Guys, have you heard, Jugo Juice has removed ALL refined sugars and artificial ingredients from their line up of delicious smoothies and juices (yes, it’s true)! What does this mean for the devout smoothie drinker (it’s only good news), now you can order any one of Jugo Juices customizable smoothie options on the go, and know that the ingredients are fresh, whole, and free from refined sugar. That’s a major win for those of you who struggle finding wellthy food options on the run.
With the announcement of this (major) news, I had the opportunity to talk with Andrea Holwegner, Registered Dietitian, Founder and President of Health Stand Nutrition Counselling Inc., consultant for Jugo Juice and Brightpath Early Learning Inc., (to name a few). Impressive, wouldn’t you say?
As many of you are probably aware, I LOVE a thick & creamy smoothie bowl (mmm). Why? Smoothies are an amazing way to incorporate more whole foods into your diet, as well as beneficial vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, that many standard diets are deficient of. If you’ve given the popular blended beverage a chance, you’re one step closer to feeling and looking your best! But if you’ve fallen into the green smoothie rut (kale overload anyone?), perhaps that smoothie that was your ride or die all summer long has lost its allure … Maybe it’s time to stop using kale as your crutch and explore the vast world of whole food ingredients that won’t leave your taste buds screaming for a decadent stack of waffles after the very last sip (we all know that feeling). But where to start?! Don’t worry, no previous kitchen skills are required to become a smoothie connoisseur (just a stocked fridge or access to your nearest Jugo Juice).
Ok, let’s break it down to the basics for you (aka the anatomy of a smoothie), so that you too can learn how stay fueled this fall with quick and healthy (and of course delicious) smoothies!
1. Choose a base: This is the liquid portion of the smoothie. Anywhere from ¾ - 2 cups will get everything blending (an essential) and allow you to manipulate the consistency so that it can be a thick smoothie bowl (grab a spoon) or a thinner one that will allow you to sip it through a straw (likely preferred when multitasking). Options include: coconut water, 100% real fruit juice, dairy milk, nut milk or water.
2. Choose a whole fruit: Choosing fresh or frozen fruit can alter the consistency and temperature of a smoothie. Maybe in the summer you felt like something chilled to beat the heat, but moving into fall, perhaps a room temp smoothie won’t leave you with a chill as you jet out the door. Options include: banana, mango, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries. Andrea’s Tip: If you’re new to the smoothie game, start by incorporating sweeter more tropical fruits as you evolve your palate. This will help to reduce the bitterness of the greens and vegetables you pair with your blended bevy.
3. Consider adding a green and/or vegetable: Don’t let this option scare you (key word, option)! There are so many fresh colourful ingredients that are neutral in flavor and won’t leave your smoothie tasting like a garden! Options include: kale, spinach, swiss chard, avocado, cucumber, squash, cauliflower, zucchini, or celery. Wellthy Tip: If you have produce that is on the verge of going bad, chop it up in to smaller chunks, portion into baggies or glass containers, and freeze. When you go to make your smoothie, pop in some frozen veg to make it extra creamy!
4. Add extra benefits: We’ve all heard the term superfoods, here’s where you can add in some of your favourites to enhance the nutritional value of your smoothie! Don’t get overwhelmed and feel like you need to add all the trendy ingredients, start with one or two and experiment as you wish. Options include: ground flax, hemp hearts, chia seeds, spirulina, chlorella, kefir or protein. Andrea’s Tip: Nutrient timing is essential when considering to add a protein source. If you’re planning a post-workout smoothie, opt for adding a serving of protein to aid in muscle recovery. If you’re having a smoothie pre-workout, some may find the addition of protein to heavy. In this case, skip it or just add a small amount of protein found in foods such as hemp hearts, spirulina, yogurt and protein powder.
5. Blend and ENJOY: This may be the best step of them all (in my opinion)! Andrea’s Tip: Ifyou’re serious about your smoothie game, invest in a quality blender! A high speed blender is ESSENTIAL in achieving a smooth consistency and incorporating all that plant fibre from the delicious greens you add!
If you’re on the run & need a little pick me up, smoothies are a fantastic bridge snack or meal, but know that not all smoothies are created equal! There are what Andrea calls healthy smoothies and IMPOSTER smoothies (yikes)! If you’re not making your smoothie at home (and following the smoothie anatomy), ensure that wherever you’re getting it from, it’s free of artificial colour, artificial flavour & sugary sorbets (kind of like Jugo’s smoothies).
And if you need a little flavor inspo to get you going (trust me, there’s a lot out there), a great place to start is by check out Jugo Juices featured fall smoothie, blueberry basil (umm yes please!), and trying out some safer combinations to get that palate adjusted. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with some new ingredients (hello, vegetables), it’s time to venture into new territory using the smoothieology guide!
What are you waiting for? Get blending & share some of your favourite fall flavor combos that you concoct at home or at Jugo Juice!