How to Make the Perfect Smoothie
By Elizabeth Leppart, MS, LN
January 1, 2021
A protein shake can be just as nutritious as any other balanced meal by blending healthy sources of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Plus, it’s a great option for meals or snacks when you are short on time for breakfast or need something to sip on discreetly during back-to-back Zoom meetings. Protein shakes are an easy way to get in extra servings of veggies, using either whole veggies and/or a superfood blend like Key Greens & Fruits to add a boost of nutrients and flavor.
We’ve pulled together a helpful guide detailing all the options to make your ultimate, perfect-to-you smoothie. Note the graphic for the order in which to layer ingredients for the creamiest smoothie around! In a nutshell, heavier items on top, lighter and liquid on the bottom. The heavier items will push down the other ingredients and the liquids and powders will easily spin to pull down those heavier ingredients and help the blender from getting clogged .
Here’s more of a breakdown on what I recommend to my nutrition counseling clients, layer by layer:
Additional Liquid: Purified water is my top choice. For a fun and cozy twist, I love recommending hot water for a warm smoothie, like our Warm Apple Pie Smoothie
Healthy Fat: Adding a healthy fat (coconut milk, nut butter, avocado, heavy whipping cream) stabilizes our blood sugars to help us stay full until our next meal. Pro Tip: When choosing a nut butter, look for just nuts and salt in the ingredients. (Avoid refined oils like soybean or cottonseed as their extensive processing creates free radicals which are damaging to our cells.) We recommend adding about 10 grams of fat for the right amount to stabilize our blood sugar to keep us satiated until the next meal or snack.
- Key Greens & Fruits Powder, 1 scoop contains 20+ servings of antioxidants, which is critical for supporting our immune systems and fighting off damaging free radicals. Take advantage of our 15% off sale on Key Greens (comes in 6 flavors like espresso, chocolate or blueberry tangerine!) to mix and match fun combinations.
- Extra Veggies: Throwing in a handful of greens (spinach is a great choice) or other veggies (try a mild-tasting veggie like cauliflower) gets you a hidden, added serving of veggies for the day. Pro-tip: Freeze veggies or parts of veggies you would normally toss (think wilting greens, tops of celery, beets or carrots), to later add to smoothies! This reduces waste and adds in extra veggies with little effort.
- Yogurt: Yogurt not only adds a creamy texture to a smoothie but gives an extra boost of protein and healthy fat to make it more of a balanced meal option. Add a ½ cup if you’re going to turn your smoothie into a meal versus a snack. Whether using traditional dairy or a dairy-free option, choose unsweetened, full-fat yogurt for best quality and to avoid added sugars.
- Collagen: 1 scoop Key Collagen powder for bone and tissue support. Less wrinkles anyone? Collagen is proven to help!
Protein Powder: Getting enough protein is essential to our health and well-being, from providing us with energy to supporting neurotransmitter production to building strong bones and tissue. However, not all protein powders are created equal. Look for animal sources like whey, beef, or egg which provide the most usable forms of protein for our bodies. We recommend NutriKey’s Wellness Whey Protein powder (comes in chocolate, vanilla and natural flavor).One scoop contains 23g of protein. In general, we aim for 21-28 grams; you can check your brand of choice for how many grams are in each scoop. If you prefer a sweetened protein powder, look for natural sources like stevia or monk fruit with no added sugar.
Fruit: Adding a healthy carbohydrate like fruit not only gives us energy, but also provides us with important nutrients like disease-fighting antioxidants and gut-healthy fiber. Pro Tip: It is common to make fruit the main star of your shake. However, this can give us a sugar overload! We suggest keeping it to ½ cup per shake to keep it in balance with the other ingredients.
And that’s a (blended) wrap! We want to encourage you to take advantage of our as all are the highest quality possible and come in a variety of flavors that will help you take your smoothie game to the next level with amazing combinations like these:
- Peaches and Cream Smoothie
- Strawberry Basil Smoothie
- PB & J Smoothie
- Raspberry Lemonade Smoothie
- Chocolate Covered Berry Smoothie
- Hot Chocolate Smoothie
- Coconut Mango Smoothie
- Chocolate Peppermint Shake
- Cherry Blossom Smoothie
- Piña Colada Smoothie
- March Mint Shake
For more information on the ins and outs of health nutrition, check out these resources: