Good afternoon. I’d like to know about the best vegetables, fruits and powders to put into a breakfast smoothie with the hopes of increasing energy and losing weight. I want to avoid any fillers. Thank you.

It’s great to hear that you’re thinking about how to create a healthy breakfast smoothie! Smoothies are a good way to add whole foods like fruit and vegetables into your breakfast. But, we still need to make sure that we’re adding the right ingredients for a smoothie that’s both filling and packed with nutrients.

Step 1: Load up on fruit and vegetables

We hate to break it to you: there’s no such thing as a superfood! What we mean by that is there’s no one veggie or fruit that’s the best. All of them are great for us. So, include a variety of vegetables and fruit in your smoothies to get the most balanced nutritional benefit. Did you know that frozen fruit and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh? They also have the added benefit of helping to make the smoothie cold.

Step 2: Choose your liquid base

Water, green tea, and milk are good options when choosing the liquid for your smoothie base. If you prefer an alternative to dairy, unsweetened non-dairy beverage such as almond milk, rice milk or soy milk are good options as well. I suggest limiting the fruit juice that you add to your smoothies; fruit juice is high in sugar but lacks the fiber found in the whole fruit.

Step 3: Add in the power of protein!

Round out your smoothie by adding a source of protein. Protein is amazing for keeping us fuller longer! Adding a few spoonfuls of flaxseeds, chia seed, or hemp seeds not only adds protein to your smoothie, it also adds in fiber, minerals, antioxidants, and omega-3 fat.  You can even get creative and try blending in silken tofu, black beans or quinoa for an extra boost of protein in your smoothie. If you follow an overall balanced diet, it is not necessary to include protein powder or other powders in your smoothies. However it is certainly safe to do so if you wish. I always suggest food first! Building a balanced smoothie with whole foods is a great way to start the day with energy and to keep you satiated throughout.

Step 4: Don’t be afraid of fat!

Lastly, don’t be afraid of fat! Adding healthy fats to breakfast smoothies helps to curb appetite and keep you fuller for longer throughout the day. Avocado, flaxseed oil, and nut butters are all good sources of heart-healthy fats and make tasty additions to a smoothie.

Put it all together with our delicious Green Ginger Smoothie recipe!

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups packed baby spinach
  • chopped green apple
  • 3/4 cup coconut water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon honey honey
  • 1 1/2 cups ice cubes 

Instructions

In a blender, puree together all ingredients until smooth. Divide between 2 glasses and serve.

Do you have your own nutrition question that you want answered? Email our Carleton Dietitian at AskADietitian@cunet.carleton.ca for a response within 3 business days.

Monday, November 12, 2018 in , ,
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