Smoothies are a convenient way to pack in a concentrated dose of vital nutrients and meet your energy needs.

The trend to blend makes it easy to combine natural wholesome foods with a beneficial protein source, healthy fats and other concentrated superfoods like chia seeds, cinnamon or ginger.

Convenience never tasted this good!

Smoothies are also a quick and convenient way to whip up a nutritious and wholesome breakfast or post-workout snack.

A prep-and-freeze approach will ensure you have various individual whole food ingredients ready to go when you need them for a quick and easy blend session.

Follow this guide to create flavoursome, thick, satiating smoothies that provide the nutrition you need without overshooting your daily calorie count.

1. Be frugal with fruit

But not all smoothies are created equal. While creativity will keep taste profiles and textures interesting, adding ingredients like honey, syrup, chocolate, flavoured yoghurts or sweetened peanut butter can pile on the calories and sugar.

Even too much of a good ingredient can be counterproductive. So don’t go overboard on the fruits. While they are healthful ingredients, some contain more natural sugar than others.

So be frugal with fruits like bananas, dates and pineapple. Use these fruits sparingly for taste. Rather stick with lower GI fruits like berries, apples and avocados (yes, it’s a fruit) in your smoothies. Avos also give your creation a delightful creaminess and mild taste.

2. Veg out

Smoothies are the ideal time to veg-out, literally speaking. Leafy greens and other nutrient-dense vegetables should make up the bulk of your smoothie recipes. They add a healthful dose of vitamins and various minerals, along with beneficial fibre and enzymes.

The added fibre in smoothies also helps to slow absorption and digestion, which can help to manage sugar spikes and slumps, while keeping you feeling full and satisfied until your next meal.

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3. Fatten up those blends

Adding healthy fat to your smoothie provides a concentrated energy source and will help to slow down your digestion to avoid any unwanted sugar spikes.

A healthy fat source like natural nut butter or coconut milk or cream will also keep you feeling full for longer. Just be mindful of your portions as too much fat can add extra calories you don’t want or need.

4. Bulk up the mixture

Create a thick, dense smoothie with dairy, coconut or almond milks, cottage cheese or greek yoghurt to leave you feeling satiated and satisfied. You can also add bulk and thickness without increasing calories by adding ice.

5. Pimp it out with protein

Supplement powders are a convenient way to boost your smoothie’s protein content while creating additional ways to tinker with the flavour profile.

They are so versatile as there are so many options to choose from. Whey remains the mainstay in protein supplements for its high bioavailability – how quickly your body digests and absorbs it – and the flavour options are seemingly endless.

Blends offer a different protein profile with a combination of dairy and plant proteins, which each have different absorption rates. These are great if you’re looking for a sustained amino acid release until your next meal.

Pure plant proteins offer a similar range of options to those on a milk-free or vegan-based diet or anyone who wants to reduce your animal protein intake to benefit your health or the environment.

Many plant protein supplements also offer a complete amino acid profile to ensure you get everything you need, with a growing range of flavour options available to meet any taste preference.

You can also boost your smoothie’s protein content by adding various seeds, nuts, soy, various milk alternatives or dairy products.