Do you immediately feel overwhelmed when the topic of “smoothies” comes up? Most of our clients are confused about how much fruit to use, how to incorporate veggies, what type of protein powder is best, how to minimize calories, and how to make a smoothie filling enough to keep them satisfied till lunch. Well fear no more. The Nourishing Gurus are here to answer all your questions!
To get the obvious out of the way, most of us know that smoothies out in the commercial world are heavily fruit and yogurt based, hence loaded with sugar spiking ingredients that leave you calorie full but nutrient poor. For a truly nourishing smoothie, the key is to find just the right mix of:
- fruit (fresh or frozen)
- veggies (endless combos)
- liquid (water, milk or milk substitute, coconut water, unsweetened ice tea)
- protein and/or fat (see below)
- add-ins (cocoa powder or nibs, ginger, herbs, extracts of mint, coconut, or almond), maca or bee pollen (more in blog posts later)
For starters, determine what you want to use your smoothie for. What we suggest for a filling breakfast might be different than what’s recommended for an afternoon pick-me-up. In order for your smoothie to be filling, you need to include a protein and/or fat source in addition to your liquid. If it’s not holding you till lunch, we bet you’re missing a crucial ingredient or two.
For protein, consider the following:
- A scoop of high quality protein powder like Sun Warrior blend or SoCal protein powder
- Hemp seeds, which contain 6-7 grams in 2 tablespoons, plus a dose of healthy omega-3s
For healthy fats, your options are endless and delicious:
- 2-3 Tbs hemp seeds (mentioned above)
- ¼ cup walnuts or almonds
- 1-2 Tbs almond butter
- ¼ to ½ an avocado
- 1-2 Tbs of coconut butter or unsweetened coconut flakes
For fruits, consider:
- Fresh or frozen mango, banana, berries, pineapple, pears, apples, kiwi, oranges, ETC!
For veggies, here is what we suggest
- Start with milder tastes such as cucumber, Romaine lettuce, carrots, and/or celery
- Move into stronger tastes of beets, kale, fennel, or other greens once you are more experienced
- Play with herbs such as parsley, mint, cilantro for extra detox benefits
One of our favorite morning start-me-ups is our Sweet Greens Smoothie. This is a great starter green smoothie if you are a newbie to including veggies along with fruit. We promise you will be surprised how quickly you adapt to less fruit and more veggies as time progresses and you become more of a smoothie expert. Some connoisseurs ditch the fruits all together and go totally green . . . but that takes practice.
Sweet Greens Recipe (makes 1)
1 cup water, or ½ cup water and ½ cup unsweetened coconut water
1 ripe pear or one large green apple (peeled if not organic)
1 large celery stalk
½ medium cucumber, diced (peeled if not organic)
4 large Romaine lettuce leaves, roughly chopped
1” piece of ginger, peeled (opt)
½ Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice (opt)
Blend all ingredients on high speed for at least one full minute.
A quick word about blenders. If you really want to get into the smoothie game, don’t skimp on blenders. The Nourishing Gurus treasure our Vitamix’s, which are considered the gold standard of blenders. These will pulverize and liquefy absolutely ANYTHING and everything, leaving your morning drink seamlessly smooth and free of chunks or grit. A close second (and less costly), is the Breville, and you will also find many devotees of Ninjas and Nutribullets (considerably less costly).
We’d love to hear about your favorite smoothie concoctions. Be creative and share them with us below in the comments…