If you’re into healthy eating, you know that smoothies are a godsend.
And I’m not talking about the smoothies you order at a fast food place that are probably just ice, ice cream, and super sweet fruit-flavored liquid. I’m talking about homemade smoothies, with lots of yummy vitamins.
As green smoothie connoisseur Farnoosh Brock highlights, when you eat food by chewing it, your body will not be able to absorb as much of the nutrition. A healthy smoothie, on the other hand, is in the perfect form for optimal absorption. And when made well, they taste like dessert. Yay, dessert!
However, making a smoothie can be overwhelming. One blender…so many options.
Here are seven ingredients that will make you the most delicious, healthy smoothies ever.
Awesome Ingredients For Your Nutritious Smoothie
1. Half an avocado
This sounds kind of gross, but if you have some other flavorful ingredients thrown in there, you won’t even taste the avocado.
Related: 5 Benefits Of Eating Avocado
You may be wondering, if it’s not for taste, then why do it in the first place?
Two reasons, my friend.
Firstly, avocados are super good for you and have some awesome healthy fats that your body needs (but you should only really have about one-half of an avocado a day, or else it’s a bit too much fat).
Secondly, though you won’t taste the flavor of the avocado, you will notice that your smoothie will be super creamy and delicious, making your smoothie so much better.
2. Almond milk
For healthy smoothies, you may want to add some liquid, or else it will get a bit too thick. Don’t go with any milk…go with almond milk!
Almond milk is high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, but still low in calories. Plus, it’s delicious. Grab some flavored almond milk for an extra tastebud kick (though be warned – much-flavored almond milk have extra sugar!).
Plus, for all you vegans, it contains no animal byproducts. Booyah.
3. Fruits, fruits, fruits!
This may seem like a no-brainer: use fruit! Feel free to experiment and mix in a ton of different kinds. My personal favorite: all of the berries.
However, keep in mind that some flavor combos won’t go so well (mind what you combine with oranges…that can turn out pretty nasty. I speak from personal experience). Also, if you’re watching your sugar intake, remember that fruits have a good amount of sugar – so use them in moderation.
Related: Why You Should Eat Monk Fruit
If you want your smoothie to be extra chilly and refreshing, freeze your fruit beforehand so you can make it colder…without watering it down!
Often, smoothies will be nice and sweet on their own because of the fruit, but sometimes, you might need an extra kick. Try adding a bit of honey.
Honey is super delicious, has a lovely flavor of its own that often pairs well with common smoothie ingredients, and is very healthy. Though it does have a solid amount of sugar, it has a ton of health benefits that make it totally worth it (in small quantities…moderation, people!).
However, if you’re looking to lower your sugar intake, stevia will work just fine.
Related: 5 Health Benefits Of Stevia
5. Greek yogurt
Plain Greek yogurt is fabulous. It has a ton of protein without added sugar, and it adds a nice creamy texture to your smoothie. It also has a ton of other vitamins and minerals.
You might want to be sure to add that honey, though – plain Greek yogurt can be a little sour on its own!
6. Nut butter
Sometimes, I really am not feeling a plain fruit smoothie. I want something with a little more fullness. So I’ll add a spoonful of nut butter to mix it up (this works particularly well with bananas or strawberries).
Or, if you’re just not feeling fruit at all, you can add nut butter with almond milk, Greek yogurt, avocado, honey, and cinnamon – you’ve still got all the good stuff packed in there!
Just watch out – though healthy in moderation, many nut butter can have a lot of fat.
Some people are skeeved out at the prospect of putting kale or spinach into their smoothies. I mean, sure, the color might be a little bit frightening – but if you add a bit, you often won’t even taste it, but you’ll be getting all the nutrients.
There’s a reason why they call it a “green” smoothie!
Related: 6 Health Benefits Of Kale
For another awesome kick for your tastebuds, add some cinnamon! Cinnamon is super good for you, and it can really be the cherry on top of your healthy smoothies. (Though if you want to add real cherries instead, go for it!)
Healthy smoothies are jam-packed with awesome nutrients in the form that is most absorbable by your body. Oh, and they taste awesome. So now that you have all of the tips you need, get out your Vitamix and go at it!
Sammy Nickalls is the former content manager of Inspiyr.com and is a freelance writer for various sites, including HelloGiggles, YourTango, Quickbooks, and TWLOHA. Follow her on Twitter @sammynickalls.
Photo by Elyssa’s Photos