Some people can't start their day without a venti-sized quadruple-shot latte. Me? I can't get going without my morning green smoothie. Go ahead. Call me a crunchy, lentil-lovin' yoga snob like my co-workers do. But nothing gets me going in the morning like a kale-almond butter-blue-green algae-banana smoothie. It's my (healthy) crack in a blender.

Gone are the days of your basic strawberry-banana-OJ sugar overload combos. By now, most of us realize that your average smoothie isn't the best idea if you're looking to drop pounds. Case in point: A classic Jamba Juice Banana Berry Smoothie has an absurd 82 grams of sugar and 400 calories -- even though it's "100 percent juice and real fruit." You're much better off blending your own concoctions at home, and tossing in some key extras that'll boost the nutrient content and keep you feeling fuller longer. With the right smoothie recipes, you can sneak in nutrient-dense superfoods, seeds, and greens -- and still get a delicious outcome. Skeptical? Here are some basic, healthy smoothie tenets that'll make even the most fanatical Jamba Juicers change their ways:

1. Sweeten with fruit, not sugar.
2. Toss in a frozen banana if you want a naturally creamy texture.
3. Experiment with ice cubes that aren't made from water so you don't water down your flavor. Try frozen milk or nut milk, or frozen coconut water.
4. Add nuts and seeds for healthy fats and filling protein.
5. Add some veggies! Smoothies don't have to be all fruit.

We talked to several healthy smoothie experts -- a registered dietitian, a nutritionist, and a vegan author/blogger -- to bring you the best smoothie add-ins for taste and health. A spoonful or two of these ingredients will supercharge your mornings faster than you can say venti-skinny-vanilla-latte-with-an-extra-shot-of-espresso.

Now, get blending!


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Home » Diet & Health » Diet » 11 Healthy Smoothie Ingredients You Need to Start Buying
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