I recently saw a tweet about having a smoothie for lunch during the hot summer months. Smoothies are usually more of a breakfast or lunch “add-on” for me (I eat a lot) but they can certainly make a meal – or at least a large portion of it if you use the right ingredients. They key to a good smoothie – one that will keep you satisfied for a few hours, is to use a combination of carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein in your concoction. Toppings can then include some more healthy fats in the form of nuts/seeds/nut butters, or some more carbs in the form of granola, cereal or sliced fruit. You could also pair the smoothie with a slice of whole grain or gluten-free toast w/an egg or egg white, some sliced fruit & nut butter or a hard-bolied egg for some added nutrients and satiety.
Here are some tips on making a satisfying smoothie:
1. Choose your base: 1/2 cup almond/soy/dairy/coconut milk + 1/2 cup water (can also do just 1 cup of your milk of choice)
2. Add in your fruit and vegetables. Some possible combinations are:
- 1/2 frozen banana, 1 cup baby spinach (or kale); 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, OR
- 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2-3/4 cup sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen), 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (optional), OR
- 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 pineapple, 1/2 cup spinach
- 1/2-3/4 cup frozen or fresh pitted cherries, 1/4 avocado
- 1/2 cup chopped mango, 1/2 cup chopped pineapple, 1/4 avocado
Tip: Using a frozen banana or avocado makes the smoothie really creamy. The avocado adds healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals too…and the banana is a great source of carbs and potassium!
3. Add in your protein option: 1/2-1 scoop of a protein powder, or 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
4. Add in your healthy fats: 1/4 avocado, or 1 Tbs nut butter, or 5-6 almonds, or 1 Tbs flax or chia seeds
5. Add in a few ice cubes and blend away!
Top with: 1-2 tsp chia or flax seeds, 1/4 cup granola or cereal, or 1 tsp nut butter w/sliced fruit, or 1-2 Tbsp walnuts