Clean Green Smoothie, Mistakes to Avoid and More Recipes
We have all been there – especially after holidays, before summer or just whenever we feel that we have been neglecting our body and therefore need to start treating it better. At that point, we usually think of starting a Clean diet to cleanse your body from the inside out.
Your Morning Clean Green Smoothie
Greens are a superfood, rich in antioxidants. Additionally, it is also full of fiber and vitamin A. As you grow your edible garden and there are too many leaves to eat, simply freeze them. If you are growing kale you can also make delicious healthy kale chips.
2 cups of green leaves
3 celery sticks
½ of diced avocado
1 cup of cold almond milk
Blend all the ingredients with 1/2 cup of ice if you have it and serve immediately.
Top 4 Smoothie Mistakes To Avoid
Smoothies are great liquid replacements of a meal, full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. They are also a simple way to incorporate fruits and vegetables into our diet. Moreover, they are super easy and quick to make, so we can always have a healthy meal, no matter where we are.
But there is a problem – not all smoothies are healthy. If we do not prepare it the right way and consequentially insert sugars, harmful trans fats or other things our body does not need, a smoothie can actually be detrimental to our health.
Which are four most common mistakes we can encounter when preparing a smoothie? Making these mistakes will result in your smoothie being a big fat bomb filled with calories and you will eventually gain weight instead of lose it.
1. Way Too Much Sugar
When you find a new smoothie recipe, you should first check if there is any added sugar or sweet ingredients in it. Sugar sometimes hides in places we would mistakenly consider to be healthy – muesli, yoghurts, juices. If you are not paying attention to your ingredients, your smoothie can end up containing as much sugar as two Coca-Cola cans!
You can use sugar substitutes and here is some information to help you to choose the best for you. Decide whether Stevia is a good choice, or Agave and the difference between raw and white sugar, and decide which is the healthier choice for you.
So keep in mind to always avoid smoothies with any kind of added sugars. If the recipe you are using asks for adding juice, use less or dilute.
The following list contains a few smoothie ingredients with a high sugar content.
- ice cream or sherbet
- sugar or agave nectar
- aerosole whipped cream
- pudding mix
Fruits already contains enough sugars so there is absolutely no need for adding additional sugar to your smoothie.
Do not forget to add some vegetables to your smoothie to compensate for all the sugar in your fruits. However, if you are preparing a green smoothie and want to improve the taste, you should opt for berries or non-dairy milk rather than adding sugar.
2. The More the Merrier
It is believed that green and fruit smoothies are very healthy, so it can be tempting to add as many pieces of fruit or veg as possible. But do not forget that by doing that, you are also adding extra calories, complicating the taste and making your smoothie look unattractive. Adding so many ingredients means that you smoothie will turn out looking like a brownish goo.
So do not get your hopes up that adding kale, spinach, avocados, broccoli, coconut milk and a ton of superfoods will get you skinny in a day. You should also keep in mind that not all ingredients go together and some might just make you feel bloated – there should be equilibrium for everything. It is advisable to start with 3 or 4 main ingredients and basic recipes and then build from that.
Whether it’s fruit or vegetables you will be adding plenty of fibre and that’s good for a healthy gut and bowel.
It is also possible that you make a smoothie that will not keep you full for a very long time. As smoothies are considered to be meal replacements, this should not happen. If you drink your smoothie and feel like snacking half an hour later, there is no point in substituting your normal meal with a smoothie and you should therefore reconsider your smoothie preparation.
You probably want to eat meals that are satiating and fill you up until your next meal, so you should keep in mind that simply adding vegetables and fruits does not mean that your smoothie contains the protein your body needs to function throughout the day. If your smoothie consists of only sugar with no protein or fat, you can be sure you will get hungry in an hour. Additionally, if your smoothie does not contain enough calories that would make up for an actual meal, this can hardly be called a meal replacement.
You should therefore add ingredients that contain some much-needed nutrients (protein and fat!).
Choose from the following ingredients to make your smoothie more nutritional:
- non-dairy soy or almond milk
- Greek yoghurt
- cottage cheese
- nuts and nut butters
However, you should make sure to keep in mind the mistake number 2 – do not overdo it and add too many things! You can easily double the calories by adding ingredients your body does not need.
Read on for some delicious Meal Replacement Recipes, for now we’ll finish and describe the fourth mistake that’s easy to make with smoothie recipes.
4. Using low-quality ingredients
If you put low quality ingredients into your smoothie, you should not expect it to miraculously turn out to be healthy. In order to get that healthy mixture you are hoping for, you should avoid using low-grade protein powders or superfoods or non-quality fruits. You should rather opt for fresh produce, full of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
You should also look out for colorings, preservatives or other inactive ingredients that will add hidden fillers, chemicals or inflammatory agents such as added sugars into your smoothie.
Additionally, keep in mind that there is no point in adding store-bought mixtures of cererals filled with sugars or superfoods blends containing only micro-doses of the actual superfoods. Always read the tags on the products you buy and check the percentage of the ingredients in the foods you are buying.
Recipes – Meal Replacement Smoothies
The most important thing to remember when blending a meal replacement smoothie is to include proteins and healthy fats. This combination will guarantee satiety and give you enough energy until your next meal.
Yummy Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1/2 apple
- 10 oz. skim, nut milk or soy milk
Directions: Mix everything in a blender for at least a minute until smooth. Serve immediately!
Afternoon Kale Smoothie
- 2 cups coconut milk, unsweetened
- 2 cups frozen berries
- 1 cup fresh kale leaves
- 1 ripe banana
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds + 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Directions: First remove kale leaves from their center stalk. Put the leaves and coconut milk into your blender and blend until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend once again until smooth. Serve immediately.
Pear Banana Kale Smoothie
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 1 cup chopped kale leaves
- ½ pear
- 1 fresh banana
- 1 ½ cups cold soy milk
- ½ cup rolled oats
Directions: First remove kale leaves from their center stalk. Put them into your blender with spinach leaves and soy milk. Blend for a few minutes until smooth. Add pear, banana, honey and rolled oats. Blend once again until smooth.
- 1 ½ cup frozen blueberries
- ½ cup frozen raspberries
- ½ cup frozen strawberries
- 2 tablespoon natural almond butter
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk
Directions: Put everything into your blender and mix for few minutes until smooth. Sprinkle with some rolled oats and serve.
Healthy Snack Smoothie
- ¾ cup Greek yoghurt
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
- ¼ cup water
- ½ avocado (pitted)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon hemp protein
Directions: Put everything into your blender and mix for a few minutes until smooth. If it is too thick, add some more water.