No guarantees, but good choices usually contribute to good results! That applies when choosing what to toss in your juicer or blender as well for best health. Both juices and smoothies are useful wellness tools and when to drink a juice or a smoothie for best health is discussed here. Now, that you know which one suits your current needs, you can get on with the fun and creative part of choosing your ingredients, making it taste great and watching your energy soar.
What To Include In Your Juice and Smoothie Get-Together
What Healthy Foods to Squeeze in a Juicer
There are endless combinations for your healthy juice. But try to start with something like these items and keep the ratio of vegetable to fruit something like 3 to 1:
- Alkalizing green ingredients like celery, cucumber, fresh herbs and plenty of green leafy vegetables should make up the majority of your juice or smoothie.
- You can include a small amount of low sugar fruit like lemon, apple, pear, berries, or grapefruit. too. Including other high sugar fruits like banana and pineapple are fine and taste fantastic but do so occasionally and try to keep the amount of that on the smaller side.
What Healthy Foods To Throw in the Blender
When creating a smoothie, you can throw in a lot more healthy ingredients because the blender grinds and swirls everything together, including healthy fats like nuts and seeds to help with nutrient absorption. There are a lot more healthy choices certainly, and this list is no way exhaustive, but pick a few from the list at a time and don't get too many things going on at once as that may negatively affect the taste and texture.
- Seeds like chia, hemp and flax to add healthy fat and fiber
- Healthy milks like almond or oat milk for protein and a bit of fat, too
- Coconut milk or coconut water for hydration
- Filtered water to thin the consistency and help with hydration
- Cacao for an antioxidant punch
- Raw honey for all its antibacterial properties
- Plain coconut yogurt or other organic yogurt for good bacteria
- Spirulina for chlorophyll enrichment and so many other benefits
- Spices like Ceylon Cinnamon, ginger, cardamon and many more
- Green tea or Matcha
- Psyllium husk for fiber
- Fresh dates for fiber and nutrients
Smoothie Recipe Sampler
- 2 cups of liquid of choice (filtered water, almond milk, coconut water, etc.)
- 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit
- 1/2 cup of ice (optional)
- 3 cups of greens (kale, spinach, or a mixture of many)
- 1/2 cup cucumber, celery, parsley or other vegetable or herb of of choice (optional)
- 2 tablespoons seeds or nuts, or 1/4 avocado, 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil - all for a bit of fat to help absorb all the nutrients
- dash of flavoring such as cacao, a spice or two, vanilla extract, etc.
- 1 teaspoon raw honey or 1 roughly chopped date for sweetness and fiber (optional, and if using a sweeter fruit like banana, skip this)
A Few Dos and Don'ts To Making Smoothies and Juices
1. Food isn't always about taste.
Food provides nourishment. If it tastes great, bonus! Here is what I mean: I experiment a lot with different combinations with smoothies and juices. Some work and taste great and, well, some don't. Really, don't. But even if it does not taste the best, go ahead and plug your nose and gulp it down. Certainly, save the recipes for the good ones and you don't have to repeat the not so good tasting ones, but don't waste those expensive ingredients and throw all those healthy benefits down the drain! It does not have to taste great all the time.
2. Mix it up.
Do not mix the same ingredients time over time. Rotate your green choices of kale, spinach, chard, arugula, etc. This can prevent the build up of oxalic acid that can have a negative affect on bodily functions like your thyroid. In addition, research shows new information every day on vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients we have not even discovered yet that a variety of fruits and vegetables can provide.
3. Do not solely rely on juices and smoothies for your fruit and vegetable intake.
Drinking a juice or smoothie once a day does not counteract bad eating the rest of the day. Keep up the good work by eating fruits and vegetables the rest of the day as well but add some cooked ones as well.
4. Take care of your equipment.
Buying a new juicer and or blender is a costly investment, but do not forget it can be an efficient tool to better your health if used correctly. But, please take care of this investment and clean it properly. Not only will it add to the length of you blender or juicer's lifetime, it keeps unhealthy bacteria away as well. At the very least, soak all parts of your juicer and blender immediately after use in hot, soapy water to help make the clean-up process a lot easier later.
For Recipe Inspiration . . .
- Tap on over to my board, Healthy Sips, for many other creations I have tried and liked.
But, what about you? Please share what juices and smoothies you have created or other tips you can add to the list. By all means, include a link if you like. We would love to hear it!
lemon: photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisharveyphotography/2052810355/">CHRIS HARVEY PHOTO</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/">cc</a>