How to Make Meal Replacement Smoothies
If you're trying to cut back on calories, carbohydrates or portions, you may want to think about replacing one of your meals with a smoothie each day. Unlike traditional meals, you can enjoy a smoothie on the go, prepare it ahead of time and easily make it for one person. If you're thinking of using your kitchen blender to make a meal replacement smoothie, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Get your balance of nutrients
When you replace a meal with a smoothie, you want to replicate the balance of nutrients that you typically see on your plate. While this doesn't mean that you should toss vegetables, chicken and rice in your blender and expect a tasty shake, you should try to focus on what you can gain from each food and mimic it with tasty ingredients. Try to include these food groups or nutrients in your smoothie.
- Protein - Whether you just worked out or woke up, protein is an important aspect of any meal. Meat often fills the protein role of a meal, but in a replacement smoothie, you have plenty of other options. Nuts, legumes, nut butters, soy, yogurt, milk, tofu or protein powders can all help you get the protein you need to feel great.
- Energy - Meals are fuel for our daily activities, so you want to ensure you get plenty of energy. While your protein will certainly help power you through the day, fruits can also provide you with a nutritious boost of energy for a short time.
- Vitamins and minerals - Smoothies are much better than traditional meals at helping you get all of the vitamins and minerals you need because you can combine a large quantity of different fruits and vegetables into a small volume. Focus on your leafy greens, vitamin-rich veggies and a variety of fruits. Don't forget about juices or diary either.
- Fiber - The difference between smoothies and juice is that smoothies leave in the pulp, skin and seeds from fruit and vegetables. This translates into dietary fiber, which is critical for normal gut function.
- Other nutrients - Good fats, diary, antioxidants and amino acids can all be a part of your well-balanced smoothie. You'll have as much control as you want when it comes to adding to your blender, so take advantage and incorporate the nutrients you need.
Use Top-Notch Ingredients
When you're replacing a meal with smoothies, you'll likely save some money. So why not put those savings into buying better ingredients? Many people opt for foods that may be a little more expensive but much better quality when they replace their meals with smoothies.
Get Creative with Your Accents
With meals, the best tasting aspects are often the accent flavors - the small additions that overwhelm the palate with pleasure. While you don't want to add a condiment to your smoothies, you should incorporate small, strong accents. Think about using lime juice, honey, maple syrup or even cayenne pepper.