On our journey to finding health, making a daily superfood smoothie have played a BIG role! I, by no means, believe that your diet HAS to contain smoothies to be healthy. But the simple fact is that there aren’t many other dishes that are quite as easy to load up with whatever nutrients your diet is lacking!
Today I want to, first, share why it is so important to find some way to add extra nutrients into your diet and why a smoothie is often an AMAZING tool.
Secondly, I’ll lay out how I make a superfood base for every smoothie we drink. No matter what smoothie flavor or recipe you like to follow, this can be used as your base to amp up the nutrition 10-fold.
Replace Missing Nutrients
In our current day and age, I have come to believe it is borderline impossible to get ALL of the vitamins and minerals that our body requires in diet alone. If you incorporate foods such as free-range or grass-fed organ meats, 7-10 cups of dark greens, lots of wild seafood, and many other things that aren’t found in the common diet, you might have a chance. And I’m talking about consuming these things just about EVERY day!
But even with the “perfect” diet, including food with all of the basic nutrients, you would have to eat 2-3 times the quantity that folks did 500 years ago! Why, you ask? Let me explain.
Because of chemicals put in our soil, or in the air that then fall on our soil, it has been depleted of the majority of its nutrients. Truly taking care of soil and filling it with all the best nutrients is a time-consuming task that requires meticulous care. There are also suggestions in God’s Word of habits a farmer should have to take care of his fields and provide the best crops. All is this is inconvenient and the modern farmer has found short-cuts that don’t have a healthy result. (LINK)
The result of less nutrients in our soil is that the plants grown in that soil are lacking as well. It is estimated that some vegetables today contain up to 40% less vitamins and minerals than they did just 60 years ago! And it isn’t just the veggies we eat…if you think about it, everything we eat come from plants or animals. All animals eat either plants or animals. So at the end of the day, EVERY bite of food we put in our mouths is SORELY lacking in nutrition! YUCK!
This was one of those things that, as I was researching it, I reached the point of saying, “OK. That’s it than. I give up. Even if I feed my family a ‘perfect’ diet, it isn’t REALLY perfect. Nor is it giving them all the nutrients they need!” But, as it always goes, after sitting and having my little pity party for a bit I realize that I can’t just give up on my family’s health, nor will I take mediocre nutrition as good enough. So the research started up…again.
Bottom-line, all this means is that we can’t leisurely eat healthy food and assume we are OK. We have to be very intentional about our diet and instead of assuming our bases are covered, we need to make sure of it. To do that, our family has made some dietary changes, but we also added some nutritional supplementation to areas that are hard to cover or too expensive to cover through diet alone (I will be posting about this in the near future).
All of this to say, there are some powerhouse ways I have found to sneak vitamins and minerals into smoothies that I would be hard-pressed to get into our regular diets. This is especially true for our kids. My kids are SOOO good at eating the healthy food I serve them (I’m not biased, they are wonderful 😉) and I will be sharing a “what my kids eat in a week” post in the future. But getting the sheer volume of veggies into their diet that is necessary for a good nutrient base is a bear. So why not just make a yummy smoothie, something they beg for every day, that will complete their body’s vitamin and mineral needs!
As I mentioned earlier, there will be post in the near future in which I detail how to figure out what nutrients are covered in your current diet and how to make adjustments for the ones you are missing. But for today, I am simply going to share with you the smoothie base I have put together for our family to make sure some of our gaps are filled.
So this base is a great place to start, but once you figure out where the nutrition gaps are in your household, work this smoothie jigsaw puzzle until you have the perfect gaps filled for your situation! This is just to get you started…
This is the base of all of our smoothies. Of course, you can use water, tea, freshly juiced veggies, or whatever healthy liquid you prefer (we have used all of those in the past). I like to add a 3/1 ration of almond milk to heavy cream/full fat coconut milk. Here are some links to the products we use: (LINK), (LINK), (LINK).
