If the idea of sitting down to a well-rounded breakfast each morning before work is enough to make you laugh (Next you’ll be asking if I have time to read the newspaper!), a smoothie might seem like the perfect on-the-go option. What’s better for an over-scheduled young professional than a commute-friendly meal? I don’t know, maybe something that won’t leave you ravenous and hangry an hour later?
“The sugar content—regardless if it’s from fruit or not—can easily climb up to 50 grams of sugar in some smoothies,” Well+Good Council member McKel Kooienga, RD and founder of Nutrition Stripped, recently posted on Instagram. “For some people and scenarios, that may work really well for their body, but for others, it may be too much at one serving without properly balancing it with protein, fiber, vegetables (like greens), and healthy fats.”
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A post shared by by McKel Kooienga, MS, RD, LDN (@nutritionstripped) on Aug 7, 2019 at 5:05am PDT
For a more balanced blend (re: one that won’t send you soaring on a sugar high only to crash later), Kooienga recommends swapping your smoothie’s typical frozen bananas for zucchini. “Zucchinis have a very neutral taste, add fiber, [and] give smoothies a great creamy texture,” she says. “[They] also add nutrients like potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin A.”
Bonus: “They’re super easy to freeze—meaning less prep in the morning,” Kooienga says. She recommends chopping one to two large zucchinis into chunks, then putting them in a freezer-safe bag and popping them in the ice box. Once you’re ready to make a smoothie, just dump the pre-cut veggies into the blender with your other ingredients. Busy morning: solved.
Be careful: This super-common smoothie ingredient has a rep for bringing on breakouts. Also, adding this ingredient to your smoothies can majorly boost gut health.
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