How to build a balanced smoothie

Smoothies are a great way to pack in a lot of nutrition, especially during pregnancy when food aversions hit and you can’t eat your usual variety of foods. I also love them for busy mama’s, again for the same reason to jam pack with goodness (bonus because they can be shared with your little ones).

BUT, not all smoothies are created equal and we need to be mindful that what we are putting into them isn’t going to cause a huge spike in blood sugar, which can lead to energy crashes and further sugar cravings.

Here is my recipe for balance-smoothie success:

1. Start with your veg: per adult, I like to aim for 1 cup of veggies minimum (which helps get you to your goal of 5-6 serves across the day). Try: spinach, kale, cauliflower, zucchini, celery or cucumber.

2. Balance with protein & fats: together these macronutrients help balance your blood sugar and sustained energy release. Around 10g protein and 1 tbsp healthy fat per adult is a great amount to aim for. What this could look like:

  • 3 x tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds + 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp collagen + 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt

Avocado is another great natural source of fats that could be added (1/2 avo per adult).

3. Liquids: here is where the sugar can sneak in, so I prefer using coconut water (also a great natural source of electrolytes), organic coconut milk (such as CocoQuench), or just plain filtered water. Add based on your desired consistency.

4. Add your superfood extras & flavours: these are not mandatory, but an easy way to further improve the nutrient density and taste. eg: fresh ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, spirulina, mint, maca, cacao or bee pollen.

5. Fruit: Last on my list, but still essential for flavour, vitamins and a hint of sweetness. This is where we need to be careful, because too much in the absence of protein & fat can throw off your macronutrient balance. Aim for 1 cup or less of low-medium sugar fruits, such as berries, kiwi fruit or stone fruits or 1/2 cup or less of higher sugar fruits such as banana, mango or pineapple.

You can also read about how to build a balanced meal here.