Why do you need more smoothies in your life? The reasons are countless and convincing:

1. Smoothies are like healthy milkshakes.

2. They’re good for you!

3. You’re busy. Smoothies are easy to make and can travel with you.

4. It’s too hot to eat oatmeal and you’re sick of yogurt.

5. Did I mention the healthy milkshake part?

Laura Teti, a health coach at Freelancers Medical and smoothie-maker extraordinaire, shared her top secret, most delicious recipes as well as their health benefits.

Why choose a smoothie instead of juice, you ask? According to Laura, “Unlike juices, smoothies consist of the entire fruit or vegetable, including the fiber. This helps to slow digestion and allows a balanced release of nutrients into the bloodstream so you avoid blood sugar spikes. The fiber also makes smoothies more filling. Plus, smoothies are easy to make as a quick breakfast option or a snack any time.”

Try out Laura’s four fabulous smoothie recipes below, and don’t miss her Tips for Creating the Ultimate Smoothie. Happy blending!

Avocado Mango Spinach Smoothie

Ingredients:

½ cup baby spinach

1 avocado, peeled and pitted

1 mango, peeled and pitted

2 tablespoons honey

¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

¼ cup rice, almond, or soy milk

2-4 ice cubes

**Method: **Add all ingredients to a blender and blend on high until smooth.

Avocados have anti-inflammatory properties and are also a good source of Vitamin E, making them beneficial for skin complexion. Avocados also help make this smoothie creamy and satisfying.

Cocoa Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

2 large frozen bananas

2.5 cups rice milk, unsweetened

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons flax seeds

5 dried dates

**Method: **Add ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. For a thinner consistency, add more rice milk.

This is a great smoothie to settle a chocolate craving without all the excess sugar and fat that’s in a candy bar. The raw cacao is rich in magnesium, which has been shown to boost energy and enhance mood.

Papaya-Ginger Smoothie

Ingredients:

2.5 cups papaya chunks

1 banana

1 cup ice cubes

1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh garlic

1 tablespoon honey

Juice of 2 lemons

16 fresh mint leaves, plus 4 sprigs for garnish

Method:

- Refrigerate the papaya until very cold, at least one hour or overnight.

- Blend papaya, ice, ginger, honey, and lemon juice in a blender. Add up to ¼ cup water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is smooth and thinned to desired consistency.

- Blend in mint leaves. Garnish your smoothie with mint sprigs.

Ginger is a great digestive aid and has healthy immune-boosting powers. This smoothie always reminds me of being in the Caribbean sipping a tropical drink with one of those colorful tiki umbrellas.

Very Berry Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1.5 cups unsweetened rice milk

1.5 cups kale

1 cup frozen mixed berries

1 cup frozen pineapple

1 ripe banana

1 tablespoon of chia or flax seeds (optional)

**Method: **Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

Who knew it could be so easy and delicious to incorporate greens into your morning routine? High in fiber, Vitamins A, C, and K, and chock full of antioxidants, kale is a true superfood.

5 Tips for Creating the Ultimate Smoothie

Want to create your own smoothie recipe? Check out these tips first!

1. Use frozen fruit to make smoothies icy and thick.

2. Add a handful of leafy greens to balance the glycemic load (and to get extra nutrients!).

3. Throw in some chia or flax seeds for a healthy dose of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.

4. Use unsweetened non-dairy milk as your base to keep calories low.

5. Add a banana! Bananas add creamy texture and prevent smoothies from separating.