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How to get the most out of a smoothie

As the smoothie rage continues, we ask the question: Are they really that good for you? We discover what you put in is what you’ll get out.

One small thing:Add half an avocado to your smoothie for a healthy boost of vitamins, nutrients and healthy fats.

Smoothies have stuck around for a reason: they’re delicious and easy to make. But how healthy are they really? Well, it all depends on what you put into them.

Smoothies can serve as nutrient-dense power drinks for your health and, thanks to their high-fibre content, they support a healthy, efficient and regular digestive system. However, smoothies, especially ones that are made at a restaurant or local juice bar, can be hyper-concentrated sources of sugar and fruit sugar. And, if you frequently drink sugar-rich smoothies, the excessive energy intake can cause you to gain weight.

How to make a healthy smoothie

Want to get the health benefits of a smoothie? A homemade smoothie is your best bet. Balance the fruit content with dark leafy vegetables, such as spinach or kale, and add a protein source, such as low-fat yoghurt, whey powder, pea protein or unsweetened nut butter.

Don’t add fruit juice, though, as this concentrates the fruit sugars. Try yoghurt or milk (dairy or plant based) instead, and use low-kilojoule ingredients, such as cucumber and carrots to dilute the fruit sugars.

Challenge yourself to get those greens in! Aim for a 3:1 ratio of vegetables to fruit – this could be three handfuls of spinach and one cup of fruit. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, are incredibly nutrient dense and pack in plenty of fibre, which helps keep you feeling fuller for longer.

And remember, bigger isn’t always better when it comes to smoothies, especially if you’re enjoying one as a snack between meals. Based on your food and nutrition intake that day, a smaller serving size may be your best option, especially if it’s protein-rich with ingredients like peanut butter or almond butter.

Smoothies or juicing – which is better?

Juicing has become trendy in recent years but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Unfortunately juicing removes all the pulp from fruit and veg – and this pulp is what contains all the good fibre and nutrients your body needs.

Smoothies, on the other hand, preserve the fibre and nutrients. Plus they deliver an extra boost of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Why? Because you’ve blended in the fruit skins and piths where all these nutrients are.

Easy smoothie recipes

Smoothies really are easy to make, and you can have fun experimenting with different fruit and veg combinations.

Try blending ¾ cup low-fat milk, ¾ cup frozen raspberries, ½ banana, 1 tablespoon of almond butter and 1 tablespoon of honey. Or get your greens in by blending ½ cup coconut milk, 2 cups chopped kale or spinach, ¼ medium pineapple and 1 ripe banana.

Pressed for time but still want to enjoy the health benefits of a smoothie? Then look out for the Kauai smoothie mixes in-store. You’ll find delicious flavours, such as Tropical Greens, See Monster and Plant Power – each packed with nutrients and goodness. Buy them, blend them, and enjoy!

If you have a question for our dietitians, click here, or to find a dietitian in your area, visit To get in touch with us, email