9 Nutritious, Energy-Boosting Ingredients For Your Next Smoothie
Good for you. You're into smoothies. It's only recently happened to me because someone who loves me gave me a blender recently. Because I hate things sitting around not being used, I've started making my mornings interesting with smoothie experimentation.
So from my experimentations, or just experiments I guess, I can tell you what ingredients have worked for me. I have discovered that I'm not a super fruity person when it comes smoothies. I'd rather just eat the fruit I think. But if you have frozen strawberries or blueberries, they could go in there. That's your option. And it's a great option because fruit is wonderful.
But my goal is to wake up, use the restroom, and continue with a full supply of fire in my belly. These ingredients are morning ingredients. All of them are for slow-release energy and filling up the belly at the same time. This mainly is due to a lot of fiber, caffeine and antioxidant activity. Don't be surprised if you have to use the restroom afterward. Which helps create more energy actually.
1. Banana: Wait. I just said I didn't like fruit in my smoothie. Well I really like banana with the following ingredients. It goes so nicely with the tastes of everything else, I could not deny it as a foundation for my creation. Plus it gives me the following: fiber and potassium. Boom.
2. Almond butter: A nice, delicious couple of tablespoons to fill you up. Plus you are going to get protein and fiber once again. Not to mention the wonderful vitamins and minerals like magnesium and vitamin E that are available for you in almonds. Goes nicely with the banana too if you had not had banana and almond butter as a snack, you are missing out!
3. Cacao nibs: What the? Cacao nibs are actually considered a superfood these days. These nibs are actually crushed cacao beans (the source of chocolate--yes please) with all the antioxidants (A LOT OF FLAVONOIDS), iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, and yes, fiber. And you get the feel-good chemical reaction in the brain of eating chocolate: endorphins, darling. Chocolate without the evil horror of sugar. Smoothies in my opinion are the best uses of cacao nibs because in all honesty, they taste a little bit like dirt if you get the good kind: raw and organic. Which leads me to my next ingredient...
4. Honey: Any time I put something that tastes like dirt or grass (like the ingredients above and below this ingredient), I have to put something tasty in there too. I don't want to not be able to drink the thing. Thank goodness there are healthy sweeteners out there. My favorite of which is honey, which is good for you during allergy season and is actually healing when you have a cough. It is antibacterial and anti-fungal and is all kinds of amazing.
5. Matcha: Oh there are so many reasons to love matcha. I could go into so much detail about this so I already did--follow that link if you want to know all about it. But here is where we will get our energy and more antioxidants: thank you, EGCG. Oh and a boost to your metabolism. Congratulations on bringing this beautiful green nutrient into your life.
6. Almond milk: You could do unsweetened almond milk. That's nice. But I always like to get a little naughty here and indulge in the dark chocolate almond milk. I like my smoothies brown and kickin'. We've already talked a little bit about almonds. They're a wonderful source of fat. This is where we can lower blood sugar levels a little bit. Even if this is your blind, sweet spot in your smoothie.
7. Cinnamon: Speaking of lowering blood sugar, this is where it's at. Cinnamon in the blood helps to control blood sugar. It can even help with Type II Diabetes. There's a lot to think about when it comes to cinnamon: it's also antimicrobial. And can lower your LDL (a cholesterol which studies have indicated is responsible for cardiac issues). Plus it adds spice taste! Ayurvedically, it can add a lot to your disposition. And I can imagine I'm eating a cinnamon roll.
8. Some kind of green powder: So you've bought a green powder like spirulina or maybe even chlorophyll. Maybe it has some awesome herbs in there too, maybe even some probiotics. But you know it has vitamins and minerals, so many that you could replace your multi-vitamin. It also has some amino acids which are great for mental health actually. Check your green powder for these ingredients and don't let it expire, wasting away in the back of your fridge or pantry. Put it in that smoothie.
9. Real-deal coconut milk: Like from the can. You know, the thick and watery consistency that you stir with a spoon. Not the watery kind from the carton. The good stuff. There are so many reasons why coconuts are so awesome so I'll just name two so we can get on with our day: medium-chain fatty acids which are fatty acids that can't be stored so they are used immediately for energy. Also there is something called monolactin which is incredibly antimicrobial. Fighting viruses, fungi, and balancing bacteria while drinking a smoothie? Yes. Plus it provides that sweet,fatty taste to offset the not-so-wonderful tasting green powder you just dumped in this smoothie. Just being honest.
What are your favorite ingredients for a smoothie? Do tell.