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Hustle & Soul is a lifestyle blog offering practical advice about food, fitness & wellness. And I'm Diana, the one offering advice. I'm super pumped you're here - thanks for stopping by!

MAKING THE PERFECT SMOOTHIE

MAKING THE PERFECT SMOOTHIE

SMOOTHIES! Who doesn’t love smoothies? They are DELICIOUS and can pack a big punch when it comes to adding some healthy nutrients to your day.

More reasons I LOVE smoothies:

  • You can pack them full of nutrients and goodness
  • They’re good if you need something substantial on the go or you’re in a pinch
  • They’re great for post-workout when you might not be ready to chew solid food yet
  • They taste deeeelicious
  • Flavor options are virtually endless
  • They’re easy-peasy!

And the list goes on. But let’s talk about how to go about making the perfect smoothie. Perfect meaning perfect to you - this post simply outlines the types of ingredients you’ll want to use, but the specifics are up to you and your taste buds!


BLENDERS

First, a word on blenders. There are obviously LOTS of different blenders out there. I’ve used a food processor, a good ol’ fashioned blender and some fancier blenders more recently. I currently have a Ninja brand blender, which I love! It has options for a blender, a processor, or blender cup attachments. The blender cups are great for a single-serving shake because I can just add all my ingredients to the cup and I don’t have to worry too much about measuring or transferring the smoothie to another cup post-blend. As long as you have something electric with a blade, you’re good to go.


Alright, here’s my recipe for crafting the perfect smoothie:

1 | SOMETHING FROZEN

Adding something frozen to the mix is what makes a smoothie a delicious frozen treat and gives it the right consistency. It can be as simple as a few ice cubes. Frozen fruit is also a common go-to. If you want to get fancy with it, you can make flavored ice cubes using coconut water or adding fresh herbs to your ice cube trays before freezing.



2 | LIQUID

This is the part that holds it all together and helps it blend into a nice drinkable consistency. Liquid can come from any source, really. It can be as simple as cold water. Other good ones include coconut water, almond milk, or coconut milk. I usually stick to these options because you can get unsweetened kinds if you’re trying to stay away from added sugar. You may also choose to use juice as your liquid, but know that will add a lot of sugar to your mix since fruit is naturally high in sugar. For a yummy pick me up drink, try adding cold brew coffee.



3 | CARBS

If you’re drinking your smoothie post-workout, I recommend adding in 20-30 grams of carbs for quick absorption. This may come into play with your liquid of choice. Choosing a juice or a sweetened version of milk (ex: chocolate almond milk) will give your smoothie some sugar to help with post-workout recovery. Fruit is another good way to get carbs into your smoothie.



4 | PROTEIN

I believe in eating protein with all meals to aid in a balanced diet, so my smoothies always have some sort of protein in them! This will more than likely be added in a powder form. If you currently take a protein powder supplement, a scoop of that works great. I think the taste of protein powders has improved significantly over the years. It’s rare now-a-days to find a chalky-poor tasting protein powder unless you’re buying the cheapest kind you can find. If you’re still hesitant about the taste, try a tasteless protein powder, like collagen peptides. If you’re not into protein powder AT ALL, you can also substitute egg whites as a protein source.



5 | FAT

Adding a little bit of fat to your smoothie is a good way to give it some extra flavor or even thickness. If your diet tends to be lower in fat, then you may choose to skip this step. Any kind of nut-butter, coconut oil, fish oil or even butter are a few examples to try. If you’re looking for high-fat, you may even try full fat coconut milk.



6 | SOMETHING GREEN

Smoothies are a great way to pack some greens into your diet, especially if you don’t like to eat them. It will make your smoothie a funny color depending on what else is in there, but because you’re mixing greens with yummy stuff, I think the taste is more neutral than just eating plain old greens. I tend to stick to a handful of kale or spinach since their taste is mild compared to other greens, like arugula or mustard greens.



7 | SEEDS & SPICES

Like greens, smoothies are a great place to pack in some essential micronutrients with the addition of seeds and spices. Chia seeds, flax seeds, turmeric, ginger and mint are a few of my favorites!

 

Pick one ingredient from each category, add it to your cup and mix it all up - that’s all there is to it! I’ve included 5 recipes below for you to try. Any of these can be used as a breakfast on the go, as a post-workout shake or even as a bedtime snack. Starting at the top of each recipe, add each of the ingredients to your blender of choice, blend for 10-15 seconds and enjoy!


CHOCOLATE NANA

3-5 ice cubes
12 oz. cold water
1 banana (if you use a frozen banana, get rid of the ice cubes)
1 handful greens (kale or spinach)
1 scoop chocolate flavor protein powder (SunWarrior - Warrior Blend brand)
2 TBSP. flaxseed meal
*option to add 1 TBSP. peanut-butter (Smuckers Natural brand)

25P/38C/7F (without peanut butter)
29P/41C/15F (with peanut butter)

NOTE: numbers may vary slightly depending on type of protein and peanut butter used

 

SWEET BERRY VANILLA

1 cup frozen mixed berries
12 oz. unsweetened almond milk
1 handful raw kale
1 scoop of vanilla flavor protein powder (SunWarrior - Warrior Blend brand)
1 TBSP. chia seeds
*option to add 1 TBSP. almond butter (Maranatha brand)

26P/33C/9F (without almond butter)
30P/36C/17F (with almond butter)



APPLE CINNAMON A LA MODE

1 cup frozen apples
12 oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 scoop of vanilla flavor protein powder (SunWarrior - Warrior Blend brand)
1 TBSP. flaxseed meal
1 tsp. cinnamon
*option to add 1 TBSP. almond butter (Maranatha brand)

22P/33C/10F (without almond butter)
25P/36C/18F (with almond butter)
NOTE: numbers may vary slightly depending on type of protein and almond butter used



MOJITO MARGARTIO

½ cup frozen pineapple
12 oz. coconut water (Vita brand)
½ TBSP. coconut oil
2 scoops of collagen peptides (Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides brand)
1 tsp. lime juice
1 handful raw kale
5 fresh mint leaves

21P/34C/8F
 

STRAWBERRY GINGER REFRESH

1 cup frozen strawberries
12 oz. coconut water (Vita brand)
2 scoops of collagen peptides (Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides brand)
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1 TBSP. chia seeds
1 tsp. lemon juice
5 fresh mint leaves
1 handful raw spinach

23P/36C/3F

**NOTE: macro numbers may vary slightly depending on brands of certain ingredients used.


GIVE IT A TRY

Try one of these for yourself or share your favorite smoothie recipe in the comments below!

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