Love smoothies, but feel you’re ready for a new twist on your old favorites? There’s nothing like an unusual (and healthy) ingredient to add some new life to your smoothie-making. It’s great to find new smoothie recipes… but even better to become a creative smoothie maestro.
So with this in mind, check out these 11 off-the-beaten-path ingredients. Add them to your BlenderCommand, and get ready to go on some healthy and delicious smoothie adventures!
Beef Up Your Protein
Nut or seed butter and milk
You’ll love adding nut butter to your smoothie if you’re a PB and J lover. Just like in this sandwich standby, nuts’ creamy smoothness melds perfectly with the sweet tang of fruit. In addition, nuts contribute heart-healthy fats, protein, minerals, and vitamin E to the mix.
Choose your nut and seed butter carefully. Look for ones that give you the smooshed nuts and nothing else – no sugar or oil added (although a bit of salt is okay). Good ole peanut butter goes well in anything. And if you want a seedier option, try a couple of spoonfuls of sesame tahini.
Finally, try adding almond milk to your smoothie for a real hunger-killer. In addition to its incomparable creamy taste, almonds seem to quell ghrelin’s hunger hormone. So a little almond may help your smoothie go even further to keep your appetite in check.
First, a warning: Not everyone will feel safe with this ingredient. Raw eggs can bring on a bout of salmonella, a bacterial infection that can become fatal. Nonetheless, people have eaten raw eggs safely for generations. Many traditional smoothie recipes (like eggnog) have been built on a raw egg foundation. If you have access to eggs from a flock you know is healthy and feel confident about using eggs this way, you might like to try this favorite ingredient of prizefighters.
Eggs add lecithin to your brain and protein. And if you get some free-range eggs – which you’ll know by the glorious orange yolks – you’ll get a hit of omega-3s and carotenoids.
How to use them? Crack it on the side of the smoothies blender and add it in.
While it’s a distant cousin to marijuana, hemp has none of its psychoactive effects – no matter how much you eat. Instead of recreational use, hemp has been used for fiber, rope, and now food due to its good nutrition. Extremely rich in protein – with some of the complete proteins in the plant world – hemp is also very high in omega-3 fatty acids. These fats can help your body fight inflammation.
A warning to smoothie makers: Hemp is also very high in fiber. This can help your digestion, but it will also thicken up the smoothie if it sits for a while in the fridge. Of course, if you like eating your smoothie with a spoon, this may not be an issue. But for all smoothie-sippers, make sure you drink your hemp-infused smoothies pronto.
Get To The Root Of Powerful Nutrition
How about something earthy to balance out the slight sweetness of fruits? Root vegetables offer the perfect solution.
How could you leave this nutrition powerhouse out of smoothie making? Especially when it has such a sweet side!
Carrots are known for bringing the bright orange antioxidant beta-carotene to your diet. Beta-carotene is named for carrots. Beta-carotene can be cleaved in half to form the natural, proper form of vitamin A. Vitamin A has been linked to supporting skin health, immune health, and reproductive health. Recently a large-scale epidemiological study demonstrated carrots, above all other vegetables, seemed to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Eating lots of carrots could reduce the risk by 32%! No wonder Bugs Bunny was so lively!
As long as they’re kept humid and cool, carrots can store for a while and maintain their good nutrition. To add them to a smoothie, you can just drop them in if you have a powerful machine like a Vitamix. For other blenders, try grating them first.
Combine it with some creamy coconut and nutmeg, and you’ll have a cool carrot cake in a glass!
Spicy, peppery radishes in smoothies?! Really?!
First, radishes bring some great nutrition power to the mix… Another member of the cruciferous family also contains sulfur-based compounds that seem to help increase your body’s cancer-fighting and detoxifying processes.
In addition, as suggested by their peppery bite, they help loosen up mucus-clogged passages if you’re a little stuffed up.
On top of all this good healing power, radishes open the door to some new arenas in smoothie flavor combinations…
Some smoothie aficionados love their zing in traditional sweet and fruity combos. But they also invite you to try a more gazpacho-like approach to smoothie making. Instead of just going for sweet and mellow, consider adding radishes to tomatoes, kale, cucumbers, and a little lemon juice for a more savory vegetable medley.
It’s hard to beat beet’s blood-red appearance for drama. You can’t help but wonder what beets do for your health when you see the stains they leave on the counter. And indeed, beets have unique compounds we all could make good use of.
Research has linked beets to fighting inflammation and cancer. Athletes have recently discovered beet juice as a powerful way to extend stamina and power. And because beets increase your body’s nitric oxide production, they may help increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure.
Smoothies offer an excellent way to enjoy beets’ nutrition. However, you lose out on beets’ unique antioxidants, betalains, the more you cook them.
Ginger claims its reputation as a cousin to the antioxidant powerhouse turmeric as a powerful healing root. It improves circulation, clears up the respiratory system, and soothes sore muscles, but it helps other herbs work better.
Perhaps it’s due to its circulatory boost, but herbalists know ginger as a root that magnifies the power of other herbs. So imagine what this can mean for your smoothie nutrition!
You can add dried ginger spice to your smoothie. But for super spicy ginger flavor, consider adding the fresh root to your mix. Wash and peel it first. And if you don’t have a power mixer, grate it first for best results.
Spice Up Your Mix
Once you’ve created an excellent base, why not spice it up? Spices bring not only high notes of flavor but also symphonies of nutrition.
Orange turmeric has one of the world’s best antioxidants – curcumin. In India, turmeric and milk (a smoothie precursor) are common cure-alls.
Cinnamon helps with blood-sugar metabolism, and nutmeg in moderation helps with anxiety and concentration.
Revolutionize Your Smoothie Making
The world of smoothies is immense, spanning all kinds of flavor combinations and nutritional treasures. All you need to enter this world is a blender, a little sense of adventure, and a few of these unusual ingredients.
With this kind of inspiration and innovation, you’ll find yourself sipping smoothies that can take you to new frontiers of taste and vitality. Ready to dive in? Rev up your blender and get creative!
This article is provide by the BlenderCommand blog and content writer Taylor Klaus