Smoothies. They seem to be what might be called the latest nutritional fad. They are quick, nutritious and alkalizing! But why do some taste so much better than others? None of us like the 'lawn mower pulp' versions and we all know that the sweet fruity ones aren't always the way to go. So, how do you know how to create the perfect combination? Vancouver’s alive Magazine has come up with the following 5 steps to build a better smoothie:
What fruits and vegetables should you use?
“Fruits and veggies both have their place in a well-rounded smoothie. For fruit, opt for what’s in season or, during the winter months, use frozen and canned fruit (avoid BPA-lined tins). Berries, stone fruit such as peaches and nectarines, tropical fruit such as mango and pineapple and even local apples and pears are excellent in smoothies. For vegetables, go with local greens such as silverbeet, spinach and kale.”
What liquids will you add?
“Standard smoothie liquids include milk, juice and water. Experiment with different types of milk such as nut or coconut. Try different types of juices too, such as antioxidant-rich pomegranate and blueberry. Rather than plain water, try using coconut water, which adds flavour and electrolytes such as potassium. Experiment with different varieties of teas and coffees.”
How thick do you want it?
“Control the consistency of your smoothie. Enjoy a thicker, milkshake-like smoothie? Add more thickener such as ice, frozen or fresh bananas, yoghurt or kefir, nut butters, hemp seed hearts, coconut meat or oats. To thin your smoothie, simply add more liquid.”
What flavours do you like?
“If you’re making a smoothie that’s light on fruit and other sweet ingredients, you may want to add a natural sweetener. Good choices include honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, dates. Additional flavour boosters include spices such as cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg; extracts such as vanilla, peppermint and almond; and fresh herbs such as mint, parsley and coriander.”
Want to add a nutrient booster?
“Up the nutritional ante of your smoothie with boosters such as chia seeds, maca powder, matcha powder, goji berries, cocoa nibs, bee pollen, greens powder, camu camu and protein powder.”
Go forth! Use your imagination ... have fun with your smoothies! I would love to hear about your favorite combinations!