After four years of posting recipes on our blog, we have YET to post a ONE smoothie recipe! So, to make up for the lost time, I figured why not post three?! And not just any three! I’ve got three veggie-packed smoothies that will help to boost your nutrition (and your family’s nutrition too) in no time!
Perhaps you’re wondering though, veggies in a smoothie – sounds kinda strange?!
Why add veggies to a smoothie?
Why not? Here are a few reasons why I like to add veggies to my smoothies:
Adding veggies is a super simple way to get an extra 1-2 servings of veggies in during the day.
It’s a great way to use up fresh greens (like spinach) before they turn bad and end up in your compost bin.
When mixed with fruit and other ingredients, you often can’t even taste the veggies.
Adding veggies helps to balance out the amount of fruit added. Now, there’s nothing wrong with fruit or the sugar from it! But an all fruit/fruit-juice smoothie can lead to a blood sugar crash later on.
These 3 veggie-packed smoothies each have a different veggie added to them. Can you guess which veggie is the star in each one just by looking at the colour?
If you’re new to adding veggies to your smoothie, here are 3 veggies that are good starters!
Spinach (fresh or frozen): This is an easy leafy green to start with. It does not change the taste of your smoothie, as long as you add other naturally sweet ingredients like fruit. The biggest impact it will have is on the colour of your smoothie.
Cauliflower (frozen):Cauliflower is similar to spinach in that you cannot detect the taste when other fruits are added to your smoothie. I like to use frozen riced cauliflower for easy blending. Unlike spinach, the white colour of cauliflower means it won’t change the colour of your smoothie – bonus!
Beets (fresh cooked or frozen): Beets are a fantastic addition to smoothies for athletes. They have been shown to improve athletic performance by improving the use of oxygen and increasing time to exhaustion in exercise. Adding beets to a berry smoothie is also a great way to introduce your littlest eaters to beets!
If you’re new to making smoothies (or smoothies with veggies in them!) here are some more tips that you might find helpful.
Smoothie making tips:
Start with a 2:1 or 3:1 ratio of fruit to veggies. You can increase the amount of veggies overtime if you like. All fruits are great options so play around with your favourites! I like to add frozen banana for a creamier and thicker smoothie.
Include some protein. Protein helps to add that filling factor to a smoothie and balance the natural sugars from the fruit. I like to add 2% plain Greek yogurt because it’s a versatile whole food protein source that’s always in our fridge. Protein powders are another option for adults but I recommend using those less frequently for kids. Some other protein-rich whole food options include silken tofu, mashed white beans, and nut butters.
To boost calories, add a fat. Full fat coconut milk, homo milk, full fat yogurt, and frozen avocado cubes are easy add-ins for kids or adults looking to boost their calories.
Don’t forget fibre. Fibre (alongside protein and fat) adds that filling factor to a smoothie. Hemp hearts, chia seeds and flaxseeds are my favourite fibre add-ins, as well as dried rolled oats.
Choose an unsweetened liquid. The fruit will provide lots of sweetness so juice typically isn’t necessary. Milk or non-dairy milk alternates are great options. Be sure to check that your milk is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
Flavour boosters. For the adventurous smoothie eaters out there, consider adding some flavour boosters in your smoothies. You can try ingredients like lemon juice, coffee beans, vanilla extract, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon or cocoa powder.
As a marathon runner, Cara loves a balanced smoothie as a pre-run or post-run / recovery snack. (Check out Cara’s top 5 foods for recovery here!)
Heather is currently relishing in the fact that her kids are old enough now to make their own smoothies! She also enjoys experimenting with dairy-free recipes for the many kids she works with who have cow’s milk protein allergy or dairy intolerance.
I (Rosanne) love to make smoothies for my kids as part of a balanced after-school snack. My consumption of smoothies increases exponentially in the warmer weather! Nothing beats a cold creamy smoothie and a piece of toast after a morning run.
All three of us have made a lot of different smoothie combinations over the years. Below are three of our favourites starring veggies. Don’t forget that smoothies are a personal thing. So, don’t feel bad about adjusting ratios or ingredients – their versatility is what makes them so fun to make!
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