From chia seeds, kale, spinach, almond milk, coconut water, honey, and a whole lot more, there’s a long list of ingredients you can add to smoothies to make them healthy and delicious. Yet, a fantastic smoothie won’t be complete without its primary requirement – fresh fruit! Among the most favored ones are mango, peach, banana, avocado, pear, and fig, which give the smoothie that tasty, natural sweetness, making it a nutritious treat.
If you’re beginning to dread your smoothie, chances are you need to spice things up with new fruits. Berries are suitable alternatives, as they will not only make your drink flavorful but they also provide tons of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. To help you out, here’s a rundown of the most popular berries to include in smoothies, all bound to take your drink to the next level.
Boasting the highest antioxidant capacity among all popular fruits, it’s no surprise that blueberries rank among the best smoothie staples. Dubbed as a superfood, they offer a lot of health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure, improving brain function and memory, preventing heart diseases, and many others.
Moreover, blueberries also have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, which is why you should never sleep on these berries. What’s even great is that their slightly tart flavor blends and tastes well with a wide array of other ingredients, which means there are also endless ways you can incorporate them into your smoothie.
Blackberries are sweet, but also have slight tartness and an earthy undertone. Thus, giving them a complex flavor profile, which quickly adds excitement to any smoothie. Pair them with ginger, apples, mangoes, cinnamon, hazelnuts, almonds, vanilla, or other berries, you’re in for a delectable drink whichever ingredient you choose.
Of course, blackberries are packed with essential nutrients, too, like calcium, iron, and fiber. They promote better function, enhance brain function, and boost the immune system. If you don’t like their seeds, you can instead make a blackberry puree and store it in the fridge. Frozen puree can last up to six months, allowing you to enjoy a nutritious blackberry smoothie again and again.
Raspberries are another popular berry to include in smoothies and for a number of good reasons. These healthy berries help in controlling blood sugar, aid in arthritis, and possess anti-aging and anti-cancer properties. As for the taste, they taste sweet and tart at the same time but tend to be lighter than other berries, such as cranberries and blueberries. They get sweeter as they ripen, so ripe raspberries are your best bet for the delicious smoothie. Partner them with lemons, plums, nectarines, grapes, peaches, and apricots for an even better drink.
4. Acai Berries
Native to South and Central America, acai berries are inch-long, reddish-purple berries that look similar to blueberries. Compared to its cousins, they have a refreshing earthy undertone instead of sweet or sour flavors. They contain many essential elements like iron, copper, potassium, and zinc, as well as being rich in healthy fats (omega-3 and omega-6).
As they’re quite difficult to find fresh, you’ll mostly encounter them either pureed, frozen or in powder form. Nevertheless, they’re very healthy and delicious, making them a fantastic addition to any smoothie. Acai berries go great with other tropical fruits like papayas and bananas, but will also taste wonderful with non-tropical ones like apples and pears.
Strawberries are so delicious and it’s very tempting to consume an entire container. However, keep some to include in your smoothie. They make the concoction taste fantastic by adding lots of sweetness and a little bit of sourness to the drink.
Strawberries are very healthy as well, containing exceptionally high levels of folate and vitamin C. Plus, they also contain calcium, iron, and magnesium. Some of the amazing health benefits of the fruit include improving heart health, boosting metabolism, reducing inflammation, and decreasing the risks of some chronic diseases.
With that, it’s little wonder why strawberries are among the most popular berries to grow at home and among the most widely-used berry varieties, perfect for cakes, jams, pastries, ice creams, milkshakes, and smoothies.
Though they’re not as often used compared to blueberries and strawberries, mulberries are still a relatively popular choice among the long list of berry options available. They’re just as delicious, but don’t overpower other ingredients, and are as nearly nutritious, packing lots of vital nutrients like vitamin K1, vitamin E, vitamin C, iron, and potassium.
Such mild flavor and impressive nutritional value are ample reasons to incorporate them more into your smoothies. They pair well with many fruits, such as banana, apple, and pear, but they taste incredibly great with citruses, such as oranges. Otherwise, you can combine them with blueberries and raspberries for a super healthy and tasty triple berry smoothie.
7. Goji Berries
Goji berries are tiny red berries that are native to Asia. They’re renowned for their sweet, slightly sour taste, which can be rather intense and tend to dominate other flavors. Thankfully, they’re extremely delicious, often not needing many other ingredients to satisfy anyone’s palate.
Also known as wolfberries, these vibrant goji berries have been used in traditional medicine, and are said to boost eyesight, provide more energy, fight inflammation, and improve blood quality. Goji berries are almost available in dried form, allowing them to last longer and giving you the opportunity to enjoy them in smoothies more often.
If you’re looking for some tang, then cranberries are your best choice for that desired bit of a kick in your smoothies. They taste very sharp and sour, which is why they’re rarely eaten raw. Instead, they are often added with other fruits and sweeteners to balance their taste.
What’s sure is that the bit of a bite from these berries is all worth it as they have lots of health benefits. They help prevent urinary tract infections, lower the risk of heart diseases, improve digestion, and slow the growth of cancer cells. Cranberries are a perfect pair for oranges, pineapples, apples, pears, goji berries, cinnamon, and ginger.
By now, you should have known why berries are must-additions to smoothies. They are packed with necessary elements that help your body function at its best. Yet, the real perk is their incredibly delicious taste, flavorful enough to make you forget you’re enjoying a super nutritious drink. So, try all the berries in this list and say hello to a healthier you!