I have a trick that I use whenever I make smoothies. It really turns them around in terms of flavor and taste. And today I want to share it with you.
And I won’t keep you hanging on a cliff, because it is a really, really simple trick. It does not involve any expensive ingredients, or freezing the smoothie, or a snazzy blender. It is one ingredient.
If you have a look at a few different smoothie recipes, you will probably notice that this ingredient pops up in most recipes. However if you are making your own smoothies from scratch, it is easy to overlook this ingredient. And the vital smoothie ingredient for great flavor and health benefits is……
Adding Healthy Fats to Your Smoothies!
This might seem too simple to be a game changer when it comes to making smoothies – but it really is. Trust me : D. If you want to take a smoothie from flat and a little bland, to yummy, creamy and delicious, then include a healthy fat into it. Even if it is a green smoothie. Actually particulary if it is a green smoothie. It really does transform the smoothie, and not only that, you also get the added health benefits from the healthy fats. These include enhanced absorption of certain fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, K and E. These vitamins dissolve in fat, so without the presence of fats in your smoothie, you will miss out on the full uptake of these.
Additionally, including a healthy fat into your smoothie ensures that it keeps you fuller for longer. This is a great attribute when it comes to smoothie ingredients. Most of us are making smoothies to help us get through busy days, while still getting in decent amount of fruit and greens to keep us healthy and energised. If we are fainting from lack of fuel during the day – then all this smoothie making sort of defeats the goal of reaping more energy and vibrance.
So what kind of healthy fats can I incorporate into my smoothie?
Here are some examples of healthy fats work well in smoothies:
- Coconut milk / cream
- Melted coconut oil
- Nut oils or butters eg. almond butter or cashew butter
- Olive oil
Of all of these healthy fats, coconut oil is my favorite one to add to smoothies. Firstly it is very neutral in flavor – which means that you can use it all the time without your smoothies tasting always of coconut.
And the second reason is that coconut oil has some pretty exciting health aspects to it!
Coconut Oil as a Healthy Fat Source for Your Smoothies
Coconut oil is an incredibly special oil in that it is a healthy saturated fat which is plant based. Today we are lucky enough to be able to buy it the world over, usually at a reasonable price. Coconut oil keeps well, and as mentioned above is neutral in taste. Meaning you can use it in any smoothie you want, and not have them all tasting of coconut.
Coconut Oil is Not Readily Stored by the Body as Fat –
It is converted to energy straight away
It appears that one of the top reasons why coconut oil is so good for our bodies lies in the type of fat that it is made up of. coconut oil is made up of over 90 percent short chain healthy saturated fat. This fat can be broken down by the body in 3 steps. Unlike other plant derived fats which are broken down in 26 stages!
What this means ultimately is that the fat in coconut oil can be taken up by the body and converted to energy immediately. Short chain fats are processed in the liver, which means pretty much a one way street to energy production. There is much less chance of coconut oil being stored in fat cells within the body, because it can so easily be converted to energy. Whereas other plant based fats can take so long to convert that they can end up being stored along the way.
Adding Coconut Oil Into Smoothies Can Assist With Weight Loss
If you are interested in shedding a few pounds, or simply maintaining a certain weight, then coconut oil is a great choice in healthy fats. This is because of the fact that it is not easily stored in the body as fat, and tends to get burnt up right away. This means that:
Adding coconut oil to smoothies is a weight loss friendly thing to do, because it is not easily retained by the body in fat cells. It also makes your smoothie more filling, which means that you can go for longer on it before feeling hungry again.
Adding Coconut Oil to Your Smoothie Can Act as An Excellent Source of Energy
This special ability of coconut oil to be broken down into energy in only 3 steps makes it a great source of energy. If you add coconut oil to your smoothies, it will help to keep your energy levels high for longer, with minimal fat storage.
If you are using your smoothie to act as an on-the-go light meal, then it is important that it has ingredients in it that will keep you energized.
How to Add Coconut Oil to Your Smoothies
There are three things to know when it comes to adding coconut oil to smoothies.
How Much Coconut Oil Should I Add?
Usually I find that one can add a little more coconut oil than one thinks to smoothies. I used to only add a couple tablespoons, but I have now upped that to roughly 1/4 cup for a smoothie which makes roughly 1.5 – 2 glasses. This might seem like a lot, but if you are skipping any other kind of ingredients which contain fat – then this will distribute through your smoothie and make it deliciously creamy.
A good rule of thumb when making a smoothie and wanting to add coconut oil is to stick to this rough ratio:
7 parts volume of smoothie:1 part coconut oil
For every 250 ml of smoothie that you make, add in 30 ml (just over 2 tablespoons) of coconut oil.
You Might Have to Melt Your Coconut Oil
Coconut oil tends to harden in temperatures below 76 degrees F. Above this temperature it is in a liquid form. If your coconut oil is in liquid form, then great, you can simply add it into your smoothie.
If however your coconut oil is in its solidified state, then you will need to melt it before incorporating it into your smoothie. If you do not do this, what can happen is that one can get lots and lots of little solid bits of coconut oil in your smoothie – no matter how much you blend!
How to Melt Coconut Oil for Using in Your Smoothies
To melt the coconut oil, simply put the required amount into a saucepan and put this over a very low heat for about 1/2 a minute. The coconut oil will melt almost instantly.
The important thing is to not allow your coconut oil to overheat. It must just get warm enough to melt into its liquid state. If it is sizzling hot, then it will make your smoothie warm when you add it in, and probably denature some of the raw ingredients in the smoothie.
Blend Everything Else, Then Add the Melted Coconut Oil While the Blender is Still Running
Once the coconut oil is melted, all you need to do is add it to your smoothie. Take note however that if your smoothie and its ingredients are very cold, then the oil could solidify into clumps again when you pour it in. To avoid this, do the following.
- Blend and process all of the other ingredients in your smoothie until it is smooth and creamy looking.
- Now slowly pour in your melted coconut oil, while the blender is still running. This will evenly incorporate the coconut oil into your smoothie, so that even if it is cold, or goes into the fridge, no oil clumps will appear in the smoothie.
When Not to Use Coconut Oil
As you can see, coconut oil is a really awesome healthy fat option for adding to your smoothies on a daily basis. It is neutral in flavor, and is weight loss friendly, but also provides lasting energy thanks to the ease with with coconut oil is turned into energy by the body.
There are however some instances when you might not want to use coconut oil in your smoothies, and rather use one of the other healthy fats available.
You Are Making a Savory / Gespatchio Style Green Smoothie
If you are making a gazpacho style smoothie, then you may wish to use an oil such as olive oil as your healthy fat. Olive oil has a beautiful savory flavor, and can really make a green smoothie taste delicious and extra savory. Olive oil has its own set of health benefits, so you won’t be missing out. : )
You Are After a Certain Flavor in Your Smoothie
Sometimes you may want to use a fat source in your smoothie which has a stronger flavor than coconut oil. For example, if you want to make a smoothie which tastes like coconut, do not use coconut oil. Rather use coconut milk or cream, as that will bring the signature coconut flavor.
Another example might be that you want to make a peanut and chocolate flavored smoothie. Then again, ditch the coconut oil and use peanut butter instead, just in a slightly larger quantity.
Try This Trick!
If you have been making your smoothies without healthy fats as an ingredient – try this trick! I am sure that you will be happy with the results you see and taste in your smoothie.
If you try this and what to share, post a pic of your smoothie creation on instagram and tag me! The tag is @rebels.kitchenpics.
For now, all the best with your smoothies, and hope everybody is enjoying the long weekend. : )