We all love drinking smoothies in the summer, but there comes a point when you need a few new smoothie ingredients instead of the typical strawberry and banana. Am I right, or am I right, girls? Enter these great smoothie ingredients! These new smoothie ingredients will change the way you think about smoothies. They are fun and easy to use, nutritious, energizing and amazingly delicious. If you’re holding out on trying any of these superfoods, then let this summer be the year you take the plunge and try something new with your blender. Smoothies are quick, filling, easy to make and can be a recipe for a sugar bomb if you make them unhealthy, or a powerhouse for nutrition with the right ingredients. Read on to find my new smoothie ingredients to use in your favorite drinks this summer.
1. Coconut Oil
If you have been hesitant to try this fabulous oil in your smoothies then let me assure you, this is one of the best new smoothie ingredients I would suggest you try. Forget that it's fattening! It is so great for you as a beauty food, metabolism booster, and appetite suppressant, and it makes your skin glow from the inside out. Did I mention it tastes delicious too? Coconut oil is great for adding depth, sweetness and satiety to smoothies. Please don’t hesitate to use this oil because it is high in fats. These fats are incredibly great for your liver and your weight. The fats in coconut oil actually boost your metabolism just by eating it. These specific fats are also healing to the body. Just keep the ingredients at one-two tablespoons so you don’t overdo it. Coconut oil will also help you absorb the nutrients in your smoothie, so be sure you fill the rest of the blender with lower sugar fruits like berries, and even some leafy greens if you want, like spinach. Anything else such as protein powder, your choice of milk or yogurt, etc., is up to you. Either way, coconut oil will make your smoothie much more filling and energizing.
2. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds seem to be popping up in conventional grocery stores around my area in everything! Whether added to crackers, yogurt or cereal, I'm seeing them everywhere. I say, just use the plain chia seeds instead of all the processed stuff. Chia seeds are great for your energy levels and are a top vegan source of Omega 3 fatty acids. My favorite thing about chia seeds is they have the ability to keep you full longer, hydrated and keep your mood stable. You can make chia gel by soaking 2 tbsp. of the tasteless seeds with some water or almond milk, or you can add two tablespoons to a smoothie, which I prefer. Either way, just two tablespoons of this gelatinous seed will thicken up into a nice pudding-like texture. I like blending them straight into smoothies or folding them into my smoothie after blending for some crunchy texture. Chia seeds are seeds that soak up liquid and inside you they help to keep your body hydrated and energized. Try some of these power seeds in your next smoothie.
3. Cayenne Pepper
Surprised by this ingredient? Just a little dash of cayenne wakes up any smoothie you make. Even if you don’t want to taste the actual cayenne, it has a way of bringing out the sweetness of fruits so you can use less fruit, and it really gives an energizing boost to the whole smoothie. I especially like using cayenne combined with cacao, which is energizing and delicious. Cayenne is great for your metabolism and is full of antioxidants. Try just a little dash in your next smoothie and feel the effects of this powerful pepper.
4. Maca Powder
I love me some maca powder! So much so, that I believe it is the best natural treatment for hormones I’ve ever tried, especially during “that time” of the month. Maca is an adaptogen, which means it is a food that helps the body adapt. There are various other adaptogens in nature from herbs and other foods, but maca root is by far my favorite. I buy it in a powder form by Navitas Naturals brand or Live Superfoods brand, which you can find in health food stores and online. Adaptogens help your body adapt, with an emphasis on your hormones and energy levels. If you’re anxious they calm you down, and if you’re fatigued they give you energy. Maca is my favorite way to stabilize my mood and provide my body with sustained energy. Maca tastes like caramel and butterscotch , with a malty undertone, so it is great to add to a smoothie. Pair it with vanilla flavoring and a banana for a really Zen-like treat. .
Have you heard of spirulina? If you’re new to this ingredient, let me introduce you to one of nature’s most nutritious foods. Protein-rich spirulina is a deep water seaweed algae. It is a brilliant deep green color with a strong flavor, so when using it, I definitely suggest using a sweetener to mask the taste. Spirulina is the most protein-rich source food of all foods, with 4 grams per tablespoon and 70 % of your Vitamin B12 requirements, 10% of your daily iron requirements, and 880% of your daily requirements of Vitamin A. I like pairing 2 tbsp. with almond milk, frozen raspberries, a packet of stevia and 3 cups of spinach for a nutritionally smart and satisfying smoothie.
6. Matcha Green Tea
I started using green tea in smoothies about a year ago and never looked back. I like to buy a can of organic matcha tea when I can afford it, not only because matcha is richer in antioxidants, but also because it has a stronger effect than regular green tea. It's also this really gorgeous lime green color, which makes it fun to use! Matcha green tea contains the same amount of caffeine as regular green tea, but the leaves in matcha have been far less processed since they aren’t heated during the formation of matcha green tea. This "raw" state helps matcha retain more of the powerful antioxidants that green tea contains, and you can feel the calming and stabilizing effects of green tea much faster and for longer periods with matcha green tea versus regular. If you can’t get your hands on matcha or don’t want to pay the pricey cost of matcha green tea, just do what I do in a pinch. Open up a green tea bag and pour it in your smoothie. You can’t taste it if you sweeten it with fruit or stevia and it makes a really calming smoothie. I like knowing the antioxidants of green tea are in my smoothie and it’s easier than boiling water to make a cup, though I love doing that too! Green tea has been linked to cancer prevention, weight loss and heart disease prevention. I find it helps with mild fatigue and mild depression as well. It seems to help keep my skin clear too, which is always a good thing. Try some in your next smoothie and let me know what you think!
7. Acai Pulp or Powder
I truly love acai fruit. I know gogi berries seem to be the most popular fruit of the moment, but I’m still part of the acai craze that took place a few years ago in the health food world. I have my reasons! Acai is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, has no sugar, contains protein, has been linked to treating and preventing gut inflammation, increases metabolism, aids in digestion and depression prevention. It also tastes like blueberries with chocolate undertones. Not too shabby, right? I like buying acai fruit in a pulp form from companies such as Sambazon and Amafruits. These companies provide frozen packs of pure acai that you can easily use in your next smoothie. Even just using half a pack would add an incredible nutritious boost and energizing effect to your smoothie. Acai is popular with athletes for providing sustained energy. It has no sugar, so it is unique in this way from all other types of berries. This means no blood sugar spike and plenty of antioxidants. You can also buy acai as a raw powder. I like Navitas Naturals brand and Live Superfoods brand. If you have a few dollars to splurge on some acai, definitely make it one of your new smoothie ingredients to try this summer.
I’m a huge fan of smoothies all year, as anyone can tell by reading my blog, but during the summer, I see them as a necessity, not a luxury! When the heat is too much to bear, a smoothie is there to chill you down and fill you up. Smoothies are portable too, which make them great for the beach! Have you ever tried any of these new smoothie ingredients in your smoothies?