// By: Emily Fitzgerald, MScFN,RD

Smoothies are refreshing, convenient and nutritious meals or snacks on-the-go. One of my favourite things about smoothies are the endless possibilities. Not to mention, they’re a great way to use up the odds and ends left over in your fridge or freezer! To be honest, this is how I came up with my berry beet smoothie recipe! I had a few beets left over from the weekend and decided to throw them in and see how it turned out; to my surprise, I loved it!

All too often, I hear of people making fruit smoothies that don’t contain much more than one ingredient. Although an all-fruit smoothie may taste delicious, the lack of protein and fat will leave your stomach feeling unsatisfied. Also, as the fruit is blended up, our bodies will absorb the natural sugars more quickly in liquid form vs. if you were to eat the whole fruit on its own. To slow down the absorption of the sugar, be sure to add some fibre, protein and healthy fats to your smoothie. As you can see, it’s all about balance.

A nutritionally balanced smoothie includes all 3 macronutrients: carbohydrates, protein and fat. Balanced smoothies will help you feel full longer and allow you to take on your day full steam ahead!

Choose from the options below (and others you may have in mind) to customize your whole foods smoothie recipe – and remember to keep it balanced!

Carbohydrate: any frozen or fresh fruit and vegetable of choice. This is an easy way to add some leafy greens in your day! Spinach is a great green to start with for smoothie beginners. As for fruit, I find that a frozen banana adds a nice texture to smoothies and is a great way to use up those old bananas in your freezer.

Protein: plain Greek yogurt, silken tofu, cow’s milk, cottage cheese, unsweetened soy milk, hemp hearts, natural nut butter or cooked red lentils. Not only do you get the protein kick from these whole foods, but you also receive the added vitamins and minerals that come along with them. Choose natural protein boosters more often!

Fat: avocado, natural nut butter (yes, it’s contains both protein and fat), ground flaxseed or chia seeds. These are just a few of the most popular healthy fats out there. Including a fat source will help your body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins found in your smoothie, such as vitamins A, D, E and K.

Additional Add-ins: Looking for a bit more flavour? How about adding in some cinnamon, mint leaves or your favourite herb or spice. Have fun experimenting with flavours!

Check out my some of my new balanced smoothie recipes here: 

The Green Machine

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Morning Glory 

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Berry Beet Smoothie

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Are you looking for more individualized nutrition support? We offer one-on-one nutrition coaching consultations all year round!

Stay grounded,

Emily