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Smoothies are on the rise in popularity and they have been for some time now. You can find smoothies in every corner of the food industry, including hometown diners and big gourmet restaurants. One place you can also commonly find them is in the homes of people who are trying to eat healthier or want to add some fruity goodness to their diet. You can buy smoothie machines at quite an accessible price nowadays and they really are a godsend for people trying to be healthy or find a way to get some more nutrition into their diet.
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What Is A Smoothie
A smoothie is a drink of crushed up and blended fruits and sometimes vegetables. You can also add milk or cream to them to add to the flavor and the texture, as well as different powders such as protein powder, to add to the nutritional value of the smoothie. Fresh fruit is blended together alongside water or milk to make a drink that has a high nutritional value of vitamins and fiber. A smoothie is also a tasty and fruity drink that can be enjoyed year-round.
Different Types Of Smoothies
While a lot of smoothies are based on fruits and how the drink tastes as a whole, smoothies have also become quite popular with people who work out or go to the gym. Because of this increase in popularity with this crowd, kale and other vegetables also now find themselves in smoothies as they contain great levels of antioxidants and calcium. The main name for smoothies like this is ‘green smoothies’ as the vegetables overpower all the other ingredients which results in the drink being green.
As smoothies are very healthy, they can also be a great way for someone who is on a special diet such as veganism to increase their vitamin and fiber intake. Instead of milk, there are a lot of vegan alternatives such as coconut milk, soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk. Some of these just act like normal milk whereas others, such as the soy and coconut milk, will greatly change the flavor. Other ingredients can be added to change the flavor such as vanilla yogurt and maple syrup, although, these are not necessarily only added for those on a diet.
Smoothie Health Benefits
As mentioned, smoothies are filled with healthy vitamins and nutrition. Not only are they full of these, but they are also a great way for someone, who may struggle to eat, to make sure they keep up their intake of the healthy nutrients needed to function. Some people do not have an appetite in the morning and therefore skip breakfast, smoothies are great for making sure that they are still healthy and happy at the start of their day.
Another great benefit of smoothies is that they are high in fiber, Fiber is needed for the digestive system and also helps decrease the risk of heart disease and colon cancer. The best high fiber foods to add to your smoothie are;
Smoothies can also help you balance out your intake of fats, proteins, carbs, vitamins, and minerals. As you are in control of everything that gets added to the smoothie, you can perfectly design it to give you exactly what you need and when you need it.
Are smoothies meal replacements?
A lot of people use smoothies as a meal replacement, which is not a terrible idea but it is also not a good one. If you are replacing a bowl of cereal for breakfast with a smoothie then sure, it can work. But if you start replacing the majority of your meals with a smoothie then this can be unhealthy. If you are trying to lose weight then a smoothie will help you cut back on calories, but you will also be cutting back on some things that smoothies cannot provide. It is important not to rely too much on the smoothie for nutrition.
Green diets are also bad. This is when you only drink green smoothies, which are high in cruciferous vegetables and greens that contain a lot of thiocyanates. This compound, when too much is consumed, can interfere with how your body absorbs iodine. It is also worth noting that smoothies, when primarily fruit-based, have a lot of sugar in them. This is bad when too much is consumed so make sure to balance it out with less sugary ingredients.
Do You Need To Add Ice To A Smoothie?
A very important ingredient in smoothies is water. This helps all of the ingredients turn into a liquid without it being too chunky and paste-like. Ice is also seen as a very important ingredient as people will add it into the blender alongside the other ingredients. This is to make the drink colder, but also to add some water and a different texture. While a lot of people add ice to smoothies, there is no need to. It is a completely personal choice.
Ice Substitutes In Smoothies
While ice is obviously healthy as it is just water, maybe you do not want to add it to your smoothie. Some people add crushed ice as they like the texture but that doesn’t mean you have to. If your main goal is to make the drink cold without it being stored in the fridge for ages, then there are some substitutes that can help you out.
This is a two-in-one situation as you can use the frozen fruit for its main purpose which is being an ingredient. However, as it is frozen it will still chill the drink down as ice would. Fruit smoothies without ice cubes can have frozen cherries and berries in them instead. Frozen strawberries and blueberries are especially good as they are small and can be easily blended. Frozen banana can also be added but it is best to slice it before you freeze it.
Metal Ice Cubes
Assuming your goal is for your smoothie to be cold, then after it has blended together you can add metal ice cubes to it. These are reusable ice cubes made out of a non-reactive metal that is frozen and then can be used in a drink. The main benefit of them is that they will not dilute your drink.
Fresh Fruit Juice
If you have some fruit juice in the fridge, you can use that instead of the water. It will be just as cold as if you were to leave your smoothie in the fridge, and will also help flavor the smoothie a lot. Make sure that the flavor of the fruit juice works with the flavors from the fresh fruits you have used as ingredients.
Are Smoothies Worth Buying A Blender For?
If you are on the fence about buying a smoothie blender, then I would recommend you just go for it. They are not so expensive that you will regret it if you don’t like them, but if you do end up liking them, it will change your life. For breakfast, you could have a delicious and nutritious alkaline smoothie instead of cereal or toast. You can also have a different flavor smoothie everyday provided you stock up on ingredients and juices such as lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice, and frozen fruits.