Feel like you’re constantly short on time and nutrients? Smoothies can be a great way to make a quick meal or snack that’s packed with good-for-you ingredients…but only if you’re choosing the right ingredients and ratios for a healthy drink that actually tastes good.
Poor smoothie planning could lead to something that tastes like watery kale, or, conversely, a milkshake. The former might have you tossing your personal blender in the back of the cabinet to collect dust, and the latter will easily wreck your diet if you continue to down these drinks thinking they’re “healthy”.
So, what’s the right way to make a smoothie? Follow these five simple steps to build a better smoothie from Harley Pasternak, SHAPE Brain Trust advisory board member, nutrition specialist and celebrity trainer.
Pasternak’s New York Time’s best-selling cookbook, “The Body Reset Diet”, features smoothies loved by celebs such as Halle Berry, Kim Kardashian, and Jessica Simpson.
Below, the unofficial smoothie king (no, really he used to have a healthy line at Jamba Juice— shares his top smoothie-making tips to make your drinkable meal satisfying and nutritious.
1. Include the “Holy Trinity of Satiety” (protein, fiber, and healthy fats).
You know all about macros by now: protein, carbs, and fat—the macronutrients your body needs to survive, but Pasternak has a different set of nutrients he likes to focus on when building a smoothie.
“Every smoothie should have what I call the ‘holy trinity of satiety’—protein, fiber, and healthy fat,” says Pasternak. Plus, you can extend this method to all your meals to make meal prep even easier. “The same applies to salads, sandwiches, scrambles, stir-fries, and every meal you eat.”
When it comes to protein, you have some options: Experiment with protein powder, cottage cheese, or “strained yogurts” aka Greek or Icelandic. “Strained yogurts are fermented longer and have significantly more protein and less sugar than traditional yogurts.” If you can’t seem to get passed the powdery texture vibes, silken tofu is a good option that will make your smoothie thick without adding an overpowering flavor. Next, for fiber, add plenty of fibrous fruits such as berries and fruits you can eat with the skin on (think: apples and grapes) tend to have more fiber and less sugar than tropical fruits with a tougher outside layer that you peel away (think: pineapples, mango, bananas). Don’t forget about veggies for fiber and micronutrients, too. “Vegetables like cucumber, zucchini, and spinach, don’t have powerful flavor profiles and can be blended into a smoothie without significantly changing the flavor profile,” says Pasternak. Lastly, add a sprinkle of seeds, nuts, or avocado for a healthy dose of unsaturated fats, which are preferred fats for good heart health.