Whether you’re looking for a morning pick-me-up or some post-workout refreshment, smoothies are a tasty (and nutritious) option.
But what ingredients should you actually be putting in your blender to get the most out of your smoothie?
We asked a dietitian to spill the beans (or should we say, fruits and veggies?) on what goes into the perfect smoothie.
A good smoothie might start with fruit, but it doesn’t stop there.
Like any snack or meal, a good smoothie should be balanced nutritionally.
“It’s a good idea to include small amounts of all nutrients as opposed to just blending fruit,” says Jamie Allers, MS, RD, a registered dietitian at Hartford HealthCare’s Digestive Health Institute.
To keep it simple: be sure to include protein, carbohydrates, fiber and a little bit of fat, says Allers.
Fruit offers healthy carbohydrates and fiber, but you’ll need a few more add-ins to round out the health benefits.
4 ingredients to add to your next smoothie
Not sure how to incorporate all those nutrients? Here are a few ingredients that Allers recommends to supercharge your smoothie:
- Protein powder. A scoop of protein powder can make a smoothie into a viable meal replacement, or help with muscle recovery after your gym session.
- Vegetables. Not a fan of greens? Try adding kale or spinach to your smoothie. It won’t have a big impact on the flavor, but you’ll still get all the nutritional benefits. And if you have a backyard garden, try freezing your extra zucchini and adding it to your smoothies.
- Full-fat yogurt, peanut butter, avocado, nuts/seeds. Fat in your smoothie? You heard us right. A little bit of fat not only helps keep the texture smooth and creamy, but it also helps you stay fuller longer.
- Unsweetened nut milk. If your goal is weight loss, avoid sweet liquid add-ins like full-fat milk, juice or coconut water. Low or no sugar liquids like unsweetened almond or soy milk, or even water can help you get the perfect consistency without sacrificing the healthiness.