It can be tough to have a good breakfast in the morning or even a snack throughout the day. You have to factor in time restraints and portability issues (Looking at you bowl of cereal.) Given all of that, there are still ways to make healthy options available to you and have them prepared quickly.
Let’s look at the smoothie. Grabbed from any smoothie emporium they can be loaded with sugar and calories that you didn’t expect. However, making them one your own will let you control the ingredients, save you money and also save you time.
Step 1: Ingredients
The best part here is you can throw anything in and make it taste pretty good. I usually start with a pretty consistent base of ingredients.
- Plain Greek Yogurt ( 1 cup or less. It will provide you with protein to keep you satisfied longer)
- Half or whole Banana (depending on how much I am looking to make)
- Flax seeds
- Almond or Peanut Butter ( 1 tablespoon, it will add about 100 calories. So you can omit this if you’re trying to make a low-calorie option)
- Spinach (I love greens in my smoothie, but it is a taste thing for some people)
- Water (4-8oz)
Now here is where it gets fun. You can add anything you want. It can be more veggies, more fruit, a protein powder, or even a couple chocolate chips to add to the flavor profile! Below is just a small list of extras that you can add, but ultimately the only limit is what you can fit in your blender, or what taste good. 🙂
- Milk (almond, soy, regular, splash of chocolate for a great chocolate banana thing going on.)
You get the idea, anything you want! This is a great time to sneak those pesky veggies into your smoothie. See if you can sneak in some to get your daily allotment in early. Just be mindful of the amounts you are using with fruit and milk. If you are not careful you can turn one of at home smoothies into a smoothie chain store monstrosity.
Step 2: Fill it up
This part is pretty simple. Put it all in the blender! I always start with my liquid on the bottom and I do not use ice. Mostly because I freeze the fruit that is in season so I can use it later. If it doesn’t seem to be mixing well, you might need to add a little more water or liquid of your choice.
Step 3: Fire up the Blender
The fun begins! Watch as the colors blend and make an appetizing bright green, red or blue! Or perhaps it has turned a shade of brown….don’t worry that still might taste good do not lose hope!
Step 4: Pour and Enjoy
Here is the beauty of it all. If you put a good amount of ingredients in chances are there is about 32oz of smoothie frothing before your eyes. You can dump half of that into your to go cup and deposit the other half in the fridge. Now you have snack for now and other for later, amazing! If you are at work all day maybe pack it all up and drink half now and half around 2:00pm when you just want to crawl under your desk and nap. It will give you little energy boost and be great tasting!
- Be creative
- Experiment with ingredients
- You can make all these with no dairy or nuts
- Make enough for two snacks
- Sneak in your veggies
For a quick example, say you started with the smoothie starter in the amounts I listed at the start. Then you added a scoop of protein powder and a few handfuls of your favorite fruit. You would be stuffing about 40 grams of protein in that smoothie. Split into two meals that gives your a snack with 20 grams of protein per snack! If you omit the protein powder you will be around 18-20 grams of protein for your whole smoothie. Which is still great.
If you don’t do dairy, don’t worry. Any favorite protein you have can be added in and the yogurt just gives it a touch more thickness. So you won’t be losing too much there.
What are some of your favorite smoothie concoctions? We would love to hear about them and try them out! Tweet me or leave a reply! The more ideas we have in our arsenal the better tasting our meals and hot summer days can be!