Smoothies are typically marketed as a health food, full of fruit, juice, and protein. But, as can often be the case with marketing, looks can be quite deceiving. Some smoothie bars have smoothies on the menu that are over 500 calories with more than 80 grams of sugar, often from fruit in syrups, turbinado, or other forms of non-fruit sugar. That’s well over the American Heart Association’s recommendations of no more than 25 grams of added sugar for woman, and about 37 grams for men.
But there is hope for the smoothie yet! Making your smoothie at home is a quick and cost effective way to ensure it’s packed with nutrition and flavor. Read below for the top 5 reasons to love your own homemade smoothies.
- Quick & Easy
We gravitate toward the easier choice on busy mornings, which typically looks like grabbing a pastry on the way to work, or skipping breakfast all together. But making a nutritious breakfast at home doesn’t have to be a lengthy and arduous task. Smoothies are perhaps the speediest of meals. All you need is a decent blender, 2 to 3 minutes, a few simple ingredients and you’re nourished!
- Highly Customizable
Homemade smoothies can be custom made to fit just about any nutrition or flavor profile you desire. Want a serving of greens? Toss in a handful of spinach or kale! Need some extra protein? Add some Greek yogurt or almonds! Like tropical flavors? Go with pineapple or mango!
- It’s a Family Affair
Because they can easily be made to suit the taste preferences of even the pickiest eaters, smoothies are an easy way to camouflage nutrition. Additionally, smoothies typically don’t require much chopping or preparation, making it a great kitchen activity for kids.
Homemade smoothies are a fraction of the cost of what you would find at a smoothie bar. These smoothies can sometimes tally up at nearly $10! Pro tip: Start a vacation fund with all the money you’ll save making your smoothies at home!
Aside from less sugar, homemade smoothies are nutritious for several reasons. First, smoothies give you a sustained energy. Unlike juices, smoothies retain all the fiber of the fruits and vegetables. Fiber has many functions and health benefits, one of which is to slow down digestion. This means that smoothies keep you feeling fuller for longer. Second, smoothies can be made with servings of healthy fat and protein, giving you a more comprehensive nutrition profile. Lastly, homemade smoothies are a delicious and creative way to boost your daily servings of fruits and vegetables.
If you’re interested in making your own smoothies at home, try our 21-day Smoothie Challenge! It’s packed full of recipes, nutrient education, and tips to make your own delicious smoothie recipes!
Meet Danika Trierweiler, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Danika is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about empowering individuals to enjoy food and life.