Oh man, smoothies, yo! One of my favourite things to ingest!
Before we get into the thick of things, I am very aware that the Whole30 plan frowns upon smoothies and juicing. The elders of the Whole9 lifestyle would much rather see you eat your veggies and fruits instead of drink them. I wholeheartedly agree. I eat my veggies and fruits. I just also like to have smoothies. It’s a refreshing way to get extra nutrients, fluids, and during my Whole30, be actually satisfied from breakfast until lunch.
For those of you just starting out on a Whole30, or just trying to be healthier in general, sometimes it’s not easy to get as many healthy things in your diet as you should. Making delicious healthy beverages is a step in the right direction, and will get you and your body accustomed to better eating. Also, YUM.
So for those of you who want to bend the rules a bit and have a smoothie as a treat, or with your breakfast, or once a week during your Whole30, here are some tips for Whole30 compliant smoothie making.
Choose Your Fruit
The possibilities here are endless. Sometimes I might just be craving a single fruit, and make a smoothie with just cherries or bananas. Most times I like to do a blend, and this is where you end up with some kickass flavours.
Some great combinations include:
-Kiwi apple pear
-Banana and anything, because bananas are freaking amazing
You catch my drift here, that pretty much every fruit is awesome in a smoothie. Don’t be afraid to experiment, because you can’t screw this up and make it gross.
Unless you blend grapefruit and cabbage. Don’t ever do that. It’s unfixable.
Add A Vegetable
With juicing, it’s easy to add and hide all kind of veggies in your fruit, or just drink vegetables by themselves. It’s a little harder in a smoothie because it makes things less… well, smooth. Unless you have a three thousand dollar blender. Mine is a fifteen dollar number, so it limits my options here. But there are certain veggies that go really well with smoothies, depending on the type of smoothie you’re going for.
Greens are the best, because they’re packed with nutrients and they don’t overpower the flavour. You can shove a fistful of them into a one cup smoothie and once finished, not even notice they’re there. Just ignore the colour. I like to use frozen fruit for my smoothies because it keeps well and I can have tons of selection on hand, so frozen spinach is perfect here, and my crappy blender chews it up really well.
Cucumber is my go-to veggie for refreshing water-based smoothies. It pairs well with berries, citrus fruits, or pears and apples. You can blend up a few slices, or add a lot to give your smoothie a really nice summery kick. The flavour combo of fruit/cucumber smells nice and makes me feel like reclining in the sun. Cucumber is also extremely good for your skin, in case you were interested.
Tomatoes are not super popular in the smoothie world, but if you’re someone who likes sugar sprinkled on their tomatoes, then you will probably like them this way while you’re craving sweet tomatoes on a Whole30. They pair well with apples, pears, and peaches in a water-based smoothie. Or, you could do one with just tomatoes and no fruit for a Whole30-compliant tomato juice. (Psst, if you’re going to do this, tossing in cucumber and a garlic clove is divine!)
Herbs are a nice addition to spice up your smoothies. Chives and fresh cilantro work really well, and mint is my favourite in citrus smoothies.
Choose Your Base
To properly blend, every smoothie needs a base. The most common are milk or orange juice, but those are both out on a Whole30 so we have to get creative. This is also a great exercise in training yourself to crave less sugar. Post Whole30, I can’t have orange juice in my smoothies anymore. It’s WAY too sweet.
Water is the easiest choice, and works really well with berries and citrus fruits, anything juicy. It makes a thinner smoothie, but essentially just dilutes the fruit a bit, giving you a flavourful beverage. (I’ve never used coconut water, so I don’t know how flavourful it is, but I’m sure it’s delicious for smoothies as well!)
Almond Milk is a great substitute for milk, though not as thick. I like it with bananas, avocadoes, any fruit that are dense or creamy. (This applies to most nut milks.)
Coconut Milk is a thicker milk substitute, and one of my very favourites for smoothies. I like it especially blended with frozen berries, because it tastes so close to frozen yogurt that I feel like I’m cheating on the Whole30. Also pineapple + coconut milk = fresh squeezed pina colada!
Homemade Juice can be used as a smoothie base if you like, along the lines of poached juice (if you missed that, check it out here) or made using a juicer. I feel like it’s a bit of a process to go about making juice out of whole fruit just to then blend it with whole fruit anyway, but if you’re ambitious, then go for it! You can get all kinds of funky flavours this way.
You can choose from all of that stuff and have a pretty kickass drink, but of course there’s even more that you can add to your drink to give it extra texture, flavour, and health benefits. Check out some of the ideas below!
Flax or Chia seeds are not only a wonderful source of protein and omega 3s, they will also help thicken your brew if it’s a little thin to your taste. A few tablespoons of ground flax or chia will gum things up nicely. Flaxseed is also a natural anti-inflammatory, so
Hemp Hearts are fantastic to just eat out of the bag, but if you’re not a fan, you can still reap the benefits by hiding them in a smoothie. Have you ever read the nutritional content on the bags of those things? It’s insane how healthy they are.
Nuts are a great addition to a smoothie to give a little extra blast of protein if you’re not using nut milk as a base.
Nut Butter is so, so good in a smoothie. Peanuts may be out on a Whole30, but compliant almond or cashew butter is in, and a dollop in a banana/nut milk smoothie just intensifies creaminess and sweet nut flavour.
P.S. To my local readers, Happy Canada Day! W00t w00t!