Smoothies are the current darlings of the global diet and beverage market, but all that glitters is not necessarily green. Many store-bought smoothies that claim to be good for weight loss have hidden high-calorie ingredients and added sugar.
The best way to get only the benefits of smoothies is to make your own. Here’s everything you need to know to make the ultimate green smoothie.
WHAT ARE GREEN SMOOTHIES?
Green smoothies contain lots of vegetables, typically featuring green leafy ones like spinach and kale.
They’re loaded with antioxidants and are great for maintaining intestinal health. Green smoothies can be a satisfying, nutritious, and occasional meal replacement.
WHY YOU NEED TO KNOW HOW TO MAKE A GREEN SMOOTHIE
Like anything in life, there is satisfaction in making your own smoothies and knowing how to make a green smoothie at home gives you a major advantage over the store-bought kind: ingredient control.
Once you know how to make a green smoothie, you can have a quick, refreshing, and healthy snack or small meal whenever you want. And it’s easy to make smoothies for friends and family who want to make healthy food choices too.
WHAT DO I PUT IN A GREEN SMOOTHIE
There are three main types of green smoothie ingredients: vegetables, fruit, and protein.The key to retaining the nutrients in smoothies is to use raw fresh or frozen vegetables.
Start with fresh broccoli, spinach, carrots, kale, or celery to put the 'green' in 'green smoothie'. Some recipes call for tomato or vegetable juice but try to use these sparingly since they can contain high amounts of sugar and sodium.
Fruit makes smoothies sweet. Common choices are blueberries, bananas, strawberries, oranges, and raspberries. Make sure the fruit is ripe before adding to a smoothie. If you want less sugar, you can use grapefruit and pomegranate as alternatives.
If you want to use a smoothie as a meal replacement, you'll need to add some protein. Plant-based protein powder is the most popular choice because it can enhance the flavor and texture of the smoothie but you can also use chia seeds, hemp hulls, ground flax, or plain Greek yogurt. “Milks” from almond, cashew, and soy are another great way to add protein.
The healthy fat from avocado or coconut is also good if your green smoothie is your meal. The natural, healthy fats in these fruits and vegetables can help you feel full for longer. It also helps metabolize the fruit sugar more slowly, resulting in the body releasing less insulin.
There is no shortage of recipes for how to make a green smoothie that can help you lose weight and get healthy. Get creative and try out a few different recipes, and be sure to adapt the ingredients or proportions based on how your taste buds and digestive tract react.
Remember that variety is the spice of life too! By having a handful of awesome recipes up your sleeve you'll avoid your smoothie snack becoming boring!
More ways your green smoothie can help you reach your weight loss goals:
- Sip through a straw. It takes longer and gives your brain a chance to register the flavor and energy.
- As a rule of thumb, use twice as many vegetables as fruit. Fruits have high levels of natural sugars.
- Make a batch and keep it for later. Most recipes will keep in the fridge for a day or two.
- If your favorite fruit is out of season, use frozen fruit instead.
Do you have tips for making green smoothies? Share them — along with your favorite recipes — in the comment box below!