I know I've mentioned a few times that this winter has been unseasonably warm. With temps in the 50s at least once a week (which is warm for Boston!), I have been craving smoothies more than usual. Smoothies are a great way to get in some protein with fruits and even veggies! They're great after workouts too. Many times after a really hard workout, I have to force myself to eat something to aid with recovery. It's times like these when a smoothie is perfect!
Another reason I love making smoothies is because it really requires no measuring of anything. You just put whatever you want in a blender and let it rip. Here are a few tips for great smoothie making:
- Start with a milk base - cow, coconut, almond, etc. I like unsweetened coconut milk the best since it's low in calories and has a neutral flavor.
- Use frozen fruit as this adds to the thickness of the smoothie. I try to use a combination of fresh and frozen, but I'll use whatever I have on hand.
- A scoop of protein powder adds an extra boost of protein. Nonfat yogurt does the trick too. Even better - Add some nut butter (but not too much!). Nut butters are a good source of protein and can really make the difference in a smoothie.
- Ice, ice, ice. I can't stand to make a smoothie and have it be on the warm side, so I add some ice cubes to not only keep it cold, but to add some thickness. Can you tell I prefer thick and creamy smoothies to thin ones? Maybe it's because it makes me feel like I'm drinking a milkshake!
- Speaking of milkshakes... While smoothies can be healthy for you, it's easy to get carried away by adding too much. Before you know it, your 300 calorie smoothie has as many calories as a burger!
- Add a handful of spinach. I swear you won't taste it. Yes, your smoothie will turn green, but you really don't taste the spinach and you're adding a lot of excellent vitamins without adding extra calories. Fresh and frozen both work great.
- Extracts add great flavor without adding a lot of calories. Some of my favorites are coconut or peppermint. Start with just a little and add more if needed.
- Agave syrup is a great option for sweetening your smoothie. Just a little goes a long way.
- Ground flax seeds can be a good option too. I use about one teaspoon since they have a nutty flavor, but they are a great source of omega-3 fats.
- Be creative! Some of my favorite smoothie combinations came from just tossing any fruit I could find into the blender with some milk and yogurt.
Here are a few different combinations that I've been making lately:
|Chocolate Banana - Almond milk, chocolate protein powder and a banana|
|Strawberry Banana - Skim milk, strawberries, banana, plain Greek yogurt and spinach|
|Blood Orange - Skim milk, 1/2 a banana and a container of Chobani blood orange yogurt|
Have a great weekend! After the beautiful weather we had this week, it's cold and raining/snowing. This weekend will be cold as well! I suppose I can't complain too much seeing that it's February and we've had barely any snow and very mild temps! I'm planning a six mile run tomorrow and a run with some friends on Sunday - Hill repeats! I'm sure a smoothie will make its way into my weekend at some point! What are YOU doing this weekend?
Labels: healthy, smoothies, spinach