How to Build the Perfect Smoothie
Ah, The Humble Smoothie. A nutritional powerhouse if you get the balance right. Grab a smoothie from a shop shelf and even some juice bars however, and you’ll often find yourself with a sweet fruit soup. Whether from adding in extra fruit juices, agave, honey and more; the sugar content can start to climb.
We’re not here to demonise fruit however. Fruit is of course full of vitamins, fibre and antioxidants - and yet it can play havoc with our blood sugar leading to energy crashes and hunger cravings soon after if not paired with other important smoothie-friendly ingredients such as protein, fibre (from vegetables or greens, not more fruit) and healthy fats.
If you want to make a smoothie which will leave you feeling energised and like you’re ticking all the nutrient boxes, then being mindful about the ingredients is key. Here’s our top Nutritionist approved tips for a great smoothie;
1. Balance out your Macros
Keep in mind that to create a well-balanced smoothie you want to be hitting all the macronutrients in there. Having more vegetables than fruit makes a great start and ensures you can hit the desired amount of vegetables and fibre across the day. In fact, aim for 50% of your smoothie to be veggies. Great choices include courgette, spinach or even frozen cauliflower (Gwyneth Paltrow style!). Look next to add in healthy fats and protein with a little whole food carbohydrate sweetness from fruits, dried fruits or even baked sweet potato. The combination of fibre, healthy fats and protein keep you full, fueled, and feeling optimal throughout the morning.
2. Leave the juice
Instead of using fruit juice, consider instead swapping this for coconut milk, almond milk, kefir or full fat organic greek yogurt. Making this swap gives you a delicious texture and flavour whilst also adding in some healthy fats to help you absorb those fat-soluble nutrients and will also keep the sugar content on the low side.
3. Whilst we’re talking healthy fats…
A dose of extra healthy fats can really keep you satiated and help your brain to focus and skin feeling fantastic. Our favourites are avocado, flaxseeds, nut butter or a tablespoon of True MCT. MCT oil gives you a clean source of energy whilst also potentially improving your cognition and focus - great for a morning kickstart.
4. Protein power
To really feel the benefits of a smoothie, ensuring you get enough protein is absolutely crucial and usually the missing piece in most homemade or shop bought ones. It’s not solely just for those heading to the gym to use protein in their smoothie either. Your body needs a protein top up around every 3 hours so starting the day with a good dose of protein is a way to feel boosted from the get go. Adding in plant proteins like chia or hemp seeds can be beneficial or using a high quality protein powder ensuring you use one low in sugar, additives and fillers is essential. We love to use our Collagen or Vegan Collection for this reason as they’re rich in amino acids and can be used as a protein source or alongside a protein powder of your choice.
5. The Flavour Factor
Thinking about flavouring your smoothie with herbs and spices can really take it up a level. Herbs and spices are high in phytonutrients, antioxidants and polyphenols. They also have antimicrobial properties keeping your gut bugs in check. Cinnamon is a great natural blood sugar stabiliser and adds sweetness without the sugar content. You can find cinnamon as a key ingredient in our Cacao + Collagen which makes a delicious addition to smoothies with a creamy base such as banana or avocado.
6. Try Tea!
Unsweetened herbal teas such as Green Tea or White Tea adds a boost of natural antioxidants and antimicrobials, a metabolic kickstart as well as giving you a great alternative to liquids.
7. Added extras
Smoothies are a great opportunity to add a nutrient boost using your favourite powders. You could easily add Radiant Collagyn to hit your amino acids, gut friendly prebiotics and skin-nourishing antioxidants paired beautifully with a berry rich smoothie. Scroll down to find a recipe!
8. Freezer Friendly Ingredients
Not only are frozen fruits like berries and bananas or vegetables like cauliflower, avocado or spinach cheaper to buy, but they make your smoothies cool and refreshing. Why not have a freezer draw dedicated to smoothie making!
Top Smoothie Veggies
- Spinach works really well, giving you an instant hit of green in your day and rich in nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, iron, folate, and potassium. Spinach is also full of fibre which is key for that blood sugar and gut health.
- A great addition is frozen cauliflower. Also full of fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese. Cauliflower is also a helpful vegetable for promoting liver function which is important for hormone balance thanks to being part of the cruciferous vegetable family. It may sound strange, but when used from frozen they substitute in great in place of bananas to lower sugar content.
- Beetroot gives your smoothie a fantastic colour (and we do eat with our eyes too!) but also are incredibly rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. They’re naturally sweet and help with our liver function and detoxification pathways.
- Courgette makes your smoothie creamy in texture whilst also having a neutral taste meaning it’s a great addition whatever flavour profile you’re aiming for. Fibre rich and full of potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
- If you’re looking to improve your hydration after a nights sleep, adding in some cucumber can be a delicious choice. Thanks to it’s high water content you can easily replace other high-sugar liquids to create a low sugar, tasty smoothie. Cucumbers also naturally contain electrolytes to help hydrate you quickly as well as unique antioxidants and polyphenols
Radiant Smoothie Recipe
- 2 scoops Radiant Collagyn (or True / Wild)
- 1 handful frozen berries
- 1 handful frozen cauliflower
- ½ avocado
- ½ courgette
- 1 cup plant milk of your choice
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp flax seeds
- 1 tbsp / 1 sachet True MCT
- Optional: 1 date to sweeten / kefir for extra gut goodness
- Add more water for perfect consistency