The best smoothies are creamy, refreshing and satiating, with all the macronutrients you need to start your day on a high note. But it can be tough to find the right balance of nutritious and delicious. These healthy smoothie recipes hit both marks: Not only are they loaded with whole fruits and vegetables, but they also get extra oomph from add-ins like fresh herbs, creamy nut butters and warm spices. Any one of these also makes a perfect quick breakfast to sip on the go.
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What are the healthiest things to put in a smoothie?
First, think nutrient- and vitamin-rich produce. Smoothies are a great way to make use of leftover fresh fruit or to sneak in some extra superfoods that you wouldn’t normally eat on their own. Think beyond the classic add-ins and consider dark greens like spinach, a squeeze of citrus and spices like ginger (try grated fresh ginger!) and turmeric. There are also lots of herbs like fresh basil and mint, and — if your blender is strong enough — hearty veggies like carrots and beets. Then add some protein, like a spoonful of nut butter or some plain Greek yogurt, for an energy boost that will keep you going until lunch. Milk (or milk alternatives) are a great base, and you can add in a probiotic burst with a healthy pour of kefir.
Is it healthy to have a smoothie every day for breakfast?
That depends on what’s in it. “As long as your smoothie contains some protein and isn’t loaded with sugar, it can be a convenient and healthy breakfast option that allows you to pack in a variety of nutrient-dense foods,” says Stefani Sassos, deputy director of the Good Housekeeping Institute Nutrition Lab. So keep the advice above about sugar in mind, and if you’re dying to try out a smoothie recipe that doesn’t have protein, you can still add one of the protein boosts above, or even a spoonful of a good-quality vegan protein powder.
You don’t have to have a smoothie for breakfast every day, of course. But as long as you’re keeping an eye on your total sugar content for the day, and being reasonable about the serving size of your smoothies, there’s no reason not to have one each day. Remember that even if you’re not adding sugar to your smoothie, the sugary fruit and dairy both add to your daily sugar intake, as do add-ins like maple syrup.
Are smoothies good for kids?
“Smoothies can be a nice option for kids since they’re simple to make and give parents the opportunity to incorporate foods that their child may otherwise not eat,” says Sassos. Even if your kid makes a face at the idea of spinach, they’ll probably love a “green monster smoothie” (or whatever you want to name your concoction!), especially if there are a few banana chunks in there to naturally sweeten it up. To make things even more convenient, you can take smoothies along in a spill-proof cup for a healthy between-games Saturday snack.
What is the best way to make a smoothie?
Learn how to make a smoothie like a total pro (hint: there’s a certain order you should add ingredients to the blender!) then get ready to mix up a tasty breakfast or snack that’s good for you, too. Our Good Housekeeping Institute Kitchen Appliances Lab also tested the best blenders for whipping up the smoothest, creamiest drinks. To make smoothies ahead of time, stash your non-liquid ingredients (such as fruits, vegetables, powders and seeds) in the freezer in freezer-safe bags or food storage containers. In the morning, just add your liquid to the blender, followed by your other ingredients, and blend. Breakfast in 5 minutes? Easy!