How to Build the Perfect Smoothie For Weight Loss

Do you have an almost-new NutriBullet or Vitamix that’s collecting dust instead of making smoothies? You attempted to make one awhile back| but it tasted too much like liquid grass to be drinkable. Check out this easy| foolproof guide to building a nutritious and lip-smackingly good smoothie.

Greens (1 to 2 cups): Spinach and kale may turn your smoothie green| but once they’re mixed with fruit| you’ll hardly be able to taste them. You can also try adding beet or dandelion greens| sprouts| or arugula.

Fruit (1 to 2 cups): Frozen works best here| but if you use fresh| just add some ice cubes to give it a frosty consistency. Mix it up with two to four kinds of fruit such as banana| strawberries| blueberries| raspberries| blackberries| mango| peach| pineapple| pear| cherries| apple| grapes| papaya| oranges| melon| or kiwi.

Thickener (1/4 to 1/2 cup): For the perfectly creamy texture and for added protein and fiber| mix in some Greek yogurt or cottage cheese (3 ounces)| nut butter (one tablespoon) or nuts (1/8 cup almonds| walnuts| or cashews)| avocado (1/4 fruit)| cannellini beans (1/4 cup)| baked sweet potato (1/4 cup)| oats (1/4 cup)| or soft tofu (1/2 cup).

Liquid (1 to 2 cups): Water or some type of milk (cow| soy| almond| or rice) is always a winner| but you can also experiment with adding green tea; coconut water or milk; freshly squeezed juice such as carrot| beet| or orange; or chocolate milk.

Optional extras: Mix in a serving of your favorite protein powder to build muscle and stave off hunger. Or| for added fiber| add flax meal| wheat germ| or chia seeds (1/2 teaspoon). For a health boost| add fish or flaxseed oil or probiotics (recommended dosage). And for extra pizzazz and flavor| add cinnamon| nutmeg| vanilla extract| maple syrup| honey| dates| fresh herbs| or fresh ginger (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon).

Here’s a handy chart showing a basic 300-calorie smoothie with specific ingredients listed underneath.

2 cups kale (72 calories)

1/2 frozen banana (53 calories)

1/2 cup frozen strawberries (23 calories)

1/2 cup frozen blueberries (42 calories)

3 ounces vanilla Greek yogurt (68 calories)

1 1/4 cups cold water

1/2 serving vanilla protein powder (65 calories)

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (2 calories)

Total calories: 321

Since diving into the world of smoothie-making can be intimidating| here are some other smoothie recipes you can try out that follow this basic plan.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar