Best Low-Calorie Smoothie Mix-Ins
If you're getting tired of drinking the same smoothie day after day, you can switch it up by adding a fresh, new flavor. Use different mix-ins to revitalize your favorite smoothie taste and inject it with something different.
However, unlike many mix-ins with ice cream or yogurt, yours don't need to be unhealthy. You can use low-calorie, nutritious options to enhance your smoothies. Here are a few add-ins you should consider.
Chocolate milk powder or hot cocoa mix may be sweetened with additional calories, but pure, unsweetened cocoa or cacao can provide a powerful flavor with fewer calories. Simply add a small scoop or two to your blender for a chocolaty protein shake or a creamy banana smoothie.
The more authentic the mix, the better the smoothie. While it might not taste exactly like a milk chocolate bar, it can enhance your blended drink with a strong and rich flavor.
Like cocoa, cinnamon is often paired with sugar for a sweet, strong and distinctive flavor. However, when you take away the sugar, you're still left with that great flavor and fewer calories. Adding even a small amount of cinnamon to your smoothie blender can change the taste of nearly any drink. Try cinnamon with apple- or banana-based smoothies.
Quinoa, Chia or Flaxseed
Each of these popular superfoods boost nutrients such as protein, fiber and vitamins, but none have a significant amount of calories. All you need to do is include a small portion - about 1/4 cup - of these to reap the beneficial nutrients and add a unique flavor to your smoothie.
Before you write these superfoods off as trends, try them as add-ins in your smoothie.
Salt or Pepper
These classic spices may seem more at home on the kitchen table than in your blender, but the truth is they can really change the taste of your smoothie. Either a dash of salt or a pinch of pepper can add an extra layer of flavor and depth to a green or vegetable smoothie. While they may not have the nutrients that quinoa or flaxseed carry, salt and pepper have few calories.
Honey may have a relatively high number of calories among all mix-ins, but because it's such a strong and natural flavor, you only need a little to transform your smoothie. You can use honey in nearly any smoothie to sweeten the whole drink.
Whether you prefer black or green, tea is a low-calorie beverage that you can use as the main liquid in your smoothies. Use iced tea to inject some flavor and caffeine into any smoothie. Pair tea with strawberries, mixed berries and tropical fruits.
Fresh cut ginger root can be a low-calorie and very strong flavor to add to your smoothies. Whether you're looking for an early-morning zing to wake you up or a complementary flavor for a beet smoothie, grated ginger is the perfect add-in.