With summer officially here, this warmer weather has me craving lighter breakfasts that don’t leave me feeling weighed down. Smoothies fit that bill! Summer is always full of activities so smoothies are a great option that can serve as healthy fast-food which will leave you energized and allow you to squeeze in some extra veggies in your breakie (or snack for that matter!). But there is a method to making a really great smoothie that tastes delicious. There’s more to it than just throwing some ingredients into a blender and hoping for the best.
Trust me, been there, done that…and a greenish brown smoothie usually results that isn’t so ‘sunshine-y’. However, based on my smoothie trials and errors, I’ve created a super simple guide that you can follow to help you nail creating the best smoothie every time. First things first though, I want to cover a few key tips that are super important when sippin’ on your smoothie.
Smoothies can turn into a blood sugar roller coaster if you don’t build them properly. You have to be mindful to limit high-sugar fruits and include plenty of quality fats, protein and fiber to fuel you and allow you to stay satiated until your next meal. Obviously you can still include fruit in your smoothie, but it’s all about that balance. We want to avoid creating the blood sugar ‘hangries’.
Another important smoothie tip? Chew your smoothie. Yes, I know it sounds a little crazy, but a smoothie is essentially just a bunch of foods blended together. While blending does make it easier on the digestive system, your body won’t digest your smoothie properly without the initiation of the digestive process. Chewing initiates that process because it signals to your body that you are ingesting food and gets the digestive juices flowing! Drinking your smoothie at room temperature rather than ice cold is also easier on your digestion.
Now, here’s my simple smoothie formula to help you make the perfect smoothie every time!
1 to 1½ cups of liquid
1 serving of protein
1-2 tablespoons fat Up to
1 tablespoon fiber (start small and increase over time)
Up to ½ cup of fruit (add more if your body needs to adjust to less sweet smoothies and decrease the amount over time)
Up to 1 cup of vegetables (more if you want!!)
KEY INGREDIENTS FOR EACH CATEGORY
Organic, non-dairy, unsweetened milk
Organic, unsweetened yogurt (dairy if tolerated, non-dairy if not)
*Choose high quality unsweetened, vegan or grassfed animal proteins when possible
Organic pea protein powder
Organic hemp protein powder
Grass-fed collagen peptides
Grass-fed whey protein powder
Avocado (¼ - ½)
Seeds or nuts/butters (organic peanut, almond, cashew, sesame/tahini, pumpkin seed etc)
Avocado (¼ - ½)
Organic berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, cherries etc.) Lemon (juice or flesh)
Apple Lime (juice or flesh)
Greens (kale, spinach, romaine, chard, basil, dandelion, arugula etc.)
Raw or roasted beets
Cooked pumpkin or winter squash
Cilantro, mint or parsley
*These are not mandatory, but adding spices, adaptogens and superfoods can add nutrition and boost your energy and immunity, reduce inflammation, balance hormones and add fun.)
Ginger (tip: store it peeled in the freezer and just grate it into the blender)
Pinch or two of sea salt (for electrolytes)
Cinnamon, cayenne, nutmeg, turmeric
Maca Mushrooms (reishi, cordyceps, chaga etc.) Caca powder (or cacao nibs)
Nadia's Go-To Smoothie Recipe
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 serving collagen peptides
1 tbsp organic peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds ½ cup frozen blueberries
2 giant handfuls spinach
1 tsp vanilla extract
Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth. Top with 1tbsp cacao nibs for an extra treat!
Nadia Rybalka is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, Culinary Nutritionist and Health Coach. She loves working 1:1 with women to help them create a life they love, eat without guilt and find the happiness in their health. She has a passion for all things health and wellness and loves to cook simple and nutritious foods. Adventures at the Farmers Market are here favourite and things like kale and sweet potatoes make her happy... along with the occasional almond butter cup! Her ultimate goal is to help women feel confident in their bodies, ditch dieting and know that they are absolutely worthy of living an incredibly happy life!