Especially in the heat of summer, smoothies are a popular breakfast or refreshing treat. We have a favorite secret ingredient to add to smoothies to boost nutrition. Hint: It’s a very important crop we grow in Colorado (we are about 6th in the nation for production of this food), known for being a great source of plant protein and promoting gut health. Can you guess it?!
Although it may not have been your first guess, the answer is beans! This may cause you to pause and question our sanity, but trust us, cooked beans and smoothies actually go hand-in-hand.
The Benefits of Beans in Smoothies:
In addition to beans playing a key role in sustainable local food systems, here are several great reasons to try adding beans to your smoothies:
- High Protein: Beans are rich in plant protein. Protein can help keep us full. Plus, smoothies are often lacking in protein, but beans can help change that!
- High Fiber: Beans are one of the best natural sