Smoothies are, no wonder, making the headlines – they’re delicious, colourful, and very convenient. With their growing popularity, it seems to be easier than ever to have a smoothie at any time of the day. There are dozens of ready-made options in supermarkets and cafes. Chances are it doesn’t take longer than 3 minutes to make one yourself. However, what differentiates a fancy-named smoothie from a fantastic smoothie is its nutritional benefits. Read below for a step-by-step plan, brimming with great tips for making the perfect smoothie that delivers important macronutrients keeping you fuller for longer, contains a host of vitamins and minerals, boosts your energy levels and nourishes your body, looks amazing, and tastes great!
Start with your favourite plant-based milk, but choose wisely! Varieties such as almond or coconut are less creamy so, if you are looking to create a thicker smoothie, be careful not to add too much. A thicker smoothie is perfect for creating the base for a smoothie bowl. Creamier plant-based milk options such as oat and soy milk, on the other hand, are often sweeter. So, you may want to skip some of the sweetener called for in the smoothie recipe.
Pouring the milk first into your blender jug is a great idea if you want to avoid powders clumping at the bottom of the jug. In the end, you want all that goodness mixed into your smoothie, don’t you?
Add your favourite source of complete protein. For any protein source to be classified as complete, it must include all the nine essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own, in roughly equal quantities. These amino acids are important for various body functions including protein synthesis, tissue repair, and nutrient absorption. If you want to get all nine essential amino acids from a single source, opt for a protein powder blend that includes hemp, pea, or soy. Hemp protein is our very favourite because it’s loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and iron. It is also a great choice for anyone who has trouble digesting whey protein.
Don’t forget your daily source of healthy fats! Consuming essential fatty acids facilitates fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K absorption, and hormone production. Chia seeds are an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, containing over 20 times more Omega-3 than soybeans. What’s more, they’re a great source of fibre to support digestive health and help you feel fuller for longer. It’s important to remember that chia seeds can absorb an incredible amount of liquid. Keep this in mind when making a smoothie for later and add extra milk. For a more indulgent boost, add a tablespoon of vegan nut spread to your smoothie. Our Cacao & Hazelnut and Cashew & Hazelnut spreads are high in polyunsaturated fats from cashews and hazelnuts to help balance your cholesterol levels.
Boost your smoothie with extra nutrients! Your smoothie can quickly become a nutrient powerhouse with the addition of superfood powders. You can choose from a fantastic range of superfoods depending on the desired flavour and your nutrient goals. Cacao will add a rich chocolate taste to your smoothie, while also delivering zinc, magnesium and copper to energise your body and nourish your mind. Maca, which has a caramel-like flavour, is a good source of vitamin B2 and iron to support a healthy immune system, cognitive function, and energy production. Hence, it's a fantastic ingredient to add to your morning, pre-workout, or 3 PM snack smoothie. Add a teaspoon of Spirulina to your smoothie for a boost of protein, vitamins A, B1 and B2, iron, iodine, and calcium.
Add texture and flavour, and refuel your muscles with carbohydrates. Eating carbohydrates will help replenish your body’s glycogen levels, which are important for energy production. Healthy sources of carbohydrates such as whole bananas, mangoes, apples, and berries are also a great source of fibre, which helps keep blood sugar spikes at bay. Banana and mangoes will help obtain a creamier smoothie, while apples, berries, and pineapple are great in a lighter, refreshing smoothie. Adding the fruit just after the powdered ingredients helps hold these down to avoid clamping on the blender’s blades and allows for better blending.
You can also use dried fruit to add a crunchy texture to your smoothie or to top a smoothie bowl. Goji berries are an amazing choice. They are a delicious source of fibre, iron, copper, and potassium to contribute to the normal function of the immune system, nourish your muscles, and aid energy production.