Just because something is blended into a smoothie, doesn’t make it healthy. That “power smoothie” you enjoy for breakfast can quickly turn into more of a dessert treat depending on the ingredients contained within. Do you want to drink a milkshake for breakfast or something that is actually nutritious? Here are a few things that can quickly ruin a good smoothie and what you should add instead to boost the nutritional value and contribute to your health.
Ways to ruin your smoothie
Avoid adding these ingredients to your next smoothie unless you want an unhealthy dose of sugar or simply want your drink to turn disgusting.
While a tropical flavored smoothie is certainly yummy, that pineapple juice you added does nothing for your health. 100% pure fruit juice usually has added sugar, and even the concentrated dose of natural sugar can spike your insulin levels and max out your daily sugar quota.
News flash, whipped Yoplait is not real yogurt. This unhealthy dairy is loaded with sugar, chemicals, and dyes that make it one of the worst smoothie villans. Avoid flavored yogurt like the plague.
Though this should be obvious, grabbing a can of whipped topping and spraying it on top of your “breakfast,” quickly turns your drink into dessert. If you like a little extra creaminess, add a dollop of plain heavy whipping cream when you are blending your smoothie.
It isn’t necessarily wrong to add ice to your smoothie, but the texture leaves something to be desired. Ice creates a weird slushy drink that dilutes the other flavors and can cause your smoothie to taste watered down. Stick to frozen fruits and veggies to get that perfect texture.
Most protein powders
Many people load up on store-bought protein powder, thinking that it will help keep them full or give them those ripped muscles they’ve been trying for. In reality, most protein powders are nothing but garbage. Stick to natural additives with ingredients that you can pronounce and ditch the artificially flavored, sugar-laden mixes.
Buying a premade smoothie
Though this isn’t strictly an ingredient add-in, buying a premade smoothie from a smoothie shop or the grocery store is a great way to feel healthy without actually being healthy. Yes, it may be a better option than the McDonalds around the corner, but many smoothie bars still include extra sugar and use artificial powders instead of fresh fruit. To save money and your waistline, make your own smoothie at home. If you find yourself running short on time in the mornings, put together sealable plastic bags in the freezer with your smoothie ingredients. Then, in the morning, all you have to do is dump it in the blender with some almond or coconut milk.
Best smoothie additions
Not only is plain greek yogurt incredibly healthy and loaded with tons of protein and great probiotics; it is also incredibly delicious in your smoothie. It adds a wonderful creaminess and brings a whole new flavor to your breakfast drink. Always choose plain, organic greek yogurt and avoid the sugar-laden flavored varieties.
Natural peanut butter
If you love the nutty flavor of peanut butter, use a scoop of all-natural goodness in your smoothie. Remember, true natural peanut butter will usually have an oily film on top that should be stirred in. Many labels claim that the peanut butter is “all-natural” but it still has processed ingredients. Always check your labels!
For a great source of healthy fat and a delectable creaminess without using any dairy, add a ripe avocado to your blender. This is also a great way to help keep you full and turn your smoothie into a meal that will help you make it to lunch.
Flax seeds and chia seeds both blend wonderfully in smoothies and seriously increase the staying power of your liquid breakfast. Add a scoop of either (or both) along with your fruits and veggies and nothing will be able to curtail your morning productivity…especially not hunger.
Any good smoothie should have at least one green vegetable. Stick to kale and spinach as these leafy greens are loaded with iron, folates, and essential vitamins and minerals to boost your health and improve your immune system.