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Natural Smoothie Sweeteners

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Until you get used to the taste of blended fruit and veg, it's tempting to add a spoonful of sugar to make the smoothie go down. Adding refined sugar and sweeteners can make smoothies taste great, but take away the amazing health benefits of these powerful drinks.

While kale, spinach and other leafy greens are packed full of vitamins, minerals and healthy antioxidants, exessive consumption of refined sugar has been associated with a long list of health problems. From diabetes to tooth decay....we should all be cutting down on sugar, not eating more! 

To help you make healthy and sweet choices, here are a few natural smoothie sweeteners you might like to try: 

Raw Honey

When honey is heated past a certain temperature, essential nutrients are destroyed. Raw or active honey hasn't been heat treated, and hence has much higher levels of essential minerals, vitamins and enzymes than commercial honey. If  you feel the need to add something sweet to your smoothie, raw honey is often the best choice. 

Maple Syrup

Many of you may think of maple syrup as a naughty treat to add on your pancakes, but using this as a natural sweetener can be a healthy option. The syrup is made from the sap of the maple tree, and contains amino acids and nutrients missing from refined sugar. Maple syrup tastes great in a smoothie - we love a drop of maple syrup, tsp of almond butter and healthy greens, YUM!

Stevia

Stevia is a totally natural herbal extract, which has zero calories and doesn't have any impact on blood sugar levels. It's available to buy in liquid or powder form - it is incredibly sweet, so a little goes a long way. 

Fruit

This may seem obvious within the context of making smoothies, but adding more sweet fruits can solve the problem. Fruits like dates, mango and banana are naturally high in sugar, so add a little of these alongside your greens for a power drink packed with energy.

If you're not looking for a sweet addition to your green smoothie but you need something to mask the veggie taste, try adding acidic fruits like lemon and lime. We've yet to find a smoothie that can't be improved with a twist of lime! 

Do you sweeten your smoothies, and if so - what do you use?

  #Columns   #breakfast   #Health Hacker   #clean eating   #healthy   #fruit   #vegetarian   #vegan   #smoothies   #honey

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