10 common smoothie mistakes you might be making. What not to do (and what to do instead) to make sure your smoothies are delicious!
If you’ve been around here for a while, you’ll know I love me a good smoothie! Especially a green smoothie. In fact, you guys have actually titled me the Green Smoothie Queen! So today I’m taking you through some common smoothie mistakes I see made. Bear in mind, I’m not a nutritionist, so this is all just in my opinion based off of the things I’ve learned over years of making my own smoothies.
Don’t forget to grab my free guide on how to make the perfect green smoothie right here!
If you’re only using milk for your smoothie liquid, you might be using too much. I like to do a half and half ratio, so half nut or oat milk, and half filtered water. You could even do just filtered water, especially if you’re adding in fruits like banana or mango, or a protein powder, since they’ll provide that milky creamy texture without you needing to add any milk.
I see so many people overdoing it with the fruit in their smoothies. It’s really not necessary, and it makes your smoothie so sugary. You can use vegetables in your smoothies, it doesn’t all have to be sweet fruits. Things like celery, cucumber, greens, ginger, ice, steamed cauliflower and zucchini are all amazing. They’ll add nutrients and texture to your smoothie without the added sugar. Take a look at some of my favourite unexpected smoothie mixes right here.
Healthy fats and fibre are the two things that are going to make your smoothie filling and saciating. If you drink a smoothie and you’re hungry two seconds later, it’s probably because you need to add more substance to your smoothie. Not only will they help keep you full, they’re also great for your digestion. My go-to’s for fibre are flax and chia seeds, and for healthy fats I love avocado and nut or seed butters.
If you’re using ripe fruit, there is no need to add sweeteners. You don’t need honey, maple syrup, sweetened yogurt, sweetened almond milk or even fruit juice. Sometimes if I’m craving a really sweet smoothie for a dessert I’ll add a little freshly squeezed orange juice (not boxed orange juice) but for the most part fruit is sweet enough!
You do not need protein powders that are loaded with sugar. Look for powders that are low in sugar and low on the GI index. There are plenty out there like this one that are sweetened with a little bit of coconut sugar, stevia or monk fruit. These will still give your smoothie a little bit of sweetness without spiking your blood sugar. As with everything you eat, look at the ingredients in your protein powders. They can be full of processed ingredients. Make sure you do your research, know the brand and trust the quality of the ingredients and where they’re sourcing them from.
I know there are all these awesome green super powders on the market these days, and they’re great for travelling or if you’ve run out of greens, but guess what? Fresh, raw, beautiful leafy greens are amazing to put into your smoothies. I always have spinach, kale, romaine or even just a spring mix on hand in the fridge. Rotating your greens is a great way to not get bored.
Leading on from that last point, I can sometimes get into a rut of only using something like baby spinach because it’s easy to buy and throw in, but that’s a good way to get bored of your smoothies. You want to make sure you’re using a variety of ingredients in your smoothies. Some weeks I’ll do chia seeds for my fibre and healthy fats, other weeks I’ll do flax. As I said, I always rotate my greens, and it’s the same with my fruit. I’ll alternate between berries and mango and banana. You don’t always want to do the same thing. I definitely have my go-to ingredients, but I do try to swap flavours out as much as possible.
Pro tip: If you’re looking for smoothie ingredient inspiration, check out my free smoothie guide!
This one is super important. You guys ask me all the time what my secret is to getting a super smooth smoothie, and it’s really all in the blender. If you don’t have a good blender you’ll end up with a pulpy smoothie, and you’ll still be able to feel all the texture of the greens. No one wants bits of kale stuck in your teeth! This is a higher end blender I recommend, and this is a more affordable blender I recommend too, since I know everyone’s budget is different.
If you want your smoothie to be delicious, sweet and easy to digest, you want to make sure you’re using ripened fruit. At all times I have a bunch of bananas ripening on the counter, and I’ll use them in rotation. I’ll wait for them to get ripe and then peel them, chop them up and throw them into one of these reusable silicone bags in the freezer. That way I always have a stash of ripe bananas ready to go. You can also get frozen fruit that will have been frozen at the perfect time, so you don’t even have to worry about it, although I don’t think frozen banana is particularly easy to come by.
I get it. Not everyone wants to add protein powders to their smoothies. I don’t always add it; I tend to go through phases depending on how much I’m working out or how hungry I am. But it doesn’t have to be a protein powder! Things like hemp seeds or raw almonds are a great source of plant based protein. Even spirulina powder is one of my favourite superfoods, as is grass fed collagen, and these have a huge amount of protein in it.
What’s your favourite smoothie? Let me know in the comments below!