For many people, smoothies are a vehicle for transforming and improving their health. Smoothies can also be credited for getting fussy kids to consume more fruit, as it seems to slide down much more easily when presented as a smooth, colourful drink with a straw!
However, not all smoothies are equal, and drinking them too frequently can be bad for your teeth, digestion and overall health. Here’s five ways to pack more nutrition into your smoothie:
1. Use low-glycaemic fruits as your base. Smoothies are usually based on healthy ingredients, like fruit and milk, but blended up, it’s easy to consume excessive amounts of sugar and kilojoules in a large 600ml smoothie. When you overdose your system with too much sugar, your body stores it as fat, and eventually you will begin to gain weight. Balance out the amount of natural sugars in your smoothie by using low-glycaemic fruits, such as cherries, peaches, apricots and berries, instead of relying on banana, pineapple or mango.
2. Add healthy fats. Not all fats are bad for you. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are heart-healthy fats that help reduce LDL cholesterol, the kind that clogs your arteries. Research also shows they can benefit insulin and blood sugar levels, decreasing you risk of type 2 diabetes. Healthy fats for smoothies include avocado, nut butter or flax oil (about 1-2 tablespoons per serving).
3. Use unsweetened liquid. Contrary to popular belief, fruit juice is not a great way to build a healthy smoothie. Juice is a concentrated form of sugar and lacks the fibre of whole fruit. Swap juice for reduced-fat milk, or a calcium-fortified milk alternative, such as soy or almond milk.
4. Pack in the protein. Smoothies are a great way to add extra protein to your diet, which will keep you feeling full. Add unsweetened reduced-fat yoghurt, nut and seed butters, chia seeds, oats or tahini to give you drink a protein boost.
5. Add extra fibre. Ground flax seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds are all great sources of fibre, as are vegetables like spinach, kale, and other leafy greens. Oats and oat fibre also make delicious and fibre-rich smoothie ingredients.
What came first – the smoothie or the blender?
Obviously, having a blender takes all the hard work out of making a smoothie. Simply add your ingredients and whizz away for a few seconds for a healthy, tasty drink.
Many smoothie lovers use ice cubes or frozen fruit to chill and thicken their smoothie, so it’s essential to look for a blender that is up to crunching the fibre, seeds and frozen items. You can find a range expert blenders and juicers in the Kitchen and Dining section at Spotlight, which will make it easy and convenient for you to blend your smoothies at home.
Choose from various brands and designs, some of which even include handy cups with lids to decant your smoothie into – ideal if you are always on the go. Just blend your smoothie, pick up your container and take it along to work, school, the gym or while walking the dog around the park!
Spotlight Stores are the ideal place to find all your kitchen and home appliances, utensils, tableware and other gadgets to assist you in living a healthy lifestyle. Check out the great range of blenders and juicers as well as choppers, grinders, rice cookers and slow cookers for nutritious and healthy food ideas. With stores Australia-wide and all their products available online too, you will be able to pick up your chosen blender and get started on those healthy smoothies straightaway.