The winter holidays are a time when we like to eat, drink, and be merry with our friends and families, but sometimes we all partake a little too much. You don’t have to skip the rich foods and sweet desserts this year. One way to combat that sluggish feeling you get when you indulge just a tad too much is to incorporate healthier options at the start of your day to feel energized. Here are 7 super juice and smoothie ingredients to power your holidays and 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 milks, 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 an anti-inflammatory and 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 goods 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 them 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 until lunchtime.
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.