THE SECRET TO DELICIOUS, NUTRITIOUS SMOOTHIES
Smoothies are an easy and delicious way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into our diet. However, not all smoothies are created equal and here we will try to give you our tips and tricks to make them more healthy and complete.
GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH?
In fact, it depends on the ingredients they contain and how you use them. In today’s fast-paced world, it’s often difficult to achieve the recommended number of fruit and vegetable servings and amount of dietary fibre, so smoothies can be an excellent way to achieve these goals, provided you follow certain compositional rules. Although convenient, commercial smoothies and smoothie mixes are often very high in sugar and low in fiber and protein. If you want to enjoy the convenience of a blend, it’s best to look for those with little or no added sugar or other additives, and which contain at least one gram of fiber for every five grams of carbohydrates. There is one caveat, however, even if you make them yourself from fresh, wholesome ingredients, and that’s quantity. Blending foods to make smoothies can lead you to consume more calories than if you ate only the same whole foods. You should always “chew” your smoothies, i.e. drink and savor them slowly. Most people consume calories about 10 times faster in liquid form than in solid form. As a result, the body may not have time to assimilate satiety signals. A study published in the journal Nutrients in 2022 showed that, contrary to what you might think, the increase in blood glucose levels following consumption of blenderized fruit compared with whole fruit was in some cases lower. This makes blenderized fruit a good alternative to whole fruit, without losing any of its nutritional value.
HEALTHIER THAN FRUIT JUICES?
Unlike fruit juices, which remove the fiber from fruit and vegetables, blending preserves it, so you feel fuller for longer by slowing down digestion. This slowing-down effect also gives the body more time to absorb the nutrients present. Thanks to their consistency, smoothies are generally consumed more slowly than juices.
HOW TO MAKE THE PERFECT SMOOTHIES?
The first thing you need to become a smoothie superstar is a good blender to get a nice smooth texture. So you need a high-speed blender that can crush ice or frozen foods and finely chop all the ingredients. Depending on your budget, the Vitamix, Ninja and Magic Bullet are good choices.
For 1 to 2 servings:
Base: 250 to 500 ml of liquid
Water, herbal tea, milk. Soy milk will provide more protein, while almond milk is a low-calorie option. A variety of plant milks are available, so it’s up to you to experiment.
Fruits: 250 ml fresh or frozen
Bananas are sweet, berries are high in fiber, mango and papaya are exotic, while apples, citrus and pineapple are perfect for a green smoothie.
Vegetables: 250 ml fresh or frozen
Leafy greens like kale and spinach add richness. Celery and cucumber are perfect for adding freshness. Cooked beet or squash add a pleasant sweetness.
Proteins: 10-25 g
Beyond protein powders, it’s easy to add protein to your smoothies.
¼ packet of silken tofu, 2-3 tablespoons of hemp or chia seeds, 3-4 tablespoons of sunflower or pumpkin seeds…
Herbs: To taste, if desired
To add flavor complexity and antioxidants.
Spices: cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, fennel seed, aniseed, ginger
Fresh herbs: mint, basil, parsley
Toppings: To taste, for sprinkling
Add texture, crunch
Coconut, chopped nuts, cocoa or chocolate nibs, granola
Sweeteners: To taste
Taste first, you may not need to add sugar
Maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, puréed dates
For a calorie-free option, Stevia is a good choice. Be careful, though, as its sweetening power is very strong, so use sparingly.
You can also add a little nut butter, peanut butter or oatmeal for extra consistency. The key is variety, and above all, don’t hesitate to add color! Want to be even more original? Serve them in a bowl and let your imagination run wild.
RECIPE CARD: BLUEBERRY-GINGER SMOOTHIE
- 1 ½ cups frozen blueberries
- 1 cup milk of your choice
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 2-3 tsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp chopped ginger
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- Place all ingredients in your blender.
- Taste and adjust with ingredients of your choice. If the texture is too thick, you can also add water.
- Pour and sprinkle with cinnamon and chia seeds if desired.
* Recipe inspired by https://foodrevolution.org/recipes
WANT MORE INFORMATION ON NUTRITION?
To find out more or to obtain an intervention plan adapted to your needs, talk to your doctor or make an appointment with our nutrition team via your care quartet.
*The information contained in this sheet is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional and is provided for information purposes only.