Think your daily smoothie is super healthy and keeping your weight under control? Made right, a highly riffable smoothie makes perfect nutritious sense. But even some of the most wholesome ingredients can ramp up the calories and interfere with weight loss goals, or even worse, make you put on weight.
Here's the problem: way too much sugar (think sweetened fruit juice, lashings of honey, and a ton of bananas) hidden fat (hello frozen yogurt), and far too many add-ons (peanut butter + chia seeds + all those other gooey healthy titbits).
Hearing us? Here are the most common mistakes we are making and quick tips for making a damn fine smoothie.
what not to do
you sip your smoothie with breakfast. Guess what? A smoothie is a meal in itself - not an accompaniment. Especially if it’s packed with nuut, Greek yogurt, nut butters, and banana which contains enough calories to replace a meal. If you enjoy a smoothie alongside your avocado toast, keep it light, lean and very low cal.
fruit overload. Fruit fattening? Though it’s a healthy smoothie ingredient, you can get too much of a good thing —in the form of calories and carbs. Ensure you stick to around 1 cup (or serving) of fruit per smoothie. Throwing various fruits in your blender quickly adds up, so if you’re mixing fruits, keep an eye on the total amount.
soooo sweet. Organic honey, agave and coconut sugar sound like perfect sugar substitutes, don’t they? Wrong. They are simply sugar by another name. 1 gram of sugar equals 1 gram of sugar. Satisfy your sweet tooth substituting sugar with a naturally sweet fruit, like berries, instead. And be aware that sneaky sugars can lurk in different brands of plant-based milks and yogurts too, so always read ingredients labels carefully.
excess add-ons. Nut butters and chia seeds are the perfect smoothie additions, so long as you don’t go over overboard. A tablespoon of either peanut or almond butter has about 100 calories and chia, flax, or hemp seeds get you to the 100-calorie mark in just two or three tablespoons. Horror!
how to blend the best smoothie
Here’s how to whip up a nutritious, well balanced and delicious drink, without all the calories.
fruit. Keep fruit minimal, aiming for 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit. Our top low-sugary choices are strawberries, blueberries and peaches. We adore bananas too but because they are super-high in carbs, we stick to very small ones or add just a half.
vegetables. A big handful of spinach or kale is the perfect way to ramp up antioxidants. They also give your smoothie more body, and when combined with fruit, ensure that ‘green’ taste is almost undetectable.
protein. Add ½ to 1 cup of plain or Greek yogurt, which has up to 24g of this hunger-busting protein. Or simply add a sachet of nuut. Packed with pea protein and fortified with vitamins and minerals, each serve contains a third of your daily nutritional requirements at around 200 calories. It’s delicious, complete, and hello, it’s chocolate! Win win!
plant-based fat. A bit of healthy fat adds richness and keeps you fuller for longer. Try chia seeds, avocado, scoop of tahini or nut butter, dollop of yogurt, or a splash of coconut milk. Hello heart-protecting omega-3 fatty acids! Just remember they can also dramatically increase your smoothie’s calories. Stick to around a tablespoon of seeds or nut butters and a third of an avocado for good measure.
liquid. Choose any milk you wish – nut, plant-based or dairy. We think unsweetened almond milk is an ideal base liquid; it pairs well with any add-ons. Or simply choose water to thin out your smoothie instead. It won’t dilute the flavour, but it will minimise calorie input.
ice ice baby. Here at nuut, we like to add lots of ice to our smoothies. It keeps it fresh all morning and adds volume which makes our sips last longer. Being cold also means it takes longer to drink, so it’s a more satisfying and enjoyable smoothie. All for zero cost and calories!
add-ons. A dash of cinnamon, turmeric, or espresso adds a delicious complexity to a smoothie as well as added health benefits. Organic oats are a nuut favourite too and give a smoothie more volume. Just be sure to easy on the amount. Just a tablespoon is all you need.
Here is one of our fave low-cal but hardcore healthy nuut smoothies.
nuut slimline smoothie
1 sachet nuut (any blend)
300ml filtered water
1 handful baby spinach
1 teaspoon chia seeds
Blitz nuut, water, spinach, avocado and ice in a blender until perfectly smooth.