How to build a balanced smoothie
We get it. While Pure Plates provides you with some of your favorite meals like our Best Sellers or Newest options, sometimes you want to satisfy your cravings with something that you can make at home, like a smoothie.
But similar to all food choices out there, smoothies can be nourishing, leaving you feeling full and satisfied. Or they can be empty of nutrition, leaving you feeling unsatisfied, wanting more food, and even further from reaching your health goals.
Pure Plates is here to help you with all aspects of your food choices, so today we’re going to walk you through how to build a balanced smoothie at home.
Start with a solid base
Having a solid base that will bulk up the consistency of your smoothie is an important place to start. One of the most commonly used foods for this is a banana. Bananas are thick in consistency and also add natural sugars, fiber, and potassium to your smoothie. To switch up your smoothie or to try something new, you could try some other bases like frozen cauliflower or frozen sweet potato. Typically, a ¼ frozen banana, or ½ cup frozen vegetable will do.
Add frozen fruit
Next, we decide what our flavor profile will be! Frozen fruit can impact the full flavor of the smoothie. One of our go-tos is using frozen berries! Berries are a great source of antioxidants and can therefore prevent diseases. They are also sources of natural sugar and sweetness, adding to the flavor of your end result. You can purchase frozen berries already frozen in the fridge aisle of the grocery store, or, you can buy them fresh and freeze your own! Frozen berries are available year-round. You could also try any other frozen fruit that fits your food preferences like frozen mango, frozen pineapple, or frozen melon. No matter which frozen fruit you choose, aim to use about a ¼ cup. Using fruit in a smoothie adds lots of vitamins and minerals to your meal or snack.
Add a healthy fat
After adding frozen fruit, we’ll now focus on what type of healthy fat we’ll use! Healthy fats are crucial in our diet because they give our body energy, supports cell growth, and insulates our organs. These are all crucial functions that we need to reach our wellness goals. Healthy fats are also known as unsaturated fats. Saturated fats, or unhealthy fats, are the type of fat that we want to limit. Saturated fats are typically found in animal products like meat or dairy. That’s not to say that we can never have these, they just should not be the main components of our diet! Healthy fat sources include foods like nut butters, seeds, or avocado. Each of these can be added into your everyday smoothie.
When eating the rest of your meals with Pure Plates, we got your healthy fats covered! In foods like our No Crap Nut Bar and Cashew Butter Logs, you don’t have to let making sure you’re getting enough nutrients stress you out.
Add a protein source
Protein is another nutrient that’s crucial when making your smoothie! Protein gives us energy and makes us stronger. It also keeps us full and satisfied longer so we don’t need to have another snack right after eating. Protein in a smoothie can come in many forms. It can be in things like nut butter, so if you choose that, you’re getting both a healthy fat and a protein! It’s also in foods like yogurt, cow’s milk, or seeds. Protein powder can also be used. If using protein powder, we recommend hemp or pea protein. For a high protein diet, add multiple of your favorite protein sources.
Building your smoothie gives you the opportunity to add greens to your meal! It’s one of our favorite things to add because you won’t notice it’s in there. Add any type of greens that you love including spinach, kale, or arugula. We recommend about a handful. The color of the smoothie may change a bit but don’t worry, it’ll still be delicious!
If consuming enough greens is regularly a concern of yours, Pure Plates can also help you with that! We offer many veggie-based meals, including our new Brussel Sprout Spinach Salad, that will increase your vegetable intake.
Choose your liquid base
The last component of a balanced smoothie is choosing your liquid base! The liquid base is essential when it comes to a smoothie. It gives it the liquid texture that it needs in order to drink or spoon it. We recommend any liquid base other than juice. Since we’re building our smoothies with fruit, we’re already giving it plenty of natural sugars and sweetness. Fruit juices are oftentimes filled with added sugars that provides us with unnecessary empty calories. Cow’s milk, oat milk, or soy milk would all be ok. If you skipped the protein option earlier, then make sure your liquid base has protein in it!
No matter what foods you decide to add to your smoothie, make sure you choose ones that are balanced, will keep you satisfied, and most importantly, are ones that you ENJOY! If smoothies are your thing, we say go for it and let Pure Plates take care of the rest of your meals for you. We’ll help you keep you fully nourished and on track with your health goals without the stress or anxiety of wondering what to constantly cook for yourself.