Smoothies are a great way to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet. But did you know there are some powerful ingredients to kick your smoothie up a notch? I’m talking about six of my favorite superfood smoothie ingredients to have on hand when you’re craving a little extra boost in the nutrition department!
Are you an avid smoothie drinker? If you’re anything like me, you probably try to fit what I like to call “liquid gold” into your day whenever you can. Whether you are a smoothie expert or novice, smoothies are a great option for an on-the-go breakfast or snack and can be easily adapted to your taste preferences with a wide variety of ingredients to choose from.
Smoothies have become a huge part of my diet this past year, especially since focusing on consuming more plant-based foods. But smoothies aren’t just for plant-based enthusiasts like me! They can fit seamlessly into any healthy lifestyle you choose to follow.
So why am I such an advocate for smoothies? Well, because they are nutritional goldmines. There are so many fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds and supplements that can be combined together to create a drink that not only tastes amazing, but works wonders for your body from the inside out.
I recently bought Kris Carr’s new book, Crazy Sexy Juice, and was so inspired by her delicious sounding juices and smoothies and her use of new-to-me ingredients. Maca powder, lucuma powder, spiralina… sure, I had heard of them before, but had never incorporated them into my own smoothies. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on some!
Thankfully, I had a gift card from Swanson Health Products waiting for me, so I wasted no time at all compiling my list of must-have smoothie ingredients so that I could start experimenting in the kitchen ASAP. The day the box was delivered to my door was like Christmas morning, and these “presents” didn’t disappoint!
Let’s break down the nutritional goodness in each of my (new and old) favorite smoothie ingredients to have on hand when you’re needing a little extra nutritional boost.
6 Superfood Ingredients to Have on Hand for a Standout Smoothie
Hemp Seeds. Considered to be a complete protein, hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids, which is a rare find in plant-based protein sources, and are easily digestible. They are also abundant in the essential fatty acids omega 3, 6 and GLA (gamma linolenic acid), as well as vitamin E. Hemp seeds have a mild and slightly nutty taste and can be sprinkled in oatmeal, salads and you guessed, it, smoothies!
Lucuma Powder. Sourced from the popular South American fruit of the Pouteria lucuma tree, lucuma powder is rich in B vitamins and antioxidants. It is known to aid in wound healing and is considered to have anti-inflammatory benefits. It’s sweet, delicious flavor with hints of maple is best added to desserts, granola and smoothies and is low on the glycemic index, making it a great choice for those looking to decrease their sugar intake.
Maca Powder. Maca powder also adds a sweet hint to foods with a subtle caramel-like flavor. The top nutrients found in maca powder include: vitamin C, copper, iron and glucosinolates. Maca is often used for enhancing energy, stamina, athletic performance, memory and fertility. Despite all of these amazing health benefits, if you are new to incorporating maca powder into your foods and smoothies, it’s best to start in smaller amounts, since it can result in adverse side effects. But no need to be worried! I’ve been using it since they day I got it and there are no side effects found here.
Chia Seeds. Hmm… what’s not to love about chia seeds? These tiny powerhouses pack a big punch, and while these coveted seeds have numerous nutritious benefits, the three most powerful nutrients found in chia seeds are: fiber, protein and omega 3 fatty-acids. You can read more about the benefits of chia seeds, here. Chia seeds are crunchy in nature, but when blended in a smoothie they are ground into a texture that goes unnoticed (other than thickening that bad boy up a bit!).
Spirulina. What some like to call “a miracle from the sea”, this superfood ingredient is a type of blue-green algae that grows in oceans and salty lakes. Spirulina packs a lot of nutrients in a tiny space, including dietary protein, B vitamins and iron. A little bit goes a long way with this powdery substance and combined with the right ingredients, spirulina becomes a hidden gem in many luscious green smoothies.
Matcha Green Tea. Not only is it incredibly powerful (it is 10 times more potent than regular green tea!), matcha green tea has been an important part of traditional Japanese tea ceremonies for years. High in vitamin A and the powerful antioxidant, epigallocatechin gallate EGCG), matcha green tea promotes healthy eyes and skin, fights cancer, and boosts immunity. Some of my favorite ways to use matcha green tea powder is in lattes and yes, smoothies!
If you want to stock your pantry with some of the ingredients listed above, check out Swanson Health Products! They have any health product you could ever ask for and they have a wide variety of brands, which was a plus, too.
Now that I’ve sold you on why these ingredients are great to have on hand if you’re a smoothie lover like myself, let’s cheers with a delicious smoothie recipe, shall we?
Did you notice I’m giving you 5 FREE bonus smoothie recipes below (see that big teal button?!). If you’re already subscribed, you’ll be receiving your freebie in tomorrow’s newsletter 🙂
*This post was sponsored by Swanson Health Products. All opinions are my own. You can read more about my policies, here.