Disclaimer: I was provide sample of Manitoba Milling’s Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed in exchange for a social post. As always, the thoughts and opinions in the post are entirely my own.
My favorite part about summer? The smoothies! I literally look forward to summer because I know I’ll get the chance to indulge in smoothies for breakfast, post-run, as snacks and even the occasional smoothie bowl for lunch. They’re light, refreshing, and a great way to sneak in extra nutrition. With temps creeping higher, smoothies also offer hydration and nutrition with minimal effort and better yet, without heating up your kitchen!
For me smoothies mean endless possibilities. You can never get bored, but you can also enjoy the same smoothie a million different ways depending on your needs. Want a light snack? Mix up a strawberry banana smoothie (my fav) with a little greek yogurt. Want to make it a meal replacement? Add some fat and a little protein powder to kick it up a notch! You can even add supplements for added nutrients or make it a total sweet treat by throwing in a handful of chocolate chips. You can LITERALLY make it what you want…but, be sure you know what you’re getting in to.
With more and more coffee shops, ice cream stands, and juice bars offering smoothies as a ‘healthier’ option, it’s important to remember that not all smoothies are created equal! It ultimately comes down to the ingredients.
In today’s post, I’m sharing a few tips for choosing or making a healthier smoothie. As a special bonus, you can download my Soothing Smoothies e-book which includes 5 delicious summer smoothie recipes with a few extra tips on saving time and making a healthy smoothie! (Scroll down to the end to skip this post and get your e-book!)
If a smoothie contains primarily fruits and juices, it can provide a quick boost of energy but leave you feeling hungry soon after. To prevent this quick rise and fall in blood sugar – try adding a source of protein, fiber, or healthy fat to make your smoothie a more satisfying and satiating meal or snack.
Rather than blending the smoothie with juice use a dairy or plant based milk. This will add protein and other nutrients depending on the type of milk you choose. Nuts, seeds, or nut and seed butters can also contribute protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. Manitoba Milling Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed is a great addition to make your smoothie a little more filling. Not only does it offer healthy ALA Omega 3 fats, fiber, and plant based protein but because of its smooth texture and mild flavor it is the perfect addition to any smoothie.
Regardless of which combination of ingredients you choose, adding in healthy fats and a good source or protein will make a smoothie more satisfying and keep blood sugar levels stable, which translates into sustainable energy (as opposed to a quick rise and crash leaving you feeling hungry an hour later!)
Green smoothies are more than just Insta-worthy, they’re great for packing in extra nutrition without negatively impacting the taste.
Most people fall short on vegetable intake throughout the day, and this is a simple and tasty way to get an extra serving (or two) with your breakfast, lunch, or snack. Plus it can be a great way to help choosier eaters or kids get in their greens!
I’ve found that spinach blends the best, but if you have a high-powered blender, kale works great too. Both options provide a good source of vitamins A and K, folate, and antioxidants. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other veggies too. Cauliflower and sweet potato are also fairly mild tasting and another great addition. If you’re feeling experimental you could also try collard greens, swiss chard, beet greens, and even dandelion greens.
Many smoothies, while marketed as ‘healthy’ can be loaded with added sugars from various types of juice mixes, protein powders, coconut water, honey, agave or other sweeteners.
Fruit is naturally sweet and often doesn’t need anything extra to boost the naturally sweet taste. The Tropical Green Smoothie recipe below uses pineapple, which provides plenty of natural sweetness – no additional honey or maple syrup necessary!
Of course fruit isn’t “bad” but since it’s being blended into a small volume, it can be easy to consume multiple servings in a short period of time once in smoothie form. A good rule of thumb is to choose 1-2 fruits totaling up to one cup.
This is the fun part! Choose “boosters” for additional flavor, texture, and nutrition. Think spices, unsweetened protein powders, nut and seed butters, or fresh herbs.
Manitoba Milling Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed is incredibly smooth and blends seamlessly into any smoothie recipe without altering the taste or texture. Just one serving (2 tablespoons) provides 3g of ALA Omega 3 (meeting your daily needs!), 4g of dietary fiber, and 3g of plant based protein. I also love adding Chia or hemp seeds, mint, basil, almond butter or even peanut butter powders.
While slurping down a smoothie through a straw is convenient, especially while on the go, it can make you consume a meal (or snack) much quicker than you normally would. Try using a spoon to slow down, be more mindful, and pay attention to your hunger and fullness.
I find that when having a smoothie as a meal replacement, such as a smoothie bowl, it’s helpful to use a spoon because it reminds me that I’m eating a “meal” rather than just sipping on a sweet treat. Therefore, I’m more aware of my fullness cues.
This tropical summertime smoothie will take you to the beach any time of year. It includes a hefty portion of greens and is naturally sweetened with pineapple and ginger. It is boosted with Manitoba Milling Co. Smooth Whole Milled Flaxseed.
A light, refreshing, and healthy snack or meal making you feel like you’re somewhere on the beach.
3/4 cup frozen pineapple
1 packed cup of spinach
1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup plant based milk
1/2 cup lite coconut milk
2 Tbsp Manitoba Milling Co. Smooth Whole-Milled Flaxseed
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Priscilla Askew is a Nutrition & Dietetic Technician, Registered. She loves all things related to health & fitness and blogs about her adventures in running, triathlon, and nutrition.