Simple, easy and healthy smoothie recipes
by Tobias • 5 minutes read
Last updated: 18 Aug, 2022
For many people in the fitness world smoothies are nothing new, in fact a breakfast smoothie is now one of the most popular options for a quick and healthy breakfast. So we aren't going to try and reinvent the wheel, instead, we are going to give you some simple, easy and healthy recipes that you can mix and match yourself.
We've all read these articles before and we don't want to just write the same old story over and again. Smoothies are delicious but if you aren't careful you can end up with an 800 calorie milkshake that's high in fat and sugar with very little nutritional value. That's the last thing you would want if you are trying keep happy and healthy. So we've decided to list foods that you can include as much as you'd like and others that should be enjoyed in moderation.
This first section is the "go crazy" section. You can add as many of these as you like and you will still likely end up with a healthy drink. Things like fresh fruit, think strawberries and apples, things with a high water content. Also frozen fruits fit into this section. Common frozen fruits include berries like raspberries and blueberries. These are great for adding a "slushie" effect to your smoothie.
Most vegetables also fit into this group, leafy greens such as kale and spinach are great for boosting the iron content whilst keeping the calories low.
Enjoy in moderation
This is the less fun section, enjoy in moderation. You can have quite a bit of these but not an unlimited amount. As with all things, the devil's in the detail. This is where most of the dairy will come in, as well as more calorie dense fruits such as bananas. To add some creaminess to your smoothie, you could use Greek yogurt, regular milk, coconut milk or even almond milk. We recommend that you go for the high fat versions of these products.
We recommend these for a few reasons. Firstly, studies have shown that high fat foods are more satiating and will help keep you fuller for longer. Secondly, lower fat foods will have undergone more processing than regular products and as a general rule of thumb, the less your food has been processed, the better. Lastly, when the companies are taking out the fat in all these foods they are likely adding an equal amount of carbs and added sugars back into the mix. These can spike your insulin causing a sugar rush then a slump, this often leads to snacking and is counter productive to healthy eating.
On that note, another consideration would be fruit juices. Fruit juices are often concentrated sources of sugar without the benefits of the nutrients that are found in flesh of the fruits. Because of this we would always suggest to use the whole fruit and then mix it with water and ice. Fruit juices can be a sneaky way to add a lot of sugar to your diet in not much time.
Just a bit will do
This is the last section, the "just a bit will do". These are things that either you'll only add to smoothies or on the rare occasions or these are things that only needs a small amount to get the benefit from. Foods like ice cream and nut butters such as almond butter and peanut butter fit into this category.
These foods, whilst being very nutrient rich are also very calorie rich, whilst studies are undecided on the liquid calories vs solid calories debate, we can confidently say, without the need for a study, chugging ice cream and peanut butter every morning is a surefire way to pack on pounds. In fact, Ryan Gosling drank Haagen Dazs ice cream to gain weight for a role, put on 62lbs in a matter of weeks and was then told he was too fat for the role and it was given to Mark Wahlberg instead. Ouch!
The second part of this section is for the foods where just a teaspoon is all you need, these are things like flax and chia seeds. These tiny seeds are full of protein and healthy fats like omega-3 and omega-6. Chia seeds are actually 20% protein, which ranks it alongside fish like Cod and Herring. I know which one I'd rather have in my smoothie!
Whilst we never want to stop you having your morning banana smoothie, we want to make sure that every one of our readers has the best possible chance to live a happy and healthy life. So whilst we would love to suggest a peanut butter ice cream smoothie with sprinkles every morning this isn't really conducive to good health. Similarly, whilst you may feel saintly after your 12th straight breakfast of kale and spinach smoothie, without the odd reward any diet becomes unsustainable. Remember, we are in it for the long run, one spinach and wheatgrass smoothie won't make you healthy and conversely, one almond butter smoothie won't undo all your hard work.
We'd love to see your smoothie creations - follow us on instagram and tag us in your #smoothie pics.
- Liquid calories and the failure of satiety: how good is the evidence? - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14649371/
- Effects of high-protein vs. high- fat snacks on appetite control, satiety, and eating initiation in healthy women - https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-13-97
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