Contributed by: Blended For You
We love smoothies for on-the-go nutrition because life gets busy and making the right food choices to stay healthy and strong can become a challenge. And, sometimes a nutrient-dense smoothie meal is exactly what our bodies crave and need.
When prepared with a good balance of carbs, proteins & healthy fats, smoothies can be a great go-to way of getting a nutritious meal & amazing amount of good nutrients into your body. One the other hand, if you are freewheeling it without an awareness of the nutrition value of the ingredients going in your smoothie, they can end up being high calorie, high sugar, and a healthy-diet sabotage.
Here are some tips to keep it quick, nutritious & delicious:
1. Know What’s in Your Smoothie
Determine what the right calorie level is for your body. The range is big from person to person, so knowing what your smoothie contains is important when you make them or buy premade. Some smoothie bars serve 500 to 700+ calories smoothies, which can hit double what some people need from their smoothie.
2. Balance your Macros
The goal is smoothies that contain a good balance of carbs, proteins, healthy fats (the 3 macronutrients) and also a good level of fibre. The right macro balance can range depending on what your body needs day to day eg. breakfast, pre/post workout vs endurance sport. An average target we go-to for our smoothie meal profile is:
Calories: 400 to 500. Carbs: 40% to 50%, Protein: 20% to 30%, Healthy Fats: 25% to 35% and fibre: 8 to 12 g
Check out our quick guide at the end for more tips on how-to.
3. Boost it Up!
Adding super nutrient-dense boosters can really up your smoothie game. There are a bunch of boosters we love, here are five of our faves and the flavours of smoothies they work best in):
• Turmeric: fights inflammation and disease (add to topical and green smoothies)
• Spirulina: high in antioxidants, disease fighting, source of protein & iron (add to tropical & green smoothies)
• Maca: hormone and mood balancer, natural energy lifter (add to nutty, chocolaty, banana & berry smoothies)
• Lion’s mane (mushroom): mind & body booster, disease fighting (try in any smoothie)
• Dandelion root: natural detoxifier, digestion support (tropical & berry smoothies)
Macro Balancing Your Smoothie
Choose ingredients from each Macro section. Adjust portions to your personal needs. There are tons more ingredients you can add to your own list – create your own faves list and include some from each category when making your smoothies.
Fruits & Veggies (try to include green veggies in your daily smoothie)
Fruits: 1/2 to 2/3 cup: pineapple, avocado, banana, berries, green apple, mango
Veggies (go green!):
1 to 2 cups: spinach, kale (all smoothies)
½ to ¾ cup: cucumber, celery (tropical smoothies), zucchini (nutty/banana smoothies)
1 TBSP: vegan protein powder (blends, pumpkin, rice, hemp) or whey protein,
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 to 2 TBSP: Chia seeds and hemps seeds add protein, but are also a fat source and higher in calories
1 to 2 tbsp: nuts, nut butters (all natural), coconut oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds
If using avocado in your smoothie, 1 tbsp is likely enough unless you are on a diet that focuses on plant-based higher fat
Boosters (find out which boosters are best for you before you start using them)
1 TSP: spirulina, chlorella, dandelion extract, maca, mushroom extracts (eg. reishi, lion’s mane, cordyceps), acai extract (powder), biotin, bamboo silica, marine collagen
2 TBSP: Goji berries, fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, organic pure lemon juice, bee pollen
Once you get the hang of it, you’ll become a prep whiz and know what to look for when prepping or buying pre-made. If you’re having a snack versus a meal, cut the calories (amounts) of your main ingredients in half.
Here is a fave Blended For You green smoothie to try:
2/3 cup pineapple, frozen unsweetened
½ cup avocado
2 cups organic spinach
1/5 cup fresh ginger
1 tsp fresh turmeric (opt for powder if fresh not avail)
1 tsp spirulina
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp vegan protein blend (we prefer a ½ scoop portion so it doesn’t take away from the tropical flavour of the smoothie)
2/3 cup coconut milk, unsweetened (carton/bottle, not canned type)
½ cup cold water (adjust for your desired consistency)
Blend until smooth
Add all of the above ingredients to your next SPUD order or make it super easy and stock your freezer with Blended For You smoothie packs (ready to blend or eat straight from the pack) to your next order (find them in the Smoothie & Beverages section on SPUD.ca).
If you have any questions, feel free to email Deanna@blendedforyou.com