The best ingredients to put in your smoothie

BY PENDA HONEYGHAN

Monday, September 16, 2019

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IF you're like most people, then you can't resist a good smoothie — it can be had at any time of the day, for breakfast, as a snack, or even dessert. Nutritionist Janique Watts says that while they are pretty simple to make and provide the perfect opportunity to top up on your daily dose of fruits and vegetables, if you get carried away you could quickly turn a healthy snack into a calorie-filled milkshake.

“Smoothies are easy to make, they have two basic components — liquids/base and fruits or vegetables, and of course you have the option of adding ice,” Watts said.

She said that when making a smoothie the liquid can be water or naturally made fruit juice since these usually don't have artificial sweeteners.

“This is important because when fruits are added, since they have natural sugars already present, using fruit drinks that are artificially sweetened will make the smoothie too sweet. Some delicious and healthy fruit juice options include cherry or orange juices when making fruit smoothies.

“One of my go-to fruit smoothie blends consists of papaya, banana and yoghurt. The fruits are chosen intentionally because of their benefits — papaya, for example, is great for digestion, bananas boost energy and are a good source of fibre, and I use yoghurt for gut health and balancing of pH levels,” Watts said.

Other fruits that are rich in vitamins and minerals that are great options for smoothies include cherries, apples, mangoes and just about any berry you can think of such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

She said when some fruits such as papaya or even watermelon are used, usually you do not need to add juice because they have enough liquid to achieve a pourable consistency.

For vegetable smoothies, you can add any mix of vegetables that you like. Watts notes that one of the most common vegetable smoothie ingredients now is kale.

“Many people are adding kale to their vegetable smoothies because it is a super food. It contains almost all vitamins and minerals. Cucumber is another popular ingredient because of its natural water content and it is also rich in antioxidants,” Watts advised.

She said that you should also consider using ginger because it offers a nice flavour as well as being rich in anti-inflammatory properties. As a liquid base for your vegetables, you should consider using pineapple juice, orange juice, coconut water or plain water.

Other vegetables that are a good option include cauliflower, spinach, pumpkin, and carrots.

She said that every fruit and vegetable in their natural form can be used in your smoothie; what is important is finding the right blend of fruits and vegetables that make it delicious. Outside of these ingredients, Watts said that you can also add a variety of seeds such as flax, sunflower, and chia seeds. You can also add some spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.

Some common smoothie options that you should consider leaving out of your smoothie include sugars and syrups, ice cream, canned fruits and vegetables, especially those that are in syrups, sorbets, and even flavoured yoghurt.


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