“Drinking a smoothie in the morning is like meditation. It helps you set your intention for the day.”
- Buy frozen fruit—it’s often cheaper and can even taste better than fresh depending on the season. Store the bags together in a plastic bin in the freezer so you always know what you have and don’t have to stand there with the door open, searching.
- Always keep some bananas in the freezer—a half a banana will make your smoothie really creamy and has a ton of potassium.
- Pick a few superboosters to have on hand—these are supplements you can add to your smoothie to amplify it’s nutritional impact (hemp seeds, chia seeds, bee pollen, protein powder).
- Choose your liquid to go with your ingredients; anything from cow’s milk to pea milk (it’s really good!) to coffee or just plain water (coconut water works really well with greens). For a low- or no-calorie liquid, green tea is great. And it will give you energy without the same caffeine kick as coffee!
- Wash fresh produce right before putting it into your smoothie, not ahead of time. (Bonus: you don’t have to dry it!)
- When assembling your smoothie, put softer or fresher fruits in first, like bananas or avocado, then frozen items and greens—aim for a mix of 2-3 vegetables and 2-3 fruits.
- Add any powders or seeds on top.
- Pour your liquid in last (generally about 3/4 to 1 cup per serving) and blend it up, baby!
Catherine McCord is a food expert and founder of the Weelicious brand, a trusted content resource (and gorgeous Instagram) focused on family and food. She’s the author of Smoothie Project, Weelicious, and Weelicious Lunches. (She and her family start every single day with a smoothie.)
The smoothie you make will depend on what you have on hand. You can really mix and match to your own tastes—some people like tropical, some like chocolate peanut butter (does anyone not?!), some like hard-core green detox. It can also depend on the day. Regardless, frozen is your friend. For fruit and vegetables, you can buy organic cheaper when it’s frozen, you can have strawberries in the dead of winter, and you never have to wash or cut anything. Good greens to have on hand: spinach, kale, chard. But greens are just the tip of the iceberg; there are so many other vegetables you can get in a smoothie that you won’t even taste. Even broccoli. Catherine’s favorite hack: frozen cauliflower. A cup has about two grams of protein, twenty calories, and it makes your smoothies really creamy without changing the color or the taste. The goal for a smoothie is to get as much bang for your buck as you can. Just remember to put in your powders and seeds and nuts at the end, right before the liquid. If you put them in the bottom, they can get stuck.
Make-ahead smoothies: If you’re time-challenged in the a.m. make a big batch of smoothies on a Sunday; divide it among seven mason jars, filling them three-quarters full (so they can expand and not crack the glass), seal tightly, and freeze. Each night, transfer one to the fridge, and in the morning just shake it up and go. (You can store a smoothie in the freezer for up to three months.) This is also a good trick if you’re up before the rest of your house and don’t want to wake them all up with the whirring of the blender. If you’re saving your smoothie to drink later at work, add a squeeze of lemon to keep the color bright.
What superbooster is right for you? You do not need to add any, but if you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, why not?
- Is your energy low? Try spirulina or matcha powder or blue algae (it’s from the sea and has tons of micronutrients).
- Need more fiber? Chia seeds!
- If you’re working on your hair, skin, and nails, add collagen. (According to Catherine, every woman over the age of 35 should take collagen peptides for their joints, skin, hair, and nails—and on it!)
- For an immunity booster, try bee pollen. It’s also high in protein, and if you buy local be pollen, it can help with seasonal allergies. (Bee pollen is Catherine’s secret weapon—her entire family has it in their smoothies every day.)
Greens hack: Next time you have a bunch of greens on hand, whip up a quick batch of “green cubes”—blend two cups of greens, one banana, and a cup of your choice of milk, water, or coconut water, and pour into ice cube trays and freeze overnight. Transfer the cubes to a freezer bag or container and store in the freezer for up to four months. Add two cubes to your smoothies! (The banana adds a touch of sweetness, but you can leave it out if you’re a greens purist.)
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