Just like creating a balanced meal it’s so important to get the ratios right with smoothies. It’s easy to get carried away and throw half your fruit bowl into the mixer but this will probably rocket your blood sugars into orbit! Adding healthy fats, chia seeds, matcha, spices or ginger will curb your appetite whilst also packing in other nutrients. So we thought we would put together a few pointers to help build a balanced smoothie that delivers the right blend of fat, protein and carbs without putting your teeth on edge.
And to get your Summer mornings off to a smooth start don’t forget to check our our three delicious smoothie recipes. Refresh your senses with our Watermelon & Strawberry smoothie or for a full body cleanse try our Ultimate Detox smoothie. If Summer berries are your thing we have A Very Berry Smoothie that packs a punch.
Makes two smoothies (approx 16 oz)
Choose your liquid base (1 cup)
Water, coconut water, coconut/ almond milk (go for an unsweetened milk or low sugar option if you can). Avoid fruit juice (natural and cartons) to reduce sugar content. Add more or less liquid depending on the how dense or watery you like the consistency.
Choose your fruit base (1-1.5 cups)
The riper the fruit the more sugar it contains. So if your banana walks to the blender on sugar cubes avoid it. Here are your fruit besties: avocados, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and apples. Leading the pack on the ones that might lead you astray are lychees (but totally fine in martinis right?), figs and mango. Below you’ll find where some key fruit reside in terms of sugar content. We don’t suggest blacklisting mangos or lychees forever but probably wise that they aren’t the fruit base of all your smoothies!
Your Besties – Low Sugar Fruits
Avocados: 1 whole = 1g sugar
Cranberries: 1 cup = 4g
Date: 1 (pitted) = 4.5g
Raspberries: 1 cup = 5g
Strawberries: 1 cup =8g
Blackberries: 1 cup = 7g
Watermelon: 1 cup = 10g
Apples: 1 cup = 11g
Grapes: 1 cup = 15g
Pineapple: 1 cup = 16g
Bananas: 1 cup = 18g
Cherries: 1 cup 18g
Grapefruit: 1 cup 19g sugar
Sugar Bomb Fruits
Mango: 1 cup = 23g
Figs: 1 cup = 27g
Lychees: 1 cup = 29g sugar
Source: Rodales Organic Life
Choose your veggies (1-1.5 cups)
You can slip in some seriously healthy greens before you even leave the house in the morning. Choose from spinach, kale, carrots, beets amongst others. So make sure to pack those antioxidents in, particularly if you are going for a green or detox option.
Add some healthy Fat
Creating a high sugar smoothie will have you zapped for energy in no time. Including some good fats will ensure you ward off those hunger pangs for longer. So reach for avocado, chia seeds (or other seeds), nuts, nut butter, coconut or coconut oil.
For that extra zing
You can add plenty other ingrediants to add some spice. Literally. Try nutmeg, turmeric, ginger or the new powerhouse smoothie ingredient: matcha green tea powder.
- Want your smoothies extra cold? Freeze your coconut water in an ice cube tray and add straight to your blender. For other neat ice tips see Ice Ice Baby and ice cube sensations
- Save time and reduce fruit wastage: measure and bag smoothie fruits and freeze so you are ready to go for a few days.
- A lot of smoothie recipes online are based on American ‘cups’ so it’s handy in invest in a set for yourself – they come in useful for baking too. See American Measuring Cups
- Mix it up: try new flavours, experiment and enjoy!