How to Make a Healthier Smoothie: 7 Tips.

ingredients-for-kale-smoothieI’m the first to admit that I LOVE smoothies. Not only are they refreshing and satisfying, but they’re also a great way to fuel your body with a whole slew of nutrients.

The problem is, not all smoothies are created equal. And many of the smoothies that you might buy at a local mall kiosk are actually terribly unhealthy. They can be loaded with calories, sugar and unhealthy fats. For example, a medium strawberry hulk smoothie from Smoothie King has nearly 1,000 calories and 125 grams of sugar. Yikes!

To upgrade your smoothie, here are a few tips:

  1. Never use fruit syrups. If you’re buying a smoothie, ask if it’s made with real fruit. Many smoothie shops and cafes blend their smoothies with a sweetened, sugar-rich syrup that is anything but healthy. Only drink smoothies made with fresh or frozen (but unsweetened) fruit.
  2. Stay away from smoothies made with ice cream or frozen yogurt. Again, ask the cashier if the smoothie contains frozen yogurt or ice cream. You’d be surprised to learn that many do. Unfortunately, it turns your smoothie into a milkshake and dramatically increases calories, sugar and unhealthy fats. Don’t do it!
  3. Replace base with water and ice. Many smoothies are blended with either a dairy base of skim milk, almond milk, soy milk or fruit juice. For one, fruit juice is nearly as bad as soda. And while the various milks may be healthier, they’re still rich in calories and unnecessary for an enjoyable smoothie. As an experiment, try replacing whatever base you use for your smoothie with water. It sounds completely unsatisfying – but you’ll discover the exact opposite. The smoothie is still really good!
  4. Don’t add sweeteners. Many recipes call for a touch of honey, agave nectar, etc. When you’re already blending a smoothie with naturally sweet fruit, added sweeteners are really unnecessary. In exchange for a bit of sweetness, they crank up the smoothie’s calorie content. Avoid them.
  5. Nix unhealthy add-ons. Chocolate syrup, cool whip and the like are delicious. But they’ll sabotage your smoothie’s nutrition. Moreover, smoothies are still totally delicious without them. They’re definitely not needed.
  6. Try mixing in some vegetables. Though most people stick with fruit smoothies, add some vegetables into the mix. Vegetables are often lower in sugar and less calorie-dense, but still packed with flavor and nutrients. Kale is always a favorite! Avocados are also good – though technically they are a fruit.
  7. Pack in some protein. If you want to make your smoothie a bit hardier or if you need help meeting your daily protein requirement, add in a scoop of powdered protein. Though powdered protein isn’t typically known for tasting good, all the fruity goodness of your smoothie will drown out the protein’s undesirable flavor.

By putting these 7 tips into practice, you’ll never be tricked into drinking an unhealthy smoothie again! And if you have any additional tips, please share them in the comments below!

About Davey Wavey

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Comments

  1. Hey don’t count out Hemp milk IN the water base. MUCH higher protein, lower sugar and healthy fatty acids!

  2. Michael says:

    So Davey, if I want to make smoothies at home (trying to find a quick, healthy breakfast), do you have any good recipes or know a good site for that?

    • Whenever I start with strawberries + bananas + water, it ends up delicious. Squeeze of lemon or orange, cinnamon, cardamon, mint leaves, lemon balm, a few wild blueberries for colour, ginger cut – feel free to experiment đŸ˜›

      Blackberries + apples, with a few slices of cucumber might be another starting point, …

  3. Richard says:

    I get bored of using the same ole fruits every time when I make smoothies, and I just discovered the Latin market nearby has a good variety of different frozen fruit pulps made by Goya that turn into DELICIOUS smoothies. Passionfruit and guanĂ¡bana make good tropical flavors. And a new favorite of mine is the mamey sapote. It’s packed with fiber and Vitamin A, and it turns your smoothie extra creamy with a rich sweet potato pie sort of flavor, without any dairy! (I’m lactose intolerant.)

  4. I have 1-2 smoothies a day. My standard is spinach, kale, collards (all raw and chopped), banana, frozen berries, ground flax seed, some psyllium husk for fiber, a splash of juice and water.

  5. I’ll have to give just plain water a try with my next smoothie. I’ve been using fat free milk which has worked okay with my usual ingredients — particularly bananas.

    Thanks for the great information.

  6. Great post! I bookmarked your site so I can come back when I have more time.

  7. I love smoothies too, but like many smoothie fanatics, I usually get mine from the local grocery or mall kiosks. Thank you for sharing your tips on how to make healthier smoothies. It made me realize that I have been junking in on too much calories, sugar and fats. With creativity, I can mix and match an endless number of combinations that will give me a boost minus the harmful ingredients. Now I can enjoy making my own smoothie anytime and still do my body a favor.

  8. For a high protein healthy smoothie I use (real) Greek yogurt as a base. It’s full of good bacteria for the gut, it maintains strong bones, it’s filling, and it feeds the guns!