By Megan Faletra, MS, MPH, RDN
The warm weather is here, which means it’s smoothie season again! A nourishing smoothie can absolutely be enjoyed all year long, but there’s something so refreshing about drinking smoothies to cool down and fuel your body in a healthy way during the hot summer months.
While smoothies can be an incredible way to increase your antioxidant consumption, up your fiber and get those extra leafy greens in your diet, they can often be full of sugar and not the most balanced option to reach for – until now! When it comes to making smoothies at home or buying them at your local juice bar, there are just five simple steps you need to remember to ensure that your smoothies are balanced, nutrient-rich and taste amazing – every single time.
There are so many ways to make an amazing smoothie, but if you want your blend to not only taste great but also keep your blood sugar balanced and energy high, then you’ll want to pay extra close attention to the steps listed below. With these five simple steps to building superfood smoothies, you can feel confident that you’re making (or ordering) perfectly balanced and delicious smoothies all summer long.
Step 1: Load Up on Greens
The first step to every smoothie should always be choosing your greens. Leafy greens are an excellent way to add vitamins, minerals, and healthy fiber to your smoothie – and the best part is you won’t even know they’re in there! Some great options for leafy greens include cilantro, parsley, spinach, baby kale, arugula, and microgreens. Aim for at least two cups per smoothie.
Step 2: Don’t Fear the Fat
Fat is an essential macronutrient and one of the key components for a smoothie that will keep you feeling full for hours. Oftentimes, people drink their smoothie and then feel hungry again shortly thereafter, which likely means there wasn’t enough fat in the mix. So, make sure to add at least one serving of fat to each smoothie to help balance your blood sugar and keep you feeling fuller longer. Some great healthy fat choices include Hemp Seeds, Chia Seeds, a quarter avocado, almond butter or any other nut butter of your choosing.
Step 3: Skip the Juice – Choose Whole Fruit Instead
Fruit is an excellent way to add antioxidants and some natural sugar to your smoothie. So, rather than add sugar-laden sweetened fruit juice to your smoothies for that extra tanginess, opt instead for one or two servings of whole fruit like berries, banana, mango, papaya, or pineapple.
Step 4: Add Plant Protein
Similar to fat, protein is a key component to keeping your blood sugar balanced and increasing satiety. Without protein, you’ll most likely feel hungry not long after you finish your smoothie, so make sure you don’t skimp on the protein! A great option is to add one of Navitas Organics' Essential Superfood Blends to the mix, which are great-tasting, high-quality, plant-based protein powders that will also add other essential nutrients and even probiotics to your daily smoothie.
Step 5: Add Antioxidant-Rich Superfoods
The last step is to add a few antioxidant-rich superfoods! Antioxidants help protect your body and fight free radicals, and are great additions to round out your summer smoothies. A few favorites you can choose from are: Acai Powder, Maca Powder, Cacao, Matcha Powder, and Camu Powder. Simply add 1-2 servings of superfoods to your smoothie and enjoy the added immune-supporting benefits.
With these five simple steps in mind, you can pretty much guarantee that all your summer smoothies will not only be super refreshing, but also deeply nourishing for your mind, body and spirit. Happy sipping!
Are you ready to make your own superfood smoothie? Head to our Superfood Smoothie Recipe Collection for some tasty blender-ready ideas.