There's a reason that search for healthy smoothie recipes is on the rise. While the weather in the UK this summer has been - ahem - questionable, to say the least, a summer-inspired breakfast can bring a bit of joy to even the rainiest of mornings.
That said, making a smoothie that's actually nutrient-dense isn't just about chucking 101 different fruits and veg in a blender, FYI. Far from it, actually, although the formula for a successful smoo' is pretty simple, shares nutritionist and dietician Jo Travers.
Top tip: Aim for a balance of protein, fat, and carb. "Adding things like yoghurt, oats, nuts and seeds increase the nutrient density and lower the glycaemic index of a smoothie," the expert explains. They also up the protein in your smoothie, which will help to stabilise blood sugar spikes (and crashes) and stave off hunger.
Why opt for a smoothie? Other than the fact they can be seriously refreshing when the weather is nice, you're getting a hit of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in one handy drinkable portion. They're quick to make and easy to drink on the go, too.
Keep scrolling for our nutritionist's go-to picks for healthy smoothie recipes to try, and don't miss our guides to healthy breakfast ideas, healthy snack ideas, and what to eat after a workout, while you're here.
The only 3 healthy smoothie recipes you need to know
There are quite literally thousands of recipes on the Internet, but to save you scrolling recipe after recipe and getting caught up in whether to blitz up spirulina or turmeric, we've asked three of our go-to nutritionists for their favourite recipes.
The below recipes are all simple, cheap, and absolute staples if you're keen to start making smoothies more regularly.
Also note: If you're having the below smoothies as a meal, do make sure to drink slowly and, as nutritionist Grace Kingswell frequently advises, chew, chew, chew, to help your digestion (you're still consuming food, just in blended form, after all).
1. Green smoothie
This is nutritionist Natasha Corrett's go-to. Why? She says it gives her a burst of energy and staves off hunger pangs, too. "This is an energy-creating smoothie – the oats are fantastic for releasing their energy slowly and so this smoothie will keep you full until lunch," she explains.
The ingredients include:
- 150g pear, cored
- 45g kale
- 115g cucumber
- 40g oats
- 480ml coconut water.
On the method front, it's as simple as putting all the ingredients into a blender and blending until completely smooth.
The smoothie is best drunk straight away, but you can always put it in a jar and take it out with you to drink as soon as you can during the day. Add ice to keep it extra cold, or add to the blender to make it more of a smooth, slushie texture.
Note here: Do add some protein in the form of yoghurt, protein powder, nuts or seeds if you'd like the smoothie to be more satiating, but you will get some from the oats. Vegan or plant-based and want to include a vegan protein source? Check out our guide to vegan protein, while you're here.
2. Banana and berry smoothie
This is a wonderfully quick and easy breakfast, nutritionist and author Ella Mills shares on her website. "It literally takes five minutes and is both energising and amazingly filling thanks to the oats, chia seeds and almond butter."
Ready to give it a go? The ingredients span:
- 1 ripe banana
- Handful of blueberries, about half a cup
- Half a cup ice cold water
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed
- 1 tablespoon oats
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 2 Medjool dates, pitted
To make the above again is simple - just place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Consistency too thick? Add a dash more water if needed.
Trying to eat more gluten free foods, for health reasons such as being coeliac or intolerant? Opt for oats that are gluten-free, instead.
3. Mango and ginger smoothie
According to nutritionist and co-founder of Ardere Lauren Windas, this smoothie not only tastes like summer but is incredibly health-supportive, too.
She shares: "When you hear buzz words about health, you will often hear the word anti-inflammatory crop up - but ginger and turmeric are some of the most beneficial natural anti-inflammatory compounds for your health, both of which are in this smoothie."
Mangoes are also high in potassium, fibre and enzymes, all of which are good for digestion. The ingredients include:
- 100g mango or frozen mango
- 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 150ml almond milk (or preferred health milk alternative)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla powder (or good quality vanilla extract)
To make, once again place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend. Enjoy ice cold.
How to make smoothies that are actually healthy?
Making the perfect smoothie is a simple combination of the below formula.
- A frozen fruit - think banana, mango, spinach, or berries.
- A source of protein - think protein powder, yoghurt, nut butter, or seeds.
- Some liquid - be that water, milk, oat milk, or coconut water.
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Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, eight-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She regularly hosts panels and presents for things like the MC Sustainability Awards, has an Optimum Nutrition qualification, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw, with health page views up 98% year on year, too. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.
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