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Fresh & Fit Recipe: The Perfect Smoothie

How to Make The Perfect Healthy Smoothie

Smoothies can be a yummy way to get all of your nutrients; many people think that a smoothie is merely a snack. However, a smoothie is better considered to be a meal in a glass. A smoothie is perfect as a meal replacer, post-work out drink, or a healthy dessert. To create the perfect smoothie, follow these easy guidelines.

Step One: Choose your fruits and/or vegetables.

Use fresh or frozen fruits, the nutrients in fruits ensure maximum nutrition. Frozen fruits are ideal for taste and texture, using frozen fruits requires less ice and results in a creamier smoothie. 

Fruits to add:
• Apples
• Banana
• Avocado
• Berries
• Grapefruit
• Kiwi
• Mango
• Melon (watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe)
• Oranges
• Papaya
• Pineapple
• Strawberries
• Pomegranate

Also smoothies are a great opportunity to get vegetables into your diet without tasting. By adding a few greens to your smoothie you are adding a huge nutritional boost.

Vegetables to add:
• Spinach
• Kale
• Arugula
• Romaine lettuce

Step Two: Choose your liquid(s)

To get the right consistency in your smoothie adding a liquid is important, adding 1-2 cups will usually result in a desired consistency. The amount of liquid you add can be determined by which fruit you use. Using bananas or mango results in a creamier smoothie so you would want to use more liquid, opposed to using watermelon, which produces more juice you would want to use less liquid. 

Liquids to add:

• Cows milk
• Almond milk
• Soy milk
• Hemp Milk
• Rice milk
• Oat Milk
• Coconut milk

Fruit Juices
• Orange juice
• Apple Juice
• Grape Juice
• Pomegranate juice

• Coffee
• Water
• Tea

Step Three: Thicken it up

This step creates the texture, consistency, creaminess and balance. Using nuts and seeds add protein, fiber, essential fatty acids and flavor. This step isn’t necessary for the perfect smoothie, although it does add a nutritional and flavorful punch.

Ideas to add:
• Almond butter
• Peanut butter
• Cashew butter
• Pumpkin butter
• Soy seed butter
• Sunflower seed butter
• Yogurt (preferably Greek)
• Cottage cheese
• Kefir
• Frozen Yogurt
• Ice
• Chia seeds
• Oats

Step Four: Flavor it!

This is an easy step; add a small amount of your favorite sweetener, herb or spice.

• Honey
• Stevia
• Maple Syrup
• Agave Nectar
• Figs
• Dates

• Mint
• Cinnamon
• Basil
• Vanilla extract
• Almond extract
• Nut meg
• Ginger
• Cayenne pepper
• Lemon or lime juice

Step Five: Miscellaneous super foods

This step takes the nutritional content to the next level. Super foods such as healthy oils help your body absorb the nutrients from the previous ingredients. Adding protein to your smoothie transforms your smoothie from a snack to a meal, protein powders, which come in many different flavors, are an excellent way to add protein. 

Super foods:
• Protein powder 
• Coconut oil
• Flax seed oil
• Green powders
• Cacao powder
• Acai powder
• Wheat germ
• Probiotic powder
• Ground Flax seeds 
• Hemp seeds

After you have chosen what to put in your smoothie blend and enjoy! 

Photo Credit: http://lindawagner.net/blog/2011/03/green-smoothie-for-weight-loss/

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