If you’re like me, breakfast is usually an impromptu affair—AKA whatever I can throw in a blender before I head out the door. If it weren’t for smoothies, I’d start off each day very hangry (or spend my life’s savings on bagels). The beautiful thing about smoothies is not just how quick and easy they are, but also how customizable they can be. Choose your favorite fruit and nondairy milk, add protein powder—it’s completely up to you. Once you’ve mastered the basics, there are so many ways to up your smoothie game. Read on for some easy additions that will take your smoothie to the next level.
I always add chia to my smoothies—these little black seeds are rich in fiber and can absorb up to 12 times their weight in water, so they act as a natural thickener (no one likes a watery smoothie, right?). Chia seeds are also a good source of manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus, all minerals we need to strengthen our cells and keep our body in top form. I personally love that they add a little crunchy texture to my smoothies (they’re a bit like blackberry seeds), but you can also grind them into a powder in a coffee grinder if you prefer. Just a note: the longer you let chia seeds sit in your smoothie, the thicker they will become, so if you like eating your smoothie with a spoon, wait for 5 – 10 minutes.
Sometimes called “hemp hearts,” hemp seeds are the seed of the hemp plant. They’re an excellent source of healthy fats—specifically, the essential fatty acids linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (omega-3). Not only that, but hemp seeds are a vegetarian source of complete protein, meaning they provide all of the essential amino acids that we as humans need to live. This is big for vegetarians and vegans. They have a mild, nutty taste that won’t overpower your smoothie.