Smoothiology: 5 Ingredients Every Smoothie Recipe Needs

Monday December 21, 2015

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If you want to start your day off strong, you might want to start it with a balanced smoothie. Here are the five ingredients that every smoothie recipes needs:

1. All About That Base

Pick your favorite: water, juice or a non-dairy beverage. If you’re trying to minimize your calories, stick to water. Juice is perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth. For an extra creamy texture, pick non-dairy milk. Want to get a little adventurous? Swap out traditional almond milk for something more exotic like hemp milk or quinoa milk.

2. Ice, Ice, Baby

Who wants a lukewarm smoothie? Nope! I’d rather be straight up chillin’ with ice cubes. Frozen banana in place of ice cubes makes your smoothie extra smooth. Frozen fruit is perfect during the middle of winter when “fresh” fruit is nowhere to be seen.

3. Green is Good

Search the fridge and throw whatever greens are lying around. Spinach? Done. Kale? Check. Chard? Why not. Cucumber? Sure? You’ll find some combinations you absolutely adore and others that you’d rather never taste again. (There’s always tomorrow).

4. Protein Power

To hold you over until your next meal, you’ll need to harness the power of satiating protein. Grab nut butters, nuts, or seeds. Or even better, scoop a serving of a multisource plant-based protein into your smoothie. Look for powders that are minimally processed, and contain more than one plant-based protein. Extra points if it also has Omega-3s, greens, fiber, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and digestive enzymes. Hello smoothie with everything you need!

5. Phat Fats

Finally, finish your smoothie recipe with a healthy fat. Think chia, flax, hemp, coconut oil, nuts or seeds. (If you’re watching calories, replace with our other friend: fiber).

Now that your smoothie is properly layered, blend until silky smooth, pour into your favorite pint glass and enjoy.

Low-calorie smoothie tip:

If you’re looking for a smoothie at a café, don’t be fooled by the word “smoothie” on a menu. Some smoothies are thinly disguised milkshakes. While I’m all about a dessert milkshake, I’d rather stick to their cousins, the smoothie, for breakfast so I don’t crash and curl back into bed before 10 AM. 


Author Bio:  Elizabeth Jarrard, RD LDN
lizabeth Jarrard is a registered dietitian at Vega, who specializes in medical nutrition therapy and plant-based nutrition. She educates clients and consumers how to optimize their health through nutrition.