You like smoothies. They’re convenient. You like the taste. But more often than not, the sublime taste and texture you envision for your smoothie is left wanting. And you can’t put your finger on exactly what’s making that smoothie just…not quite right.
This is for you.
Friends, these are the Smoothie Best Practices to make every smoothie special; every smoothie a smile, and positive, envy-inducing breakfast or snack of which colleagues, friends, and family will skulk in a sweat-induced jealousy:
1. Own Your Smoothie Texture.
Love it or hate it, the best smoothies must include elements devoted to texture. Here’s good news though - it just takes a little know how. This is a step that sounds intuitive, but in practice, oft neglected. Follow these tips and you’ll never have a slushy, bumpy, or watery smoothie again:
Veggies first, baby.
No one likes chunks of green between their teeth mid pull. Blending your veggies first with a bit of liquid will pay off HUGE in smoothie consistency. Veggies + liquid at the bottom of the blender, then the rest.
Use Bananas Liberally
Banana is a tremendous texture provider, of the natural variety. One caveat to this The Good Stuff-approved fruit is that it can’t be sourced locally. Kudos to this guy for giving er’ the ol' college try though. Don’t like bananas? Heck, I feel for ya. Avocados are a nice (but pricey) second option.
Dairy + Dairy Impersonators
Dairy goes a long way in putting the smooth in smoothie - depending on your intolerances. Traditional yogurts and milk are great, and Kefir and probiotic grass-fed yogurt are 1st-rate texture options in lieu. For dairy avoiders, almond milk is the most available non-dairy substitute, and comes reasonably priced.
2. Add superfoods you wouldn’t eat otherwise
Perhaps the smoothies’ greatest accomplishment for modern man is its ability to mix that which we like, and would normally enjoy, with that of which we don’t like, but NEED. Here are a few of those needs.
The Super Spices
Spices can go a LONG way in covering your nutritional bases, and you don’t need to be Jamie Oliver to know how to toss em in your smoothie. Just follow our recipes.
- Turmeric is one of the most powerful antioxidants on the planet, thanks in large part to it’s primary ingredient Curcumin. Most low-fat food diets promote inflammation in the arteries, leading to heart disease, the North American's statistically most likely way to die….grim. Turmeric is a nifty cheat to reduce that inflammation. When’s the last time you had it? Outside of curries, this is a tough thing to fit in the nutritional planning. Pinch it, drop it, blend it. Move forward.
- Cinnamon has been shown to reduce the glycemic response to food digestion. Reduced glycemic response = lower blood sugar = less excess LB’s when you eat anything. If you have a glucose monitor lying around, see if cinnamon has any effect on your sugar levels.
The Super Seeds: Chia, flax, and hemp. Three seeds that ten years ago, you may not have known exist. But they do, they’re the hottest ticket in Whole Foods, and here’s why they’re important:
- Chia seeds punch WAY above their nutritional weight – one of the most potent source of antioxidants amongst whole foods, 100 grams gets you more than 143% of your daily fibre intake, high in protein, and more. We could go on.
- Studies show flax seeds help fight cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. It’s full of healthy fat, and dense in fibre. Like chia, flax gets you moving.
- Hemp Hearts are one of the few seeds that grow naturally in our tundra-like Canadian environment; and we’re all about them. High in protein, amino acids, and essential fats – keep these on stand by for your next smoothie.
- Brazil Nuts aren’t a seed – but bear with us. The Brazil Nut is a nutritional maven of the highest calibre. It’s most potent nutrient, Selenium, yields in just 1 ounce (as little as 6 nuts) 777% of your daily-recommended selenium requirement. According to theNational Institute of Health, Selenium may affect the development Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, cognitive decline, and thyroid disease. Selenium is also an important factor in male and female libido. Couples – if you’re losing the magic, try tossing a few of these in the morning routine.
3. Clean Your Blender The Right Way
Cleaning your blender doesn’t have to be hard, but many blender mavens find themselves scrubbing their arms off on a crusty jug. There’s a better way. A faster way.
- Depending on the volume of what you’re blending, it’s extremely important to pour out your smoothie immediately after it’s freshly blended. A blender lightly coated in smoothie will have a Mr.Clean-bald-Like shine if it’s rinsed in the 30 seconds post-pour.
- Delayed the clean? Fear not. Fill your blender to 40% of its volume with warm/hot water + a splash of dish soap. Scrub the inside lightly, and then turn on your blender. This method will sanitise and (barring stale protein deposits) get most of yesterday's concoction out.
Follow these steps friends, and stay tuned for more. Smoothie best practices are something we hold dear to the heart.
What about you? Share your tips for perfect smoothies in the comments below!