Making a healthy protein smoothie might seem like second nature to us here at Neat, but it is part of our job! Making an amazing tasting shake that isn't full of sugar or unnecessary ingredients can take a fair bit of practice. So to help you make delicious creations in the comfort of your own home, we thought we’d create a cheat sheet, rounding up some of the basic rules we use to build a healthy smoothie.
Choose Your Fruit
Typically, your smoothie base is going to be made from fruit - our fail-safe choice is usually banana, although you can use berries, mango, acai or whatever else takes your fancy! We'd recommend trying to keep sugary fruit such as banana or pineapple down to 1 serving per smoothie and adding in extra veggies instead to boost your micronutrients. We love adding a handful of spinach leaves to make a super green smoothie – you can’t taste it we promise! Our top tip? Use frozen fruit or a handful of ice to thicken your smoothie and keep it cool.
Boost it with Protein
Protein is not only key for refuelling your muscles post workout and keeping you satiated, but it's also your flavour game-changer. Vanilla, choc or berry? We love thinking about our favourite dessert flavours and replicating them in a healthy shake! When it comes to what type of protein to use, Whey or Lean proteins tends to make shakes a little creamier, but Vegan protein also works great and is especially good for those with intolerances to dairy.
Blend it up with?
For a creamier shake, milk is going to be your go-to, but what milk you choose is up to you! Almond, rice or cow's milks are usually crowd-pleasers, but we also love hazelnut milk paired with chocolate protein, or coconut milk with tropical fruits. If you fancy something lighter and a little more refreshing, try using coconut water instead, but avoid high-sugar orange and apple juices.
Keep the Extras on the Down Low
Whether you’re after an extra bit of flavour or something a little more filling, it’s a great idea to add in some healthy fats – but watch your portion sizes! Try a tsp of peanut butter in a chocolatey treat or ¼ an avo in a super green smoothie. This might not be necessary post workout, but is a great idea for breakfast on a busy day to keep you fuelled all morning long.