5 Swaps For a Healthier Smoothie
Up your smoothie game with these easy substitutions that will transform your go-to drink into a nutrient powerhouse.
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Tired of throwing the same old banana in your morning smoothie?
Trust me, you aren’t alone.
While bananas are certainly a great source of nutrition (hello potassium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C), they are also so BASIC.
Basic isn’t a bad thing, but come on, live a little. Branch out of your comfort zone and take a walk on the wild side with these five swaps to boost your smoothie.
Rest assured, with a little imagination, your smoothie game will go from zero to 100 in a matter of minutes. Hashtag: #yourewelcome.
5 Swaps To Boost Your Smoothie
1. Build A Better Base
Swap out the banana base for something more creative like cauliflower! Did you know that cauliflower is a nutrient powerhouse? Just 1-cup of raw cauliflower contains 3 grams of fiber and 77% of the daily value for vitamin C, amongst other nutrients like vitamin K, folate and vitamin B6 to name a few. Concerned about the taste? Don’t be! When pairing cauliflower with other fruits and herbs (see swaps 2 and 5 below), you’ll be amazed at the versatility of this vegetable. Bye-bye kale, hello cauli!
Recipe Suggestion: Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie by Lindsay Livingston, RDN
2. Put A Little Natural Sugar In It, Baby
Swap out the added sugar from ingredients like cane sugar, agave and honey and replace with dried or fresh fruits, like dates. Dates are a naturally sweet fruit that packs nearly 70% of its weight from naturally occurring sugar, meaning you don’t have to use a lot to get the sweetness you desire. Alongside a host of nutrients like fiber, potassium, and magnesium to name a few, dates are a convenient way to satisfy your sweet tooth cravings in smoothie form.
Recipe Suggestion: Cacao and Date Delight Smoothie by Sarah Koszyk, MA, RDN
3. Don’t Fear The Fat. It’s Your Friend
Swap out your fear of fat (yes, I’m talking about that fear you have of gaining weight due to the fat-phobic craze that took off nearly two decades ago) and instead focus on the right kind of fat. Foods like nuts, seeds and avocados are a great way to boost your smoothie, leaving you more satiated (aka full) well into the next meal hour. Avocado’s natural buttery, smooth texture creates the perfect addition to a wide variety of smoothie flavors!
Recipe Suggestion: Green Avocado Peach Smoothie by Amber Ketchum, MDS, RD
4. Power Up With Protein
Swap out your traditional Greek yogurt or protein powder for a vegan protein source, like lentils and other beans. Not only are beans an excellent way to increase your intake of plant forward protein, but they also provide fiber, complex carbohydrates and nutrients like copper, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. While you can certainly experiment on your own, the best combinations seem to stem from black beans used in chocolate smoothies while white beans and/or chickpeas in your vanilla and fruit based varieties.
Recipe Suggestion: Chocolate Black Bean Protein Smoothie by Brittany Poulson, MDA, RDN, CDE
5. Go Bold With Herbs And Spices
Swap out the flavored syrups (no, low calorie doesn’t mean healthier here, my friends) for natural herbs and spices like basil and turmeric. Herbs provide a fresh flavor to delight your taste buds while offering many health benefits, such as the anti-inflammatory properties found in turmeric. Start small by adding a pinch to your smoothie and as your taste buds mature begin to widen your horizons!
Recipe Suggestion: Raspberry Peach Smoothie by Emily Kyle, MS, RDN