no end to what you can do with a smoothie, but I hope with these suggestions help you make one both healthful and tasteful.
To read more of Stevi Dinizio’s Wednesday Wellness tips, follow her column HERE