While you can make a healthy green smoothie with just fruits and greens, adding a little fat can make the smoothie more satisfying and keep you energized until lunchtime.
Avocados are one of the best foods you can eat and they help to create a thick, creamy texture in a smoothie. Avocado’s have a variety of health benefits and should definitely have a place in your daily diet. Their flavor is easily masked by flavorful fruits such as strawberries, pineapple or ripe bananas.
I recommend that you start with adding 1/4th of an avocado to your smoothie recipes. You might not want to put in more than a half of one, otherwise the smoothie might be too thick. Here are some great avocado smoothie recipes to get you started.
Seeds contain vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy fats that can be added to smoothies. Because whole seeds are difficult to digest, I recommend grinding them up in a coffee grinder or food processor before adding them to your smoothie.
Sesame seeds are one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium. Both chia and flax seeds are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids which studies have linked to a variety of health benefits. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are also great choices as well as hemp seeds, which are high in protein.
Nuts and Nut Butters
You will want to go easy when adding nuts to your smoothie. Raw almonds, cashews or macadamia nuts are great options if you have a high-speed blender that can powder them prior to mixing your smoothie. Alternately, a tablespoon or two of almond, cashew or peanut butter can add a nutty flavor to a banana smoothie.
I love using young Thai coconuts in my smoothies. Unlike the more familiar brown, hairy mature coconut commonly found in supermarkets, young coconuts are filled with a sweet, coconut flavored water which is exquisite and is extremely healthy for you. The flesh is soft and similar in texture to hard boiled egg white. Mixing pineapple, mango or any tropical fruit to coconut tastes amazing in a smoothie! You can find coconuts at health food stores, Asian and Latino markets.
A tablespoon of coconut oil or even olive oil can add a healthy dose of lipids to your smoothie as well.
When adding fat to your smoothie, be careful not to go overboard. Too much fat, even the healthy fats, are not good for you. But the right dose of fat and oils in a smoothie can make it more satisfying and keep you energized and satisfied between meals.
Tracy Russell is the creator of the Green Smoothie Weight Loss Program, the 30-Day Whole Foods Challenge and founder of Incredible Smoothies. She is passionate about helping people improve their health with green smoothies and a whole foods lifestyle.