Up Your Smoothie Game With These Super Ingredients
Author: Kaitlyn Chiu
Smoothies are great for pre- and post-workout, breakfast, brunch... and dinner (healthy guilt-free cocktails eh?). If you have been playing it safe with berry mixes, banana and peanut butter and green machine, it's time to inject some new super ingredients! Here we have 5 ingredients that are wonderfully nutritious with subtle flavours, which barely change the flavour of your initial recipe. They also make your smoothie looks like a potential Instagram star - if you don't do it for the gram, you might be tempted to start indulging in #5!
Image Source: Best Herbal Health
1. Matcha Tea Powder
From matcha cupcakes to matcha chocolate ice cream, this famous oriental green drink is worth the hype. Adding a spoonful of matcha powder gives your smoothie a natural kick of flavour and helps lift your energy level. The flavour is uniquely glorious, pair it with coconut flakes, mints, bananas or any sweet fruits.
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Whole or milled, these cute little seeds are high in fibre and loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and powerful antioxidants. To incorporate them in your daily smoothie fix, try blending the seeds together with other ingredients you are using to ensure a smooth consistency. The seeds themselves are subtle in terms of flavour, but it is always better to start small with one teaspoon, then gradually increase the portion.
Image Source: Wellbeing Secrets
3. Chia Seeds
Fans of thick smoothie, banana is not your only thickener option. Chia seeds are tiny, but they are a great binding agent after expansion. These little pearls have very mild flavour (almost zero!) and packed with fibre, protein, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, making it the perfect nutritious addition to any smoothie. Soak them in water for 5 minutes to allow expansion, or go experimental and switch up the water to other liquids such as almond milk, coconut water and soya milk. To jazz up your smoothie, sprinkle them on top of your smoothie or blend them together with other ingredients.
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4. Goji Berries
Goji berries are one of the holy grail ingredients in traditional Chinese medicine. They are often incorporated in Chinese cuisine, where you will find them adding flavours and colours in soups and stews. These tiny red berries are packed with zeaxanthin and beta carotene, which are known to benefit eyesight. Zeaxanthin acts as antioxidant and can protect the retina by reducing damage from UV light and blue light exposure. Like most berries, Gojis are sweet in nature, which work perfectly as a sweetener. The light flavour goes hand in hand with other mildly flavoured fruits and nuts such as watermelon, dragonfruit and walnuts.
Image Source: Recipe Hubs
5. Maqui Berry
Bored of your regular Acai smoothie? Get some Maqui berry powder on your next grocery store visit and mix things up a bit. Maqui berry is originated in Southern Chile and is known for its amazing health benefits. These glorious berries are rich in antioxidants (ay ay anti-aging property!) and essential nutrients such as potassium, Vitamin C, iron, calcium... the list goes on. If d are looking for a digestion boost, they are your ideal kick - it is known to boost your metabolism and provide a new found stamina. With its vibrant fuchsia hues, adding them to your smoothie will definitely upgrade your gram feed!
Now get experimental (whilst feeding your body with nutritious goodness of course)!