Natural Ways to Sweeten Your Smoothie
Looking for a healthy, natural way to sweeten your smoothie? What many people don’t realize is that their store-bought smoothies are loaded with unnatural sugars. Chain smoothie franchises love to pack their “seemingly healthy” smoothies with things like sorbet and corn syrup to give it that overwhelmingly sweet taste.
The good news is that you can naturally sweeten your smoothie with ingredients that are most likely already on your shelves! Learning how to naturally sweeten a smoothie is a great trick to have as it will provide your body with an alternative sweetener made up of healthy vitamins and minerals. By switching to a natural sweetener like honey or dates, it’s less likely your body will suffer from a sugar crash (we know those all too well…).
The Unspoken Word: Sugar
Let’s talk about sugar. Many people are afraid of the word sugar because they’ve been told their whole lives, “Sugar is bad for you” “Stay away from sugar”. Sugar originally comes from a sugar cane plant. Over time as the demand for sugar has increased, the manufacturing process has been forced to mass produce sugar. This has essentially stripped the sugar of any nutrients it once had, making it an extremely processed and cheap sweetener. The type of sugar we buy in stores today cause our blood sugar to go up, eventually causing us to crash and ultimately gain weight if we eat enough of it.
What you shouldn’t be afraid of are natural sugars that come from things like fruits and agave. These are unprocessed, raw sugars that are bodies need to live. Our bodies run off of carbohydrates, also known as sugars, and without them we can’t function. So don’t let people tell you that fruits and other natural sugars are bad for you, because they aren’t!
Dates are a chewy fruit that grow on trees called date palms. They are among the most delicious ways to sweeten your smoothie! If you’ve never thought about adding dates to your smoothies, trust me you’ll never go back. The sugar levels in dates are very high and the more they dry out, the sweeter they get. If you like things on the sweeter side than simply adding 1 date to your smoothie will give it the perfect amount of sweetness. Before adding the date to your blender, make sure you take the pit out and throw it in the trash.
Not only are dates delicious but they’re extremely high in minerals like iron, manganese, copper and magnesium. One date is loaded with fiber which can help with digestion along with nutritious antioxidants that are known to boost the immune system.
Maple syrup is a thick sap that comes from the trunk of sugar maple trees. After extracted from the tree, the liquid is boiled to create a thick, sweet and delicious maple syrup. Typically used on pancakes, maple syrup is a great smoothie sweetener!
Because maple syrup is so sweet, you only need to add a little to sweeten you smoothie. Half a tablespoon is plenty and will raise the sweetness of your smoothie immediately! Many people are unaware of the health benefits of maple syrup. The sweet syrup is loaded with more than 24 antioxidants and multiple minerals like zinc, iron and potassium!
Personally, I think bananas are the ultimate sweetener. Not only do they give your body the amazing benefits of improved digestion from the high amounts of fiber but they contain countless other vitamins like magnesium, copper, protein, vitamin C and B6. Bananas are great for helping moderate blood sugar levels because they’re rich in the pectin.
Bananas are great additives to smoothies either on there own or frozen. They give your smoothies an extra creaminess with a boost of sweetness!
Raw, local honey is known to be rich in antioxidants like flavonoids. Antioxidants are great for our bodies as they may help reduce cancer and other health related illness like heart attacks and strokes. Raw honey is especially beneficial to our bodies as research has shown that it can prevent unwanted bacteria and fungus from forming. Half a tablespoon to one tablespoon of honey is a great, natural way to sweeten your smoothies!