The new year is here and if your motto of eat, drink and be merry from the holidays has you feeling a bit sluggish, combat that feeling with a super smoothie. Smoothies are a way to incorporate healthier food options into your day and take better care of yourself. Here are 7 super juice and smoothie ingredients to power your new year.
Fruits are probably the first ingredient we all
associate with juices and smoothies. Aronia berries, blueberries, raspberries, dark cherries,
açai berries, and goji berries are all superfoods that contain high amounts
of beneficial nutrients. For a bit more sweetness, add a banana. For a flavor
kick, blend in pineapple, mango, or peaches. Using frozen fruit, especially
frozen bananas, will make your smoothies thick, cold, and creamy without
needing to add ice. If you are craving a sweeter smoothie, reach for the dates
before the sugar bowl. Adding just two dates will add a punch of sweetness and
a lot more fiber and essential nutrients than a teaspoon of sugar.
Adding vegetables to your juice or smoothies is an
excellent way to boost the nutrients and add fiber so you feel fuller. Some of
the best vegetables for your recipes include kale, carrot, avocado, pumpkin,
cauliflower, and cucumber. Each of these vegetables is packed with vitamins and
minerals that your body needs to function optimally. Carrots and pumpkin add a
mild sweetness, avocado gives your smoothie a silky texture, and cucumber
blends well with any flavors and provides important minerals.
Using unsweetened milk, soy milk, almond milk, or kefir
provides the liquid base of your smoothie without adding all of the sugar of
juices or sweetened milk products. These unsweetened products provide protein
and allow your other ingredient flavors to shine.
If you are looking to add more protein to your
smoothies, consider whole food ingredients rather than powders. In addition to
dairy or plant-based milk, consider blending tofu, natural peanut butter,
natural almond butter, or even cooked lentils into your smoothies. They blend
well with other foods and make your smoothies more filling.
Spices such as
ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and turmeric provide a range of health benefits while
increasing the nutrient content of your meals. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. It is also used to treat nausea, muscle soreness, and fatigue.
Both cinnamon and ginger help lower blood sugars and contribute to heart
health. Turmeric is a spice that people often overlook because we don’t
associate its flavor with sweet treats. Add just a pinch of turmeric for an
anti-inflammatory boost. All of these spices will add a pop of flavor to any
juice or smoothie.
Adding flax seeds or chia seeds to your smoothies will
provide a little bit of texture and a huge helping of nutrients. Both types of
seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids, one of the essential fats that our bodies
cannot produce. Omega-3 fatty acids provide a host of health benefits such as
preventing cholesterol from being deposited in blood vessels, lowering our risk
of heart disease, and lowering inflammation. Both flax and chia seeds are also
good sources of protein, fiber, and a variety of other nutrients.
7. Other Nutritional Ingredients
Consider adding some of these non-traditional
ingredients to your smoothies or juices. Red cabbage will give your smoothies a beautiful
color and cabbage is full of antioxidants and fiber. You can also use tea
instead of other liquids in your beverages. Teas contain flavonoids, which
provide a variety of health benefits to the body. Finally, try some oatmeal in
your smoothie! You can prepare your smoothie just as you would overnight oats,
and oatmeal helps lower cholesterol and its fiber will help us feel satiated
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your smoothies and
juices. Adding even small amounts of vegetables or spices will provide a major
health benefit. Superberries Aronia Berry Concentrate and Frozen Aronia Berries
are two essential ingredients to have on hand for smoothies and juices that not
only taste delicious but are also packed with nutrients we all need to live
healthier lives. Get more smoothie and smoothie bowl recipes from other Superberries Blog posts.