I make a lot of smoothies for myself, for the hubby, and for my client each week when I food prep for her. The smoothies are her favorite part. She says she looks forward to waking up in the morning and enjoying a delicious, and healthy breakfast without any real effort or thought.
Green smoothies are all the rage and for good reason, why not get some super healthy greens first thing in the morning along with tasty, vitamin and nutrient packed fruits. Over the years I have gone through a number of blenders and have made my fair share of subpar tasting drinks, here are my tips to a successful smoothie:
1) Avoid using ICE. Unless you have a high quality blender, think VItamix or Blendtec your typical blender is not capable of blending ice on a day to day basis. Ice also gives smoothies more of slushy consistency and if you let it sit after preparing it will make your smoothie too watery.
2) You don't need to add sweetener. You've heard it before but fruit is nature's candy. Fruit has enough natural sweetness that there is no need to add additional sweetener. This reason in itself is enough to make smoothies at home, so many places add a liquid sweetener that adds so many unnecessary calories and sugar. Fruits such as pineapple, apple, pear, and strawberry are very sweet and can usually cut the blandness of some other fruits (think blueberries). One more thing, when choosing liquids make sure you check to see if they are already sweetened, I always buy the unsweetened versions, again because fruits are a natural sweetener...take out the unnecessary added sugar.
3) The calories can add up. Yes, smoothies are typically healthy and light but if you continue to add ingredients such as yogurt, peanut butter, almond butter, protein powder, etc. you can easily have a smoothie upwards of 500-800 calories. Adding the above ingredients is perfectly fine, just make sure you are conscious of what you are throwing in, if you put in protein powder you probably don't need the almond butter as well. Think about why and what the benefits of what you are putting in will do for you and your nutritional needs.
4) Never let another banana go to waste. It happens to all of us, our bananas go bad and we either think about making banana bread or we toss them. No more throwing out those bananas! Peel and cut your overripe or extra bananas and place them in a sealed bag in your freezer. Frozen bananas are the best for smoothies because they add creaminess, they are filling, and they take away the need for ice.
6) Liquid first! It makes it easier for your blender to do its job and you won't make your smoothie to watery. Start with a small amount of liquid, add your ingredients and then if needed add more.
7) Add a crunch... if you are one of those people who need to chew your food! you can top your smoothie off with your favorite granola or cereal to add texture.
8) Avocados are great for adding healthy fat... and a nice creamy texture to your smoothie.
Now how to make your smoothie packs:
1) Get out your ziplock bags.
2) Use a Sharpie to label the bags so if you make a variety you know what's in each. If you are making them for others (such as your husband or friend) include what liquid and how much to add when blending, and any other ingredients that should be added when making such as nut butters, seeds, protein powder, etc.
3) Start with your greens. Prewash and measure out your servings. Place the greens into your bags.
4) Begin to add your fruits and vegetables of choice to your bags. Lay out all of your ingredients you have to choose from and you can begin getting creative as you go, making different combinations. *I make sure to incorporate a sweeter fruit as mentioned above to balance out the greens and some of the less sweet fruits such as blueberries
5) Place the bags in the freezer and get ready for a good week!
6) Have your liquids on hand. My go to's are Unsweetened almond milk, Unsweetened coconut milk, and coconut water. I often combine one of the milks and coconut water, I like the taste.
It is nice to have what's written on the bags so that during the week you can toss it in the blender and enjoy, and if it turns out not so good you can make a note that your combination/recipe didn't work and if it's great you can put it on repeat!
What's your trick to a great smoothie?
Workout Plan for the Week:
Monday: Cardio and Treadmill Interval Workout
Tuesday: Teach Bootcamp
Wednesday: Hot Vinyasa Yoga
Thursday: 3 mile easy run and teach Bootcamp
Saturday: Half Marathon
Sunday: Stretch and Walk