Smoothies are a great option if you’re on the go a lot of the time.
With an active lifestyle, when you need something refreshing you’re probably tempted by sugary soft drinks, caffeine-packed energy drinks, or even a store-bought smoothie.
In this blog post we’ll show you why making your own smoothie is better. They’re healthy, they’re packed with energy, and they can even be part of a weight loss lifestyle.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- 5 healthy smoothie recipes
- What makes a smoothie healthy?
- Smoothies for weight loss
- Smoothies for energy
- When is the best time to drink a smoothie?
5 healthy smoothie recipes
We’ll start with the recipes because that’s what you’re here for, or you can skip ahead to info about what makes smoothies healthy, about making smoothies for weight loss, or for energy.
1. Breakfast energy smoothie – red
When you live an active lifestyle, starting your day right makes all the difference. The oats in this smoothie release their energy slowly, keeping you charged up throughout the day and helping you dodge that mid-morning slump.
Here’s what you’ll need for this smoothie:
- ½ cup oats
- A big handful of frozen berries
- A banana
- A small handful of spinach (optional)
- Topped up with apple juice
Making it is simple: blend up the oats by themselves first (this creates a fine powder that mixes much more easily with the other ingredients).
Next chuck in the berries, banana, spinach (if you want it) and apple juice, and mix it all up.
Why we love this recipe: oats are a great source of slow-release energy, and their b-vitamins help our bodies to convert food to energy. Spinach is packed with healthy nutrients involved in energy production. And the berries make it taste ace.
2. Breakfast energy smoothie – green
If you’re not a fan of berries, check out this breakfast energy smoothie with a twist. The benefits are the same: slow-release energy throughout the day, with lots of fruit and veg.
Here’s the ingredient list:
- ½ cup of oats
- A small handful of frozen mango
- 2 kiwis, peeled and with the centre scooped out
- Half a banana
- Half an avocado (optional)
- Apple juice to top it up
Again, whizz up the oats first, then add the other ingredients and blend it all until smooth.
We’ve marked the avocado as optional because some people will be put off by the texture (or by savoury ingredients in a smoothie altogether), but we do recommend it. Avocado is packed with vitamins and minerals, and it’s a great source of healthy fats. This can help you to feel fuller between meals – great if you’re trying to avoid snacking.
Why we love this recipe: slow-release oats, super refreshing fruit flavours, and a lovely smooth texture if you include the avocado.
3. Peanut butter and cauliflower
This recipe is a bit out of left field, and the name alone may be enough to put some people off. Bear with us though, because this one is better than it sounds.
If you’re intrigued by this unusual combo, here’s what you’ll need:
- A couple of handfuls of chopped cauliflower (no need to cook it)
- Half a banana
- A big spoon of peanut butter (or other nut butter)
- A glug of natural maple syrup
- Plant milk to top it up, we recommend almond
Add the fruit, veg and milk first, then plop the peanut butter on top. This stops it getting stuck to the bottom of the container and should make it easier to wash up.
Blend everything up and give it a taste: if you want more sweetness you can add a bit more maple syrup or the other half of the banana.
Why we love this smoothie: we’ll be honest, we like the fact that it’s a little out there. That and the little twist of sweetness provided by the maple syrup.
4. Green machine
We’ve seen how fruit and veg can work together in smoothies. This one is our favourite demonstrations of the partnership ❤
Here’s what we use to make this smoothie:
- A handful of raw spinach leaves
- A peeled apple
- Half a banana
- Half an avocado (without the skin!)
- Almond milk as the base
While avocado is technically a fruit, we use it more like a vegetable thanks to its savoury flavour. So in our minds this smoothie is half fruit, half veg with a nice creamy almond milk to bind it together.
As long as you’ve peeled the apple and taken the skin off the banana and avocado, you can just throw this all in together and turn the blender on.
Why we love this smoothie: the texture is so smooth and silky, and the ingredients are packed with good things like iron, potassium, healthy fats and more. What’s not to love?
5. Blueberry chia
Chia seeds were all the rage a few years ago, and while the buzz has died down a little bit now, they are undeniably healthy. Here’s a smoothie where they feature strongly.
- A handful of strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- A handful of blueberries
- A tablespoon of chia seeds
- A spoonful of Greek yoghurt
- Hemp milk to top it up (or almond if you can’t get hemp)
As with oats, we recommend blitzing up the chia seeds separately to make them mix better with the rest. Or you can spoon them in afterwards if you prefer: this will give the smoothie a little more texture.
We’ve suggested strawberries and blueberries here as they’re a match made in heaven, but you can use whichever berries you want. Most of the flavour from this smoothie comes from the fruit, so get creative!
And feel free to use a dairy-free alternative to the yoghurt if you’re vegan.
Why we love this smoothie: chia seeds are packed with antioxidants making them a great ingredient to use, and they give the smoothie an interesting mouthfeel if added after mixing.
What makes a smoothie healthy?
It’s all well and good reading smoothie recipes, but to really reap the benefits you need to know why they’re healthy.
This knowledge puts the power in your hands: instead of recreating recipes you see online, you can improvise and make your own to fit perfectly with your tastes.
So: what makes a smoothie healthy?
- Complex carbohydrates: this type of carb releases energy gradually through the day rather than in one burst, keeping your blood sugar and energy more stable as a result
- Whole grains: not all sources of complex carbohydrates would go well in a smoothie, so a lot of people turn to whole grains. Oats are probably the most versatile but we’ve seen recipes with rice or even quinoa.
- Fresh fruit: store-bought smoothies often contain fruit that’s been cooked and potentially diluted with sugar syrup, both of which reduce its nutritional value. Fresh fruit still contains its nutrients, making it a much healthier choice for smoothies (it’s OK if your fruit is frozen!)
- Vegetables: controversial for some people, but certain vegetables can really lift a smoothie to the next level. It’s a great way to access more vitamins and minerals, too: spinach for example contains tons of iron, or cauliflower is a great source of choline.
- Low-sugar base: taking steps to choose healthy ingredients can amount to nothing if you just heave in a load of really sugary juice to flesh out the smoothie. We recommend juice with no added sugar where possible
- Low-fat base: or, if you go for a milky smoothie without any fruit juice, choose skimmed milk or a low-fat plant alternative to reduce the fat intake.
The best thing about smoothies is that you can include whatever you want as long as you like the taste, so there’s bound to be a healthy smoothie recipe that suits you. Experiment with the categories above and see what you can come up with.
Smoothies for weight loss
If weight loss is your goal, switching out a sugary breakfast and a morning snack for a healthy smoothie can work wonders.
Not only are you prioritising healthy ingredients like fruit, veg and whole grains, you also have the option to choose ingredients that will make you feel fuller for longer. Chia seeds and avocados are two great examples of these natural appetite suppressants.
Remember though, smoothies are not a magic bullet for weight loss. Drinking them won’t magically make you lose weight. Instead, they represent a way to make a healthier choice.
Powher Cut is designed to help you make that healthy choice.
- Formulated specially for women
- Reduces cravings and calorie intake
- Supports natural fat metabolism
Smoothies for energy
If you’re more interested in a source of energy to keep you going for the day, you’ve seen by now how well smoothies can do that!
We’ve used the phrase ‘slow-release’ a bunch of times in this article, but when you want a smoothie for energy it really is a crucial concept. So let’s get you acquainted.
In nutrition there’s a term ‘GI’, which stands for glycemic index. This refers to the speed at which foods release glucose into the bloodstream.
Foods with slow-release have a low GI, and do just that: they break down slowly and give you a steady supply of energy through the day, rather than one big burst that only paves the way for a crash.
(If you choose sugary soft drinks or an energy drink packed with caffeine, you’re far more likely to experience such a slump.)
Slow-release carbs are a mainstay in healthy diet plans. Foods like quinoia, bran flakes and beans are packed with slow-release carbs – but they don’t lend themselves well to drinking.
There are plenty of other foods with low GI, though. Any of the below make great additions to smoothie recipes for energy:
- Vegetables like carrots, spinach, or even butternut squash. Fresh veggies release more energy than their processed counterparts because less has been lost during the process. Riper veggies are better if you have access to them.
- Fruit: we’ve seen already how many smoothie recipes contain fruit. While fruits generally have more sugar than vegetables, they’re also great sources of vitamins and minerals.
- Nuts: these take longer to digest because of protein content, making them a great source of slow-release energy.
- Milk: perhaps unexpectedly, milk has a low GI. Plant milks like soya are good meat-free alternatives, too.
In short, if you want something to give you sustained energy, make sure it’s low GI.
When is the best time to drink a smoothie?
We recommend drinking a smoothie early in the day, when you’d normally have breakfast. This lets you take full advantage of the slow-release energy.
We’d also avoid drinking your smoothie too soon before exercising as they can sit on the stomach and make you feel unwell.
Give your body plenty of time to digest the good stuff you’re giving to it, then get out there and smash it 🔥
Disclaimer: The information on the Powher blog does not constitute medical advice and should not be used as such. If you would like to learn more about your dietary requirements and related aspects of your health, speak with a registered medical professional.