After a brief hiatus, my Brown Paper Bag series is back! For new readers/those who can’t remember, BPB is a series where I suggest ideas for healthy packed lunches and ways to make them part of your daily routine. For the past 2 weeks or so, I’ve been splitting up my lunches into 2 parts. Anyone who works a desk job will agree that sitting in the same spot for 8 hours can stir up a serious case of the munchies.
Believe it or not I used to avoid drinking smoothies because they’d keep me full for all of 5 minutes. The rational part of my brain figured it was better to ‘eat’ my calories rather than ‘drink’ them. By bulking out my smoothies, I’ve started embracing them lately and fortunately they fill the fro yo void in my life . I know everyone has their own smoothie style but here are some of my tips for making a filling, yet tasty, smoothie:
1) Choose your base: between liquids like milk, kefir, yogurt, and coconut water the choices are endless. My only suggestion is to avoid opting for fruit juice as your sole base due to its high sugar content.
2) Select your fruit combo, and once you do peel, chop, and and freeze! Frozen fruit produces such a great, creamy texture. For natural sweetness, be sure to use ripened fruit.
3) Pack in some protein: If protein powders are your thing, scoop up! As you know I’d rather get my protein from real foods where possible so I add in Greek yogurt which has up to 15g protein per cup and/or soy milk which has 10g protein per cup. Adding in a chunk of tofu or a couple tablespoons of cottage cheese can also boost your smoothie’s protein content. Although Hulk Hogan may suggest adding raw eggs, that’s entirely up to you!
4) Go green: I know that the idea of adding spinach into a sweet drink sounds gag-worthy. I thought so too initially but I promise you cannot taste it AT ALL. A mere handful can amp your intake of nutrients like protein, Omega 3′s and iron. In fact, my sister cranks it up a notch by even blending in courgettes and broccoli: TOO.HARDCORE.FOR.ME !
5) Have some fun by adding flavorings like vanilla/almond essence, peanut butter, cocoa powder, or cinnamon. For an extra dose of healthy fats & fiber, stir in a tablespoon or 2 of chias/flax seeds.
Optional: to improve the consistency & volume of your smoothie, add in a teaspoon of guar and/or xanthan gum. I’m a big fan of the latter!
How do you ensure your smoothies pack in some staying power?