Hacks to prepare the perfect smoothie at home

The best tips to prepare healthy smoothies at home

Most people can throw a few ingredients in a blender and hope for the best, but preparing a healthy smoothie is much more than that. If you’re looking forward to creating beverages that’ll help you take better care of your health, these tricks to know which ingredients you should include when preparing a healthy smoothie.

A big part of your health is linked directly to your diet. Preparing a smoothie at home instead of buying one means that you can control the ingredients that are added. When you purchase a smoothie, you’ll notice that it usually contains large amounts of sugar, saturated fat, and excessive calories. Avoid it and try some homemade healthier alternatives: just pay attention to the following tips and start experimenting!

1. Add these vegetables!

Include vegetables into your smoothies to make them extra healthy! // Photo: Alisha Mishra

Vegetables are a good source of fiber, minerals, and calcium, three ingredients that can make your smoothie very healthy. For example, beets are rich in fiber, iron, and calcium -mostly their green tops! A few broccoli florets will also boost your smoothie’s iron, potassium, calcium, and fiber levels while keeping its bitter taste at bay.

When it comes to veggies, how you incorporate them into the blend plays a big role. If their taste is mild, you're free to add them raw. However, if they're stronger tasting, you can prevent them from overpowering the smoothie by cooking them beforehand. A little lemon juice will also neutralize the taste if you don't like vegetables that much. Starchy vegetables, on the other hand, get a better and stronger taste when cooked. Keep in mind that some hard vegetables should be grated or cooked for the blender to handle them properly!

2. Seeds are essential!

 Seeds -including chia, pumpkin, and flax seeds- are great sources of fiber that’ll go great in your smoothie // Photo: Joshua Lanzarini

Try adding chia, pumpkin, hemp, or flax seeds to your smoothie! Not only will they top its final flavor, but they'll also boost its protein, omega 3, iron, and fiber contents. As seeds are usually very rich in nutrients, they provide incredible amounts of benefits per serving and aren't hard to include in your smoothies.

Before adding them to the mixture, however, you should activate them to benefit from their full potential. Chia seeds, for example, should be left soaking in water or almond milk for 20 minutes before they’re taken to the blender, using a ratio of one cup of liquid for every quarter cup of seeds. Other seeds that should be soaked are pumpkin seeds, which should be left at room temperature for a day before using them. Whole flax seeds can be ground or soaked, and hemp seeds don't even need to be left in water.

3. Get these fruits in your blender

Fruits like berries and banana provide both texture and nutrients to your smoothie

Blueberries have large amounts of vitamin C and antioxidants that will help control your blood sugar. Another excellent fruit to add to your smoothie is bananas because it will provide creaminess and a good dose of potassium for your muscles. In case these two options are not to your liking, strawberries can work too. They have delicious taste and promote heart health.

4. Remember to include spices!

Spices will give flavor and minerals to your smoothies -give them a try! // Photo: Aditya Moses

Not many people realize that spices can give an extra and super healthy flavor to your smoothies. With just a couple of table- and sometimes teaspoons, you can provide your body with several benefits. The best part is, there are hundreds of options to choose from! Learn their taste and properties, and get the ones that fit you the best.

You can opt for turmeric, a slightly peppery spice that reduces intestinal inflammation and works as a natural painkiller. You may also prefer ginger, which can be frozen and helps the digestive system. If you're looking for a fresher touch for your smoothie, add mint or coriander instead. The latter has a nutty, sweet, and slightly acid taste that can give your blend the final taste you were looking for.

5. Don't forget the protein!

Protein is an important nutrient for your body, which is why it should be included in your smoothies // Photo: LYFE Fuel

Your smoothie should also include some protein source to be complete. For this reason, add some tofu, nut butter, or even avocado, all ingredients that’ll also boost its texture and taste. If you usually consume protein powder, you can put some in the blend as well, but always remember to consult a professional before consuming such supplements.

6. Add plant-based milk for a smooth texture

Plant-based milk is full of proteins and minerals, and will give your smoothie the texture it needs // Photo: Engin Akyurt

Of course, all smoothies need a liquid ingredient to achieve their final consistency. For this purpose, you should add almond milk or any other plant-based milk before blending. While water with ice cubes is also a good recommendation, plant-based milk has also many proteins and minerals that will make your smoothie nutritionally complete.

Peter O Brien

Peter started out his professional life as a restaurant critic but ended up moving to the kitchen, realizing that his passion didn’t only lie in tasting the food, but MAKING it. Follow his delicious recipes, as well as useful articles about the many benefits healthy and delicious food will bring to your life.+ info

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