There are many reasons to use simple smoothie ingredients in your daily blender creations, not just for time and money, but also your health. I used to make quite complicated smoothies out of excitement, and just for creativity in general. In my opinion, more of everything was better. Oh, was this a mistake, for several reasons! I quickly learned that this is not only a bad idea for your budget and schedule, but also your tummy. Instead of adding every superfood on the planet, or every single fruit and veggie in your fridge, how about keeping it simple? Take a look at these reasons to use simple smoothie ingredients, and lighten the load on your blender, budget, and your belly, all in one step!
One reason to use simple smoothie ingredients is time. I don’t know about you, but making a smoothie isn’t something I’m really trying to waste more than a few minutes on. I’m a busy lady, and I’m sure you are too. Smoothies are supposed to be quick, so one reason to use fewer ingredients is to save you time. Never spend more than 5-10 minutes from prep, with chopping or slicing produce, to cleaning and washing. Quick and easy with 4-5 ingredients is all you need.
Like I said, the more you add to your smoothie in both amounts and variety, the more you’ll spend over time. Using every superfood out there, or every fruit you like, isn’t the best budget-friendly option. I have to tell you, this is hard for me because I love so many different things in my smoothie, but recently, I’ve chosen one or two things from each category like fruits, veggies, leafy greens, healthy fats, a protein, and a superfood, and I’ve enjoyed them very much! Plus, coming up with a new combination each day is also fun.
Did you know if you use too much in your smoothie, the flavor can actually get bland? It’s because all the ingredients sort of wash everything out. Yet, if you use less, you give the delicious ingredients room to shine. For example, a scoop of cacao or a pinch of a real vanilla bean is delicious, but can often be masked by too much fruit or too many leafy greens. Use fewer ingredients and you’ll enjoy the flavor much, much more.
Another really important reason to use simple ingredients in your smoothies is digestion. Oh boy, talk about belly bloat by adding tons of ingredients to your smoothies. Too much fiber is not a good thing, not even from nature’s finest foods. It not only leaves you bloated, but also prevents you from getting the most out of your nutrients. Keep it simple when it comes to your smoothies and your digestion will thank you!
5. Clean up
Do you know how messy things can get from chopping a huge amount of fruits and veggies? Pretty messy, let me tell you. If you’re rushed in the morning, it can also cause excess stress. Unless you prep smoothie bags ahead of time, avoid the mess each day, and just keep things simple. The less you have to chop, the better. I also like to use frozen fruits and veggies for smoothies for this same purpose. I even chop cucumbers up ahead of time like you do bananas, and freeze them. They are a wonderful low-glycemic approach, and I don’t have to make a mess and chop them up each time. This makes clean up a breeze!
6. Variety of Nutrients
One issue many people don’t consider about smoothies is that using the same ingredients each day is actually bad for your body. Your body needs a variety of nutrients, not too many of the same ones each day. Instead of adding everything to your daily smoothies, rotate what you use. Your body will benefit further from this simple approach, and be much healthier for it too. You need a variety of nutrients and you need it from different foods on different days.
7. Weight Loss
If you’re concerned with maintaining your weight or you want to lose weight, it’s also a good idea to keep things simple when it comes to smoothies. Adding a bit of this and that over and over can increase the caloric intake quickly. Sure chia seeds, almond butter, bananas, cacao nibs, and goji berries are healthy, and who can forget the pineapple, coconut milk, and yogurt? Yet, if you use all these in a smoothie, you could easily eat up to 500-600 calories in a liquid meal. It’s better to eat higher calorie meals from lean protein and healthy fats, not just liquid fats and sugars. Remember, calories should never be feared, but when it comes to your weight, it’s best to eat them, not drink them.
Some of the healthiest ingredients for smoothies are low sugar berries, leafy greens, frozen veggies, and lean protein options like organic Greek yogurt, vegan protein powder, or even grass-fed whey protein powder. Healthy fat options include chia seeds, hemp seeds, raw nuts or raw nut butter, coconut and coconut oil, avocado, and cacao nibs. Superfoods are also excellent for you, such as cacao, spirulina, acai, goji, camu-camu, maca, and wheat grass, just to name a few. Choose one ingredient from each category in your smoothies, not all of them in every single one. Spices, unsweetened almond milk, flavor extracts, and stevia are free though, since they can enhance the taste and improve the nutrition, are low in calories, and give you that added sweetness or extra flavor you need. Do you keep your smoothies simple? What’s your favorite smoothie with five ingredients or less?