I like to add a protein source, firstly, because I believe it is important to have protein with every meal (and a hearty smoothie can definitely fill you up as much as a meal). But, secondly, a good protein powder will make your smoothie creamier, fluffier, and smoother. I believe the best type is a bone broth protein powder (LINK), but they can be a bit pricier so we alternate between that and a grass-fed whey powder (LINK).
As you will find out in that upcoming post I mentioned, dark greens truly contain the majority of the vitamins and minerals that our body needs. If you can get 7-10 cups into your diet each day (LINK), you will be a lot closer to reaching your nutrition goals. I have a LARGE salad every day, but that is still not enough. And, of course, it is difficult to get a child-sized version of that many greens into my kids. So I would like to introduce your to: Spinach Pucks! It takes 2-3 cups of spinach and turns it into a little frozen disk that can simply be popped into your smoothie! It does not change the taste but will change the color…give your little kids opaque sippy cups and they will never notice the difference!
Check out this link (LINK) to see how to make them!
This is sort of a random one, but I have run across several sources (LINK) that talk about the nutritional value and since it is dirt cheap and super easy to add, I figured, why not?? We have worked our way up to adding about 1/2 cup of frozen okra to every smoothie, but I would start out with no more than 1/4 cup because it does change the flavor slightly.
Green Superfood Powder
I called this a superfood smoothie for many reasons, but here is one that literally has it in the name of the ingredient! How could we pass that up??
But seriously, when we are talking about replacing missing nutrients, it is hard to top the amount of nutrition found in Spirulina! (LINK) So, you can get some green powders that have a variety or nutrition sources (LINK) but if you are wanting to go the less expensive route, just get straight up Spirulina (LINK).
Avocado is SOOOO full of nutrients that our body NEEDS! (LINK) I know I sound like a broken record, but these are some powerhouse ingredients y’all!
The other amazing benefit is how creamy it makes any smoothie without adjusting the flavor.
I would not say that this one is adding to the nutrient base of this smoothie. But I think we can all honestly say that if our sweetener isn’t taking away from the nutrient base, we are knocking it out of the metaphorical park!
I have two goals when choosing a sweetener:
- Should not skyrocket my insulin. Any sugars/sweeteners that turn into glucose in your body are spiking your insulin. We are talking about “normal” white sugar, honey, cane sugar, etc.
- Should not deplete my gut of its healthy bacteria or be a carcinogen. This would take Sucralose (Splenda) and Aspartame (Diet Sodas) off the table. (LINK), (LINK)
In the world of sweeteners, you would be surprised how few options are left when you abide by those two goals. We work with three sweeteners in our household. Pure Stevia extract (LINK), Erythritol (LINK) (LINK), and Monk Fruit (LINK). We use them to sweeten things that we make from scratch or buy products that are sweetened using one or multiple of them.
I have learned several tricks of how to find convenience in using a combination of these sweeteners in our every day life…and I just found another topic that I will be using to write a post 😊!
For our smoothie (that serves me and my two oldest kids) I add about 1-1.5 tablespoons of my homemade version of Trim Healthy Mamas’ Super Sweet (LINK).
There are a few nutrition gaps that we found in our kid’s diet that we could not effectively fill with food alone, so we have added some supplements. Right now, I add a couple drops of vitamin D3 and a probiotic into their smoothies.
I will be adjusting that in a couple weeks based on some more research that I have been doing, but the point is that if you desire to give your kids any supplements, there is not easier way then popping them into your superfood smoothie!
Complete the Smoothie!
Obviously, if you just add the ingredients listed above, your smoothie will be ULTRA nutritious…but also kind of icky.
For our daily smoothie, I also add about 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries, a dash of salt, about a tablespoon of cocoa powder (unless I am using chocolate-flavored protein powder, and about a teaspoon of vanilla.
Basically, once you create the base that fits your family’s nutritional needs, you can add your favorite flavors and create the smoothie of your dreams!
As always, that you for reading! Let me know if you have any questions or comments down below!