As you may know, I am an avid smoothie enthusiast. I love the taste of smoothies and the creativity that goes into developing a new recipe. Most smoothies are pretty easy to make and (depending on the ingredients used) they can also be nutritional powerhouses with a variety of health benefits.
Today, I’m talking about smoothies, and below you’ll find five smoothie additions to try in your next blend.
There’s no doubt that bananas are a smoothie staple. Bananas are packed with potassium and add a distinct flavor and velvety smooth texture to a smoothie.
For an extra-creamy drink or smoothie bowl, try adding a frozen banana to the blend. Bananas freeze quickly and can be placed (unpeeled) right in the freezer. They will turn brown when cold, but don’t worry – once peeled, you’ll see the freshness and flavor has been fully preserved.
This famous tea, made from crushed green tea leaves, has been enjoyed in Asian cultures for thousands of years. It has recently soared into popularity in the west and now appears in health food stores, cafes, and even ice cream shops around the world.
Although matcha contains more caffeine than traditional green tea, it also contains a phytonutrient called L-theanine, which promotes a feeling of relaxation and helps prevent the notorious “caffeine crash.” Health enthusiasts rave about the tea’s healing properties, unique taste, and abundance of antioxidants.
Adding powdered matcha to your smoothies can provide a mild morning jolt and add a distinct flavor to your recipe. Check your local health food store for powdered matcha, or order it online.
Tiny but powerful, chia seeds are packed with good stuff like omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber. Their small size, mild flavor, and nutritive qualities make them a great addition to your daily smoothie.
When combined with liquid ingredients, the seeds expand and provide an interesting, mildly crunchy texture. The typical serving size is two tablespoons (one ounce).
If you’re looking to add a chocolaty element to your smoothie, add some cocoa nibs as a garnish. Cocoa nibs (aka cacao nibs) are derived from the cocoa bean. They contain the same antioxidants and mood-boosters that are found in dark chocolate but come without the added sugar.
When shopping for nibs, look for minimally processed and organic varieties to ensure you’re reaping the nutritious, low-sugar benefits of pure cacao.
Protein is essential for our bodies to function, and it’s especially important for recovery after exercise. An effective post-workout smoothie should contain a combination of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Adding a powdered protein supplement to your smoothie is a great way to ensure you’re meeting your daily protein requirement. To see how much protein you need to be consuming, try a calculator. (Please keep in mind that calculators are just a guide and should not be substituted for medical advice.)
My favorite protein powder is an organic vegan variety I find at my local grocery store. There are plenty of options available at stores like Whole Foods or online at Amazon.
What’s the most adventurous ingredient you’ve added to a smoothie? Let us know in the comments.