1. Choose A Liquid Smoothie Base – 2. Create Stunning Smoothies at Home
It's summer time and nothing can be more refreshing, fulfilling and nutritious than a scrumptious icy smoothie. Once you have your liquid smoothie base it's very easy to make a cooling and delicious summer drink to your taste.
If you're anything like me, you'd mostly prefer to eat and drink fresh produce during the hot days of the year cutting down the meat, other heavy and spicy dishes and meals. And smoothies are not only a wonderful way of combining all of your favorite fruits and even veggies for their nutritional values but will also give you a boost of energy that will last whole day. What anyone can want more out of a drink?
No wonder why making smoothies at home is one of the fastest-rising trends in modern kitchens across the globe... because smoothies are super easy to prepare at home and are, compare to juicing, quite easy on the budget, too! Not only you need to blend less fruit and veggies for a glass of this wonderful drink, other than your liquid smoothie base (water, coconut water or milk, green tea and maple water to name a few) you add considerable amount of ice or frozen fruit or a combination of both into the concoction.
There are many more reasons to drink a smoothie other than cooling off or chilling out.
They will give a vital start to your day, they will hydrate your body, they will easily contain protein and calcium your body needs if you add a few green leaves in them, unlike juiced juices they are a wonderful source of fiber and lots of them too, they contain ton of vitamins, they have detoxifying effect, they will purify your skin and make it glow, they facilitate chlorophyll intake via green leafy veggies, they will speed up your metabolism making you energetic and more active in return. This is only a few good reasons why drinking these wonderful drinks could be so beneficial for your body!
Suggested Read: The Unique Powers of... Spinach Smoothies!
Depending on what you want to achieve in your smoothie you can use different liquid bases. Here are some ideas along what kind of nutrition you get when you use these smoothie bases.
Choose Your Best Smoothie Base
The pure and hydrating water is what our body needs the most in order to survive. When we are properly hydrated we have more energy, our skin glows, our hair shines, our inner system works its best flushing out all the toxins. This essential drink to our existence is the primary liquid smoothie base, and guess what, it is also calorie free.
Use either filtered or spring water. Make sure that your water is clean and fresh. It never hurts to add to your water a few slices of lemon or orange to give it a wonderful perfume and very subtle citrus flavor.
Coconut milk comes from the indisputably most nutritious fruit coconut. It is highly nutritious being very rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxydants and fiber. Coconut milk comes from the flesh of the coconut and is a great substitute to cow's milk for those with lactose intolerance as well as healthy food seekers.
It contains lauric acid that has antiviral and antifungal properties. This medium-chain fatty acid is also found in abundantly in mother’s milk. Your body will not store fats coming from coconut milk but will absorb them and use them as energy.
The clear liquid in the fruit’s center of the young green coconut has a sweet and nutty taste. It's low in calories and cholesterol-free and a super hydrating, refreshing delish. It contains lot of potassium, making it an ideal smoothie base for people who work out. Coconut water on its own will give you a lot of energy. Try to use raw organic version in your smoothies; choose plain coconut water and avoid those with added sugar or juices.
This fermented drink derives from cow's or goat's milk. One serving of kefir is roughly about 100 calories, has 7-8 grams of carbohydrate fat and 3 to 6 grams of fat. But more importantly it is a very potent source of probiotics, the microorganisms that are good for digestion, weight management and mental health. It also has antibacterial properties.
If you'd like to know more about this miraculous drink, read: Kefir Benefits
Almond milk is a drink made from ground almonds and water. It's strained after the ingredients are mixed. It's one of the most popular non-animal milk products.
There are 60 calories in one cup of almond milk making it 50% lower in calories than cow’s milk. Although it continues to contain vitamin E and riboflavin (vitamin B2), unlike the oval nuts (almonds) that are packed with protein its milk is naturally low in protein. You wouldn't get as much calcium, either, unless it’s fortified. It contains monounsaturated fats that are good for your heart, compare to cow's milk that has saturated fats. So it's a promising substitute if you were keen on using cow's milk as your liquid smoothie base until now.
If you use almond milk in your smoothies go with unsweetened and unflavored milk to avoid the added sugar. Also make sure to choose a brand that does not contain carrageenan, a common and controversial thickener derived from seaweed and used for texture in things like ice cream.
If you'd like to know more about almond milk, our suggested read is: Almond Milk: Nutrition & Benefits
Green tea is one of the wonder drinks on Earth. It's good for so many things, but mostly it contains antioxidants. It's also believed to help with weight loss. For all the goodness it has to offer green tea is now the raw material for extracts used in various beverages, health foods, dietary supplements, and cosmetic items. This is really a great replacement for water. It will include all the health benefits of the plant as well as giving you a big kick with the caffeine it contains.
As an alternative, jasmine green tea or some other tea blends with fruity ingredients can add a more floral, sweet flavor to your smoothies.
Brew the green tea as you normally would, let it cool to room temperature, then blend it with the rest of the ingredients.
For those of us who avoid dairy milk or want to make a health-conscious choice, there are many alternatives in the market. Oat milk is one of them and is something you can easily find in almost any grocery store.
It's high in natural fiber and iron, and compare to other milky drinks we are so used to consume it's low in fat, sugars, and calories. It contains proteins, many important vitamins and minerals. It also contains phytochemicals, a type of antioxidant that helps prevent chronic diseases such as some cancers, stroke, heart disease and more.
People who have gluten intolerance or follow a gluten free diet can prepare their own milk using gluten free oats.
You can easily make your oat milk at home and here is how: Oat Milk Recipe
Keep in mind that juices will most likely start to deviate from your aim to keep it healthy. Although a juiced juice or a freshly squeezed orange juice is very healthy for you and this is what you should add to your smoothie in case this option is tempting, be aware that even 1/2 cup of orange juice will add 13 grams of carbs to your concoction.
So Tropicana or anything similar is really out of the question for health conscious people like us. We do not recommend to use bottled juices either for many reasons, even if they are claimed to be organic.
If you're really tempted you can use juices of leafy greens, carrots, beets and celery to give extra power to your smoothie and a complimentary flavor as well as a great color combination...
Local indigenous people had a long history of using maple sap as a health tonic. The way we find this incredibly nutritious water in the markets today has all the health benefits of maple syrup with a slightly sweet taste and a hint of natural maple flavor. This is a great and rich liquid base for your smoothies.
Once you figure out which base you'd like to use for your home-made smoothies, the only equipment that you need to invest in (and only if you don’t already have one), is a food processor or a blender.
Our preferred high end blender brand is Vitamix. If you don't know which Vitamix to choose, start by reading our article "Picking the Best Vitamix". You will have a pretty good idea about which one to get after seeing all the options...
But if you already know the one you'd like to get in order to start your new life with energizing smoothies, visit Amazon where you will find all the Vitamix models at discounted prices. Prime customers get fast delivery and free shipping on any Vitamix model, but everybody gets a return guarantee from Amazon.