A Good Market Guide To Superfood Smoothies
By The Good Market
Superfood smoothies, when done right, are delicious, nutritious and can take the place of a snack or even a full meal. Don’t have any time to make breakfast? A smoothie could take you 10 minutes or less, with little clean-up necessary. You could, if using the right ingredients, get your daily vitamin and mineral needs in one slushy treat. Even better: chock your smoothie full of antioxidants, fibre, healthy fats and protein too.
Forget buying smoothies at fancy juice shops that can cost a bundle and may contain hidden sugars and artificial ingredients. Instead, whip up your own creative combo at home.
All you need is a blender, a few ingredients of your choice and this handy guide. Read ahead for some key tips on how to make your own perfect superfood smoothie.
- Yes, order matters. Dumping all the ingredients hazardously into a blender, pressing the “on” switch and hoping for the best is unfortunately not the way to go. There is, in fact, a method to the madness.
First, add some liquid. (If using a recipe, use half of what’s called for. Typically you want to have about 1/2 to 1 cup of liquid per smoothie. That could include ingredients like soy milk, nut milk, coconut milk, coconut water, or just regular H20). The key thing to note here is to not use too much liquid at the get-go. You can always add more later to change the smoothie’s texture and flavour.
If you’re using protein powder, this would be the second ingredient to be added. These powders can help thicken your smoothie, add some sweetness and create a creamier consistency. Adding them right after the liquid helps the powder blend more easily with the liquid. A later addition could cause chalkiness.
Next, it’s time to add your superfoods! The options are endless: from maca, cacao, chia seeds, acai, goji, maqui, camu camu, raw nut butter, flax seeds, chia seeds, or even a superfood blend. Just be conscientious of how you mix these power-packed foods (See note on using superfoods below.)
At this point, you can add your leafy greens, like spinach, collards, bok choy and kale; followed by fresh fruit or vegetables, if you’re using any. Avocado is a great addition to smoothies, offering a wonderfully creamy texture.
Frozen ingredients, like frozen berries and bananas, come next. We highly recommend using frozen produce. They add a great texture to smoothies and keep very well in the freezer. Some frozen fruit, like berries for example, tend to be cheaper in stores than fresh alternatives.
If you like your smoothies very thick, add some ice cubes at this point. You can also freeze nut milk or coconut milk in ice cube trays to use instead for a creamier flavour. (Adding ice prevents the other ingredients from overheating during the blending process so we recommend throwing in at least a couple of cubes.)
Finally, it’s time to blend! Start on a low speed and then progress to high for the best consistency. You may have to stir the ingredients as you go. Add more liquid if you’d like to tweak the texture or flavour, and add some sweetener if you need. A pinch of salt can also help brighten flavours and enhance sweetness.
Keep tasting for flavour — and just be sure to not “over-blend.” Blending for too long may cause excessive melting.
2. Choose your greens wisely. Green smoothies are GREAT for you, but they tend to have a bad reputation for tasting… well, too green. To avoid this, choose your greens wisely, especially when you’re just starting out. Some leafy greens are much tastier in smoothies than others. Spinach and romaine are two prime examples. Asian greens like boy choy are fairly mild too. More bitter greens like kale, arugula and Swiss chard, on the other hand, can be harder to swallow. If you want to include bitter greens, start by using small amounts at first. You can also try combining the types of greens you use. For instance, use a mix of spinach and kale, rather than just kale alone.
3. Mix superfoods carefully, too. Just like greens, some superfoods taste better in smoothies than others. Some, like spirulina and camu camu — though terrific for your health — have very strong flavours that you may want to mask. Typically, cacao powder, maca powder, maqui, acai, and goji berries are easier to mix and match, and can also help mask the bitterness of superfoods like spirulina.
- Be creative! Ultimately, tons of experimentation is key to becoming a smoothie superstar. Try different combinations, tweak recipes and figure out what works best for you.
To get you started, here’s a rough outline for a typical smoothie recipe.
1/2 to 1 cup liquid (soy milk, nut milk, coconut water, etc.)
1 to 2 cups greens
1 cup frozen fruit
4 ice cubes
Plus any extras you may desire — from protein powder to superfoods, to spices and seeds. Sweeteners, like stevia, agave and honey, can be added too.
Here are some of our favourite smoothie recipes. Try ‘em out at home! Also connect with us on Facebook or Instagram to share your favorite smoothie recipes. We’d love to hear from you.