For the last couple of months, I’ve been making smoothies every morning. Like most people, I started with a pretty straightforward Banana-Strawberries-Milk smoothie, with the occasional Avocado-Milk-Sugar smoothie for a special treat.
As I started researching other sites and adding more ingredients, I discovered that smoothies can be so much more than just fruit blended up with milk. Smoothies are just dying to break out of that boring old smoothie mold!
So, if you’re like I was and you’re still making basic 3-ingredient smoothies, I’m here to invite you to get brave and help your smoothies reach their full potential by experimenting with some (or all) of these additional ingredients that can be added to any smoothie. (Or if you’re already a smoothie aficionado and you have favourite special ingredients you love to add, please share them in the comments so I can try them out!)
Spinach. Every smoothie can and should have a healthy bunch of spinach added to it. It won’t affect the taste at all, and it’s an easy way to sneak more greens into your diet. The benefits? Spinach is super-high in vitamins, especially Vitamin K which helps with blood clotting and preventing bone fractures.
Orange. If you don’t mind pulp, add at least half an orange. Oranges are high in antioxidants and Vitamin C, and are a great way of naturally sweetening your smoothie.
Greek Yogurt. Add a tablespoon or two of low-fat greek yogurt. It boosts the protein of your smoothie which helps you feel fuller and improves tissue repair.
Almonds. You can easily grind up 6-9 almonds in a coffee grinder and mix them into your smoothie. Almonds provide healthy fats, reduce heart attack risk, lower bad cholesterol, aid in weight loss, and so much more. Add them!
Ground Flaxseed. Pull out that coffee grinder again, and grind up a tablespoon of flaxseed to toss into your smoothie. It’s a great source of fiber, antioxidants, and good fats. I’ve heard that it’s best to grind them right before consumption, to get the full health benefits.
Cinnamon. Sprinkle in a teaspoon of cinnamon. It not only makes your smoothie taste more exciting, but it also lowers cholesterol and adds fiber and iron.
Oats. Last but not least, add oats for the ultimate breakfast smoothie! The primary benefit is that they will make you feel full all morning, but they are also great fiber boosters and help to lower cholesterol.
If you put this all together (with the obligatory strawberries, bananas and low-fat/almond/soy milk, of course), you end up with a smoothie that is high in fiber, high in protein, low in fat, packed with vitamins, makes you feel full all morning and tastes great! What better way to start your day? I can hardly wait to try cucumbers, and cantaloupes, and kale, and anything else I can get my hands on!
Looking for recipes to start with? Check out these inspiring smoothie sites: