Smoothiology 201: 5 Ingredients Every Smoothie Recipe Needs

By Elizabeth Jarrard on September 17, 2014 , categorized in In the Kitchen

morning smoothie

If you want to start your day off strong, you might want to start it with a balanced smoothie. Here are the 5 ingredients that every smoothie recipes needs:

1. All About that Base

Pick your favorite: water, juice or a non-dairy beverage. If you’re trying to minimize your calories, stick to water. Juice is perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth. For an extra creamy texture, pick non-dairy milk. Want to get a little adventurous? Swap out traditional almond milk for something more exotic like hemp milk or quinoa milk.

2. Ice, Ice, Baby

Who wants a lukewarm smoothie? Nope! I’d rather be straight up chillin’ with ice cubes. Frozen banana in place of ice cubes makes your smoothie extra smooth. Frozen fruit is perfect during the middle of winter when “fresh” fruit is nowhere to be seen.

3. Green is Good

Search the fridge and throw whatever greens are lying around. Spinach? Done. Kale? Check. Chard? Why not. Cucumber? Sure? You’ll find some combinations you absolutely adore and others that you’d rather never taste again. (There’s always tomorrow).

4. Protein Power

To hold you over until your next meal, you’ll need to harness the power of protein to keep you fuller for longer. Reach first for nut butters, nuts, or seeds. Or even better, scoop a serving of Vega Essentials into your smoothie. Besides 20 grams of complete protein, you’ll get three servings of greens, vitamins, minerals, fiber and Omega-3s. Hello smoothie with everything you need to take on the day. Not interested in complete foundational nutrition? What about Vega Protein & Greens for smoothie boost of 20 grams complete protein and 2 servings greens?

5. Phat Fats

Finally, finish your smoothie recipe with a healthy fat. Think chia, flax, hemp, coconut oil, nuts or seeds. (If you’re watching calories, replace with our other friend: fiber).

Now that your smoothie is properly layered, blend until silky smooth, pour into your favorite pint glass and enjoy.

These instructions not specific enough for your liking? Head over the Vega Recipe Center for precise recipes.

Low-calorie smoothie tip:

If you’re looking for a smoothie at a café, don’t be fooled by the word “smoothie” on a menu. Some smoothies are thinly disguised milkshakes. While I’m all about a dessert milkshake, I’d rather stick to their cousins, the smoothie, for breakfast so I don’t crash and curl back into bed before 10 AM.  Looking for a low-calorie option? Make sure you follow these tips, or just try this delicious Lime Blackberry Smoothie.

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smoothies

Elizabeth Jarrard

Elizabeth Jarrard is a registered dietitian in Denver, CO who specializes in medical nutrition therapy and plant-based nutrition. She educates clients and consumers on how to optimize their health through nutrition.

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