How to Build the Perfect Smoothie

The weather is warming up, it's almost spring break, and lately all you've been craving is a fresh and creamy smoothie, but you have no idea what to put in it. In fact, one time you tried to make one of those Instagram-worthy green smoothies you see all over social media and it turned out the color of mud. Sound familiar? If you've been dodging smoothies because you have no idea what ingredients to include, we've got you covered. This guide to building the perfect smoothie covers everything you need to know about creating the most flavorful, nutritious drink. 

Step one: add a handful of ice. Your smoothie will instantly become twice as big when you throw in several ice cubes. The bigger the smoothie the better, right?

Step two: make it creamy. We're thinking ice cream consistency. Here are a few ingredients you can add to thicken up your smoothie:

- Nonfat greek yogurt

- 1/2 an avocado

- 1/2 a banana

- Chia seeds

- Raw almonds

- Almond butter

- Peanut butter

- Flax seeds

- Rolled oats

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Photo courtesy of Keto Reviews

Step three: add some flavor. Throw in your favorite fresh, tropical fruit for a burst of color and nutrients. Here are some fruits that blend well in smoothies:

- Strawberries

- Blueberries

- Mango

- Green apples

- Blackberries

- Raspberries

- Cherries

Step four: get your greens. You may think adding spinach or kale to your tropical fruit smoothie will ruin the flavor, but you won't even taste it. When leafy greens are added to a blended up drink, the nutrients are more readily available for absorption by the body. Try tossing a handful of spinach or kale in to the blender for a boost of vitamins and fiber. 

Step five: add some protein. When you include a serving of protein powder in your smoothie, you will actually stay full and satisfied for a longer period of time. Protein powder aids in muscle recovery, promotes a healthy metabolism, and will help you kick those between-meal cravings. There are tons of protein powder flavors, but you can never go wrong with a vanilla flavor when making a smoothie.

Step six: add the final ingredient. Your smoothie needs some kind of liquid to act as a base and cause all of the other ingredients to blend together. Here are a few options that will give you the perfect consistency:

- Almond milk

- Coconut milk

- Coconut water

- Cashew milk

- Iced coffee

- Iced green tea

- Soy milk

- Nonfat milk

- Water

- 100% fruit juice

Smoothies are a great way to pack loads of nutrient-dense foods in to one refreshing breakfast or snack. So, now that you're a smoothie-making pro, what are you waiting for? Grab a blender and try combining one ingredient from each of these categories to create a delicious, nourishing treat. Your body will thank you!