Smoothies can be a great way to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet. By using the entire fruit or veggie, they provide more fiber, but they can also become sugar-laden dietary bombs if you aren’t careful. If you want to use smoothies to increase your daily servings of produce, keep the following in mind to keep them healthy and beneficial.
Use unsweetened, Greek yogurt
Many smoothie recipes call for yogurt. It thickens the smooothie, adds a little sweetness, and makes the smoothie smoother. Use unsweetened Greek yogurt in your smoothie to save on both calories and sugar. It’s also a great way to add protein to the smoothie, instead of a protein powder which may clump. If you’ve tried Greek yogurt by itself and weren’t a fan, give it a chance in the smoothie. The flavor is totally different.
Don’t use juice
Most people use apple, orange, or other juices as the liquid in their smoothie. These juices are good, and in the case of apple juice, the flavor is mild so it doesn’t overpower the flavors of the fruits and veggies you add. But these juices also have huge amounts of sugar and a lot of calories. Try using unsweetened almond or coconut milk instead. Both of these are low in calories and sugar, and their mild flavor allows the fruits and veggies flavors to really pop on your tongue.
Add flax and chia seeds
Both flaxseed and chia seeds have some great health benefits themselves. They can also thicken your smoothie and give it a more decadent, milkshake-like texture. Add a tablespoon of flaxseed, or half a tablespoon of chia seeds, before blending. Blend well to thoroughly mix in the seeds.
Experiment with ingredients
Fruit smoothies are a favorite for almost everyone, but a lot of people are hesitant about veggies. Start by adding a handful of spinach to your fruit smoothie. You probably won’t even notice the spinach. Gradually increase the amount of spinach over time. Try other greens, too. Over time, adjust your ingredients so you’re adding fruit just for the sweetness.
Incorporating more fruits and veggies into your diet is often a goal that feels unattainable for some people. Smoothies are a great way to get there. You can easily get several servings of fruits and veggies from smoothies, along with all the usual health benefits. Give one a try today.