THE SKINNY ON SMOOTHIES
MB: The nutrients completely depend on the ingredients you decide to incorporate into your concoction. We love to pack our veggies with as many smoothies as possible (much more fun than eating them, right?). Some of our favorites are kale (high in copper, iron, magnesium and calcium), cauliflower (great way to get that thick, smoothie bowl texture and packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6) and sweet potato (adds a subtle sweetness and is loaded with vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber).
AM: How can a smoothie keep us full and what do you suggest should be in them?
MB: We asked our go-to nutrition expert, Amy Geant, to weigh in on this question. We always consult registered dietitians before giving out any nutrition advice.
AMY GEANT: Protein is one of the most important ingredients to help keep us feeling full. Carbohydrates like fruit are broken down by the body quickly, giving us a quick boost of energy, but not always a feeling of fullness for longer periods of time. Whereas protein takes two to three hours to be fully metabolized, meaning your blood sugar, energy, and feeling of satiety should be quite stable for at least a couple hours. I usually recommend people put 10-15 grams of protein in their smoothies for snacks and 20-30 grams of protein if the smoothie is being used as a meal replacement. Protein powders are a great way to add the adequate lean protein into a smoothie without taking in too many calories or carbohydrates.
AM: What does protein do in our bodies?
AG: Building on the previous answer, Amy notes, “As mentioned in #5, protein takes longer than carbohydrates the body to fully break down into glucose (sugar), so you get a gradual stream of energy over two to three hours after eating protein rather than a quick spike and then a crash. Keeping blood sugar steady is essential in keeping one's energy and metabolic rate stable (and avoiding that afternoon energy slump which can lead to cravings for sugar and carbohydrates).”
AM: What smoothie would you suggest to someone who is new to adding this into their routine?
MB: Our favorite, easy, palatable combination is our very own Clean Green Smoothie. The best part is it’s low in sugar, high in protein and dietary fiber to keep you feeling full and energized for hours. We have included the recipe below.
-½ frozen banana
-½ cup of frozen cauliflower (trust us on this one)
-One handful of fresh spinach
-2 scoops of ALOHA Vanilla Protein Powder
-Your choice of plant-based milk (¾ cup for a smoothie bowl, 1 cup for a drinkable smoothie)