Salad, To-Go? Tips for Your Smoothies!

green smoothie with leafy vegetables in a bowl


Busy days and long commutes sometimes make it difficult to sit down and enjoy the recommended five to nine servings per day of fresh fruit and vegetables. Blended smoothies can be a nice alternative when you are in a hurry, and may help ensure you aren’t missing out on the healthful bioactive compounds found in plant-based foods.

To avoid excess sugar or calorie consumption, keep these tips in mind:

  1. Imagine the ingredients on a plate. You wouldn’t sit down to a plate of five apples, so don’t try to cram them into a smoothie. Once you pick the fresh or frozen items for your smoothie, imagine it on a plate. Do the portions seem reasonable? Is half the plate made up of vegetables? If so, proceed!
  2. Pick a protein. Smoothies can be a satisfying meal-replacement if they contain the necessary protein to satiate. Unsweetened Greek yogurtnut butters and seeds, are great choices. Play around with these options until you find your favorite taste and texture. Try to aim for at least 10 grams of protein per smoothie.
  3. Add something sweet, something pungent. Try not to rely on fruit alone to fill your smoothie. Balance the sweetness with something subtle and naturally detoxifying such as fresh parsley, spinach, cucumber, fennel or fresh herbs and spices.
  4. Pair it with something crunchy. Research has found that humans may not fully register satiation and usable energy from liquid beverages, and that we must chew our food to make us feel full. Round out your smoothie with a crunchy complement. Instead of adding nuts to your smoothie, chew on a handful of them or enjoy a rice cake with nut butter.

These tips will ensure that your choice to include a smoothie in your day is health-promoting and satisfying.


Elizabeth Potter, Bastyr University Dietetic Intern 2015