If you’re looking to up your vegetable and fruit intake, smoothies and smoothie bowls are a one-stop-shop for starting your day with 2-4 servings. Smoothies can sometimes veer into all-fruit combos, which are delicious, but can have way more sugar than we necessarily want first thing in the morning. One key way to keeping your blood sugar balanced is by adding more vegetables (along with a little protein and fat) and slightly less fruit into the mix. The vegetables add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to mitigate those natural sugars, while adding plenty of antioxidants too.
Here are some helpful tips for packing your morning smoothie with vegetables without sacrificing flavour.
The best way to make nutrient-dense vegetables more palatable and less noticeable in smoothies is to freeze them. I use frozen spinach in almost all my smoothies. Frozen and extremely cold foods have a duller flavor, so use this to your advantage.
Another great perk of using frozen foods is that they’re often cheaper than fresh (even for organic) and are picked at their peak ripeness, meaning that they retain most of their vital nutrients. So stock your freezer with the following frozen vegetables and you’re halfway there.
Spinach & Kale: I know what you are thinking...no way can I sneak these in without someone noticing. I recommend buying organic frozen chopped spinach and kale and keeping a few bags on hand. When combined them with a little sweetness, you can get away with 1 to 2 cups of the green stuff.
Zucchini: This is hard to buy frozen, but buy it fresh, cut into small chunks and freeze on a parchment-lined tray. Once frozen transfer them into a bag. When frozen it's completely tasteless, but still packed with vitamin C and potassium and promotes creaminess when blended.
Cauliflower: Frozen cauliflower is an amazing way to bulk up your smoothies with cruciferous vegetables, which is high in vitamins A and C, Folic Acid and Fibre), without any overpowering taste. They also mimic the creaminess of bananas when blended and a lot less sugar. (be sure to drink within 30 mins of blending, as its natural sulfur flavour can come out at room temperature).
Avocado: Save your slightly overripe avocados and freeze, or pop directly into your smoothie. The creaminess adds lots of texture, and their healthy fats are one of the essential components to creating a satisfying smoothie that will keep you fill for hours. Adding 1/4 to 1/2 is all you need for the added benefits.
Beets: These don't have to be frozen, but adding one small steamed or roasted (ensure it's peeled) can add lots of nutrients. These are high in fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C.
Add some protein powder, fruit and you will have yourself a great, filling smoothie. Remember these aren't just for breakfast, have them for your mid-morning or afternoon snack.
In Good Health, Wellness, and Love