Many people wonder, “Are smoothies healthy for a meal?” And the answer is yes! But, what you put in the smoothie is what makes the difference between it being a healthy meal replacement or a big glass of sugar!
For example, when I googled the definition of a smoothie, this is what I got: “A thick, smooth drink of fresh fruit pureed with milk, yogurt, or ice cream.” Yes….that is what a smoothie started out as years ago; it was more of a treat – like a milkshake – instead of a healthy meal!
They may have started that way, but boy have they changed over the last few years! People are really starting to see the benefits of including a healthy smoothie in their day as a meal.
Nowadays, smoothies can contain a wide variety of ingredients. They typically contain some type of liquid (like water, milk or juice), as well as ice, vegetables, and fruits. They can range from being relatively plain and simple to being filled with superfoods like flax seeds, chia seeds or spirulina. Smoothies are blended and should contain all parts of the plants in order to include the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, as well as the insoluble fiber of the fruits and vegetables being used. This will leave you feeling fuller, for a longer period of time.
The MOST important thing when blending green smoothies as a meal replacement is to include both healthy fats AND proteins. This combo will keep you feeling full and give you the energy you need to cruise right through ’til your next meal or snack.
By adding foods like healthy protein powders, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, etc., you can help boost the protein, fiber, and healthy fat intake. When you include the necessary macronutrients, a smoothie can be a complete meal.
Swapping a meal with a green smoothie can benefit you in these ways:
- You’ll be more energized thanks to all the fresh, raw ingredients
- They’re super quick to make and drink
- Less bloating than usual when eating a meal
On my Simple Summer Meals Challenge, which has been happening this past week, I have been talking about trying to incorporate fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables into your meals. If you happen to plant your own garden, then that makes it very simple for you to incorporate this tip. Below is a photo of my garden full of yummy kale that I have been making lots of smoothies with. I also was very lucky the other day, as my wonderful mother-in-law brought me a big bowl of fresh blueberries she had just picked from her blueberry field. 💕
I made this smoothie recipe yesterday by putting together the fresh ingredients I had on hand, creating a delicious and nutritious breakfast!
*Note: You’ll notice that my smoothie isn’t actually green… it’s more purple-ish (and that is because of the blueberries, of course!). When I say “green smoothie” I don’t mean that it has to be green in color, but instead, that it’s natural and nutrient-rich. Your “green smoothie” can be any color; what makes it “green” is the nutrient-dense and natural ingredients it’s made from.
- 1 cup kale
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 banana
- 1/4 avocado
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
Add all ingredients to blender, blend for 30-60 seconds until smooth. You may add a bit more water for desired consistency.
*You can use frozen fruit to make your smoothie cold.
Sip and enjoy!