A smoothie is made by puréeing raw fruits and vegetables in a blender to make a thick, creamy beverage. Sometimes milk, ice cream, yogurt, or cottage cheese is used. Smoothies can also contain other ingredients like water, fruit juice, crushed ice, and sweeteners like honey, syrup, or sugar.
You can also add plant milk, nuts, whey powder, chocolate, herbal supplements, and nutritional supplements, among other ingredients. A smoothie that is made using dairy products is very similar to a milkshake, except that milkshakes contain much less fruit, and often use ice cream instead of other ingredients such as water, fruit juice, and so on.
Are Smoothies Healthy?
A smoothie can be healthy or unhealthy depending on the ingredients used as well as their proportions. For instance, some smoothies contain multiple servings of vegetables and fruits which are great for supporting a healthy diet – mainly when intended as a meal replacement.
But, a smoothie made with fruit juice (which contains lots of sugar) increases your caloric intake and actually promotes weight gain. In much the same way, using ingredients like protein powders, ice cream, or sweeteners in smoothie recipes may improve the flavor, but it also works to increase the caloric intake further.
Since they typically use a lot of raw fruits and vegetables, smoothies tend to have a high level of dietary fiber from the pulp, skin, and seeds. They are thicker than fruit juice and have a consistency that is more similar to that of a milkshake, although they are marketed as being much healthier than milkshakes – mainly green smoothies that are made from vegetables.
Main Ingredients in a Smoothie
There are many different types of smoothies that you can make depending on the ingredients you use. Listed below are some of the ingredients used to create a popular smoothie staple:
Classic Green Smoothie:
This type of smoothie consists of almost 50% green vegetables including spinach, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, celery, broccoli, and parsley. The remaining ingredients are mostly or entirely fruit such as bananas, mangoes, coconut, berries, avocado, forest fruit, and so on.
After mastering the basics, you can also add some extra ingredients to your smoothies to create different flavors. For instance, you could try adding a spoonful of cinnamon, grated nutmeg, vanilla essence, cocoa powder to your basic smoothie recipe.
A great way of adding texture is by sprinkling flax seeds, whole oats, or toasted chopped nuts which will not only make your smoothie taste great but will also help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
If you have been asking yourself: Exactly what is a smoothie?’, or What are the main ingredients in a smoothie?’ now you know what the essential ingredients are, as well as all the different ingredients that you can aid to create the flavor and texture that caters to your individual preferences.
Just remember, although smoothies are generally touted as being healthy, a smoothie is only as healthy as the ingredients you put in it. So, make sure that you choose only from the ingredients that will allow you to make healthy smoothies that look and taste great.