I am a HUGE fan of smoothies. It's my go to for breakfast during the week. I often hear people struggle with the time that it takes to prepare a nutritious breakfast, making it the primary reason why people don't eat breakfast. I have the process for preparing a smoothie down to a science and can whip up a delicious, nutritious breakfast lickity-split.
I find that raspberries and blueberries freeze really well, so when they're on sale I stock up. Bananas also freeze pretty well, but be sure to take the skin off and break them up into useable sized pieces before you freeze. I buy organic frozen strawberries when they're out of season, and when they're in season I like to buy local and will freeze any that I don't eat before they start getting soft.
Have you ever noticed that your smoothies are either too gelatinous or on the flip side, they tend to separate and have a grainy texture? This has to do with the mix of soluble vs. insoluble fiber.
Some of my favorite soluble fiber picks for smoothies are blueberries, strawberries, pears, banana, peaches, citrus, mango, kiwi and carrots. Avocado is also a great source of soluble fiber, but use sparingly (no more than 1/4) or your smoothie will be way too gelatinous.
Insoluble fiber is found in leafy greens and in the skins of many fruits and veggies. This type of fiber doesn't dissolve in water, which is why it can cause your smoothie to separate if not properly balanced with soluble fiber sources. But insoluble fiber is super important since this is the stuff that makes you feel full and keeps you regular.
Some of my favorite insoluble fiber picks for smoothies include peas, spinach, unpeeled apples, blackberries, raspberries, kiwi and pineapple.
Be sure to have a good mix of soluble and insoluble fiber. This will ensure your smoothie has a delicious texture as well as balanced nutrition.
Consider some fun and nutritious extras:
Matcha Tea: I love adding matcha tea to my smoothies. Matcha tea has a ton of amazing health benefits, but I love that it gives me an extra boost in the morning without the jittery feeling that coffee can give you. In fact matcha tea provides a calming effect to the mind and body while also providing clarity and focus. In addition to that matcha tea is packed with antioxidants, helps boost metabolism, has detoxifying qualities, and can help to lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Bee Pollen: I started putting bee pollen in my smoothies and yogurt a few years ago after reading about some of the incredible health benefits. Bee pollen is packed with nutrients and contains ALL of the essential amino acids needed to help to build and repair muscle, and is the richest source of vitamins in a single food. Keep in mind that bee pollen comes from flowers, so if you suffer from allergies you may want to check with your doctor first and start with a low dose in case you have an allergic reaction.
Raw Cacao Nibs and/or Powder: Cocao nibs are pieces of crushed cacao beans that have a bitter, chocolatey flavor. I don't recommend eating them on their own, but they make a great addition to smoothies and other recipes. Cacao nibs are the least processed of cacao products on the market and have a lot less sugar than other chocolate products. They are a great source of protein, fiber and fats, all nutrients that provide you with a feeling of being full. They're rich in several minerals including iron, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and magnesium, as well as flavonoid antioxidants. In fact, cacao nibs contain the highest concentration by weight of flavonoid antioxidants than any other food! Antioxidants are important for protecting cells against damage by free radicals, something emitted by sunlight, x-rays, cigarette smoke, air pollutants and industrial chemicals.
Cayenne Pepper: Capsaicin is the active ingredient of cayenne pepper, and this is what provides it with its medicinal properties. Many consider cayenne pepper to be the "king of medicinal herbs". It's been used medicinally for thousands of years to treat a number of ailments. Cayenne has been found to help boost metabolism, reduce hunger, and help with overall digestive health. It is also thought to help reduce the risk of cancer, and lower blood pressure among other benefits.
Turmeric: Turmeric is a known anti-inflammatory and potent antioxidant. The active compound is called Curcumin, and research indicates that it can help boost brain function, improving memory, and reducing symptoms of depression. It can also lower the risk of heart disease, help reduce symptoms associated with arthritis, and may even help reduce your risk for Alzheimer's disease and cancer! Note: if using turmeric, be sure to add a dash of black pepper. It's necessary for the absorption of curcumin.
Ginger: I love to add ginger to my smoothies. It adds a nice kick...if you like the taste of ginger :-) Ginger has some interesting health benefits. It can help support your immune system, reduce indigestion or nausea and improve digestion overall. Ginger is another anti-inflammatory food that can help reduce pain and symptoms of arthritis.
Combine all ingredients and blend. Add more almond milk to adjust the consistency to your liking.
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Smoothies are a ton of fun because you can experiment with different flavors and ideas. I'd love to hear about your favorite recipes. Email me at email@example.com with your favorite recipes or favor combinations.
Hi! My name is Allison Hopkins and I am the owner of Wilcox Wellness & Fitness in Brunswick, ME. I am excited to bring WILCOX to Brunswick and share in my passion for living a great life through health and fitness.