Anatomy of a Smoothie

Here is a great way to make a smoothie without a recipe.  Because we have to face the fact that there are days when we settle in one's mind that a smoothie is the way to go after a couple of bad food and (lack of) excersise decisions.  But a smoothie could take wrong sides and hardly count as a light meal substitution if it's not prepared with the proper balance of carbs, proteins and fats (as any meal should for that matter).  If it's made with too much fruit it's basically an overload of sugar and carbs.  On the other hand, my experience with just greens and vegetable smoothies is hunger in less than two hours.  And I mean really bad hunger, the one that makes you go Godzilla until you have a bite.

While I was writing a column for Metro PR about smoothies I had a chat with Mrs. Nydia Martínez, RD, on how to create the perfect good-for-you shake.  So now, following her recommendations this is how I do it:

Vegetables – 1 to 1 ½  cups, great opportunity to eat your greens such as spinach, kale, romaine and swiss chard plus include celery, radishes, cucumbers and any other vegetable that otherwise will be burried in your fridge drawer.

Fruits – 1 to 1 ½ cups, so your favorite fruits could go here.  You could mix different kinds, but I always include a cremy fruit because they add a nice and creamy texture to the smoothie.  I like using bananas because they kind of cover the flavors of some strong tasting veggies, but other options are papaya, mangoes, figs and peaches.  And of course any kind of berry is always welcome!

Proteins – 5 to 7 grams is a good number.  You could use ½ cup of low-fat or non-fat greek yogurt, an ounce of nuts, or even beans and chick peas.

Fat – Yes, fat.  The good ones!  1 TBSP of coconut oil, nut butters, flax seeds, chia seeds or a small piece of avocado.

Extras – I prefer to have  my smoothies with no added extras, but you can use some vanilla, cinammon, honey, maple syrup or raw cacao powder to add some flavor.

Liquids –  Usually I use water, but coconut water, almond milk and soy milk are also good alternatives.

The smoothie of the picture is my go to combination: red swiss chard, strawberries, wild blueberries, banana, yogurt and almond butter.  What are your favorite kind of combinations?  GOOGLE - IDEAL SMOOTHIE