Smoothies are the quintessential summertime breakfast or snack. They’re light, refreshing, and a great way to sneak in extra nutrition. With temps creeping higher, smoothies offer hydration and nutrition with minimal effort and better yet, without heating up your kitchen!
Have you been told or feel like you need to avoid fruit because they elevate your blood sugars or prevent you from losing weight? Did your Dr, nutritionist, or maybe even support group tell you that smoothies are too high in sugar? If so, read on!
The Truth About Smoothies- Revealed!
Fruits provides tons of essential vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (protects against cancer), and they are packed with fiber which can help reduce blood sugars, help you fill full longer, improve digestion and promote weight loss! Paired with the right types of foods such as fiber-rich vegetables, healthy fats, and lean proteins, fruits are a must-have in a balanced and health-conscious diet!
What Are Some Ways to Enjoy Fruit?
- with a healthy breakfast
- as a healthy snack paired with healthy fats and/or protein
- for dessert (for a healthier whole-food alternative)
- in smoothies (for any meal or snack)
Most Smoothies are Made Incorrectly… Why?
Do you throw handfuls of fruit, fruit juice, ice and maybe even some yogurt in your smoothies? If so, you are likely sending your body into a rollercoaster of hormone havoc. This combo of carbohydrate-only sources of ingredients will spike blood sugars, promote insulin resistance, make weight loss difficult, and leave your crashing hours later craving more sweets and/or junk food!
With more and more coffee shops, ice cream stands, and juice bars offering smoothies as a ‘healthier’ option, it’s important to remember that not all smoothies are created equal! It ultimately comes down to the ingredients.
Below are a few tips for choosing or making a healthier smoothie.
Make it Last
If a smoothie contains primarily fruits and juices, it can provide a quick boost of energy but leave you feeling hungry soon after. To prevent this quick rise and fall in blood sugar – try adding a source of protein, fiber, or healthy fat to make your smoothie a more satisfying and satiating meal or snack.
Rather than blending the smoothie with juice use a dairy or plant based milk. This will add protein and other nutrients depending on the type of milk you choose. Nuts, seeds, or nut and seed butters can also contribute protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Manitoba Milling Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed is a great addition to make your smoothie a little more filling. Not only does it offer healthy ALA Omega 3 fats, fiber, and plant based protein but because of its smooth texture and mild flavor it is the perfect addition to any smoothie.
Regardless of which combination of ingredients you choose, adding in healthy fats and a good source or protein will make a smoothie more satisfying and keep blood sugar levels stable, which translates into sustainable energy (as opposed to a quick rise and crash leaving you feeling hungry an hour later!).
Green smoothies are more than just Insta-worthy, they’re great for packing in extra nutrition without negatively impacting the taste.
Most people fall short on vegetable intake throughout the day, and this is a simple and tasty way to get an extra serving (or two) with your breakfast, lunch, or snack. Plus it can be a great way to help choosier eaters or kids get in their greens!
I’ve found that spinach blends the best, but if you have a high-powered blender, kale works great too. Both options provide a good source of vitamins A and K, folate, and antioxidants. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other veggies too. Cauliflower and sweet potato are also fairly mild tasting and another great addition.
Sweeten Naturally With Fruit
Many smoothies, while marketed as ‘healthy’ can be loaded with added sugars from various types of juice mixes, protein powders, coconut water, honey, agave or other sweeteners.
Fruit is naturally sweet and often doesn’t need anything extra to boost the naturally sweet taste. The Tropical Green Smoothie recipe below uses pineapple, which provides plenty of natural sweetness – no additional honey or maple syrup necessary!
Of course fruit isn’t “bad” but since it’s being blended into a small volume, it can be easy to consume multiple servings in a short period of time once in smoothie form. A good rule of thumb is to choose 1-2 fruits totaling up to one cup.
This is the fun part! Choose “boosters” for additional flavor, texture, and nutrition. Think spices, unsweetened protein powders, nut and seed butters, or fresh herbs.
Manitoba Milling Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed is incredibly smooth and blends seamlessly into any smoothie recipe without altering the taste or texture. Just one serving (2 tablespoons) provides 3g of ALA Omega 3 (meeting your daily needs!), 4g of dietary fiber, and 3g of plant based protein.
Use a Spoon
While slurping down a smoothie through a straw is convenient, especially while on the go, it can make you consume a meal (or snack) much quicker than you normally would. Try using a spoon to slow down, be more mindful, and pay attention to your hunger and fullness. This might be a way for you to enjoy it more and also prevent you from overdoing it.
Tropical Green Smoothie Recipe
This tropical summertime smoothie will take you to the beach any time of year. It includes a hefty portion of greens and is naturally sweetened with pineapple and ginger. It is boosted with Manitoba Milling Co. Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed.
Tropical Green Smoothie
A light, refreshing, and healthy snack or meal making you feel like you’re somewhere on the beach.
- 3/4 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 packed cup of spinach
- 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 cup plant based milk
- 1/2 cup lite coconut milk
- 2 Tbsp Manitoba Milling Co. Smooth Whole-Milled Flaxseed
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
If you’re wondering what a good blender to use for a smooth consistency and a fast nutritious smoothie meal is, I recommend this one. Any blender will work, though!
What is your favorite summertime smoothie?
Disclosure: This post contains amazon affiliate links, meaning I receive a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. I received free samples from Manitoba Milling in exchange for my honest opinion.