Curious About Smoothies? Learn What They Are and What Makes Them So Healthy

If you have a got a café or a juice bar in your locality, you would have heard of those luscious drinks that they sell – smoothies. The name of this beverage itself sounds so tempting that you feel like trying them right away, if you haven’t already done so. You also would have heard of the benefits that these drinks come with.

What is a smoothie?

A smoothie is a drink made from a blend of whole fruits, vegetables, or nuts, often in conjugation with milk, yogurt, and other condiments. These beverages are thicker than regular fruit juices, and are comparable to milkshakes, though the latter typically contains less fruits or vegetables, and has more ice creams, sweeteners, and other additives. Smoothies can be freshly prepared, as in a juice bar, or maybe available in bottled versions at supermarkets and stores. While fruit and milk or yogurt based smoothies are the most popular, another class of this beverage, called green smoothies are gaining prominence. Such drinks are made from green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, celery, Swiss chard, parsley, or broccoli, which constitute about 40% to 50% of the drink. The other ingredients of green smoothies are usually fruits or nuts. Green smoothies tend to be bitter as compared to their fruity counterparts, but this can be improved by choosing different versions of the vegetable, or by introducing fruits that change the flavor and texture. For e.g., baby spinach tastes almost flavorless when compared to the full grown leaf. Bananas, on the other hand, soften the flavor and texture of green smoothies.

Popular smoothie recipes

Almost any fruit or nut can be blended into a smoothie. However certain recipes are famous, and available easily at almost all juice bars. Some of the best smoothies in Houston and other places are listed as follows.

  • Zing – A fruity blend of apple, orange, ginger, and chia seeds
  • Sweet and Sour – A tangy drink made from orange, grapefruit, ginger, and lime
  • Volcano – An orange colored smoothie made from carrot, orange, ginger, and cayenne pepper
  • Koko – A mixture of Kale, Asian pear, coconut water, and lemon
  • Green Goddess – A green smoothie that brings together grapefruit, spinach, apple, and cucumber
  • Classic Green  – Yet another green smoothie made from kale, mint, parsley, apple, cucumber, and celery
  • Refresh  – A refreshing drink that brings together mint, cucumber, pineapple, coconut water, and chia seeds
  • Pineapple Sunrise – A must try recipe for pineapple lovers that includes pineapple, apple, orange, cucumber, mint, and chia seeds
  • Turmeric tonic – A healthy smoothie made from turmeric, coconut water, ginger, lemon, and cayenne pepper
  • Revival – A smoothie apt for a juice cleanse regime. Made using kale, collard greens, spinach, parsley, cucumber, celery, ginger, lime, and cayenne pepper
  • Show your roots – A smoothie recipe that blends kale, dandelion greens, collard greens, burdock root, apple, beets, and lemon
  • Awakening – A rejuvenating smoothie that combines spinach, kale, parsley, collard greens, beet, celery, habanero pepper, ginger, and lime

Many smoothie recipes also tend to be seasonal in nature, as they may be made with fruits and vegetables available during certain times of the year.

Why smoothies are healthy

Smoothies are much more than just beverages, and come with loads of health benefits. Firstly, smoothies use raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts that are packed with nutritional benefits. The pulp used in smoothies contains dietary fiber that makes them healthier than regular fruit juices. Smoothies, being thick beverages, can often substitute full meals, as they fill your stomach. So on days, when you are rushing to work, and do not have time to grab your breakfast, a smoothie would do the job. This beverage is also a great option to cut down on unhealthy snacks during midday or tea time breaks. Smoothies are also a good choice in diet control programs like juice cleanses or detox regimes. They are just perfect after a rigorous workout session as well. Also smoothies are beneficial for people who are not fond of eating raw fruits or veggies, but do not want to cut back on their nutritive benefits. A fruit or salad bowl can easily be replaced by a smoothie rich in fruits and vegetables.

When consuming smoothies, it is important to take note of the ingredients. Not all of them are made equal, and few recipes may contain ice creams, artificial flavoring agents, and sweeteners, which bring down the health benefits of the beverage. So unless you consume a smoothie to satiate a sweet tooth, make sure that you check the ingredient list and pick only a recipe that is healthy.