Food & Wine
Tips and tricks to make the perfect summer smoothies
Easy to prepare, can be consumed on the go and can be packed with flavour and filled with healthy goodness.
Here are some smoothie tips to get them right this summer:
- Smoothies are great is you don't like breakfast and need something easy to get into you in the morning (or any time of the day, really).
- They're perfect if you're short on time, because you can make them ahead.
- They help you up your veggie and fruit intake, as well as your fluids.
- You can tailor them to your needs (workout/stamina/energy boost, etc).
- They're better than juices because you get ALL of the fruit/veg that you blitz into them (think: fibre), not just the juice.
- Using too many ingredients makes them all taste the same.
- Using too much fruit/dried fruit or sweetener loads them with sugar (would you really eat two apples and a box of berries in one sitting?), so think portion control. If in doubt, a great tip is 'two roots to one fruit', or a similar ratio with greens and fruit — I love this cute trick to getting a healthier balance because it sounds bit rude.
- Not using enough liquid will make a smoothie gluggy.
- Making them too far in advance means they oxidize and lose nutrients, colour and flavour. The nutrients start to decrease straight away, so only make it the night before, not for the whole week.
- Frozen fruit is a great addition for a creamy/slushie texture — frozen banana is a particular treat. Keep fruits prepped and frozen in bags in the freezer
- You can also blend your greens and keep them frozen as ice cubes to add in when needed.
- Add nuts/grains for texture and protein.
- Blend leafy greens with liquid first, then add the rest for better consistency
- Add enough liquid (and not just dairy or juice – water and coconut water can be good too).
- Get a good portable container for your smoothie, like a glass jar that you like / a good bottle or a smoothie attachment.
- To keep them healthier and lower in sugar, remember the fun and cheeky ratio '2 roots to a fruit' to make sure you're not just eating loads of fruit.
- A Nutribullet or mini smoothie blender is great for small quantities of lighter smoothies, i.e. one-person serves, etc.
- The bigger and more powerful the blender the more you can do with it, which means you could even make your own nut milk/mylk base if needed.
- Look for ones that have a smoothie container attachment for true convenience.
- The more blades, the better. Four blades will give you a smoother consistency.
- The more expensive models allow for more functions and options, including ice crushing/oxygen removal/juicing, etc… but it's only necessary if you're going to use these things.
- Protein powder/collagen powders are great if you are burning a lot of energy and doing exercise, and can also support gut health depending on variety.
- Acai berry and blueberries add antioxidants.
- Maca supports fertility and hormone balance.
- Chia seeds provide protein.
- Flaxseed adds Omega 3s.
These need to keep you feeling full until lunchtime, so always add a protein like nuts/nut butter/oats/Weetbix etc. Then, just go with what breakfast flavours you like and don't overdo it on fruit and sweeteners:
- Yoghurt (protein, opt for non-sweetened, dairy)
- Berries (don't go overboard)
- Weetbix (protein and fibre)
- Milk/mylk of choice (dairy)
These depend on your routines and workouts, but items to add can include:
- Banana (potassium)
- Coconut water (hydration)
- Protein powders
- Oats (slow release energy and protein
- Pear is great for fibre
- Nuts (walnuts/almonds etc) – healthy fats to help with a workout
- Frozen banana (creamy feel, potassium)
- Oats (protein)
- Protein powder of choice
- Almond butter (protein) or nuts
- Honey (optional)
- Oat milk/mylk
As long as these are more veg than fruit and they support a healthy and active lifestyle, they can aid in maintaining your weight goals.
The biggest tip here is don't forget portion control and balance. An all-fruit smoothie will be too sugary, while all veg will taste very green and be fibrous. Find a good balance — remember 'two roots to one fruit', or that ratio for veggies to fruit.
My favourite additions include (in varying ratios depending on what I've got);
- Coconut water / water
- Avocado (if you want creamy texture and good fats
- Fresh mint
- Any add-ins like chia/flax/oats to keep you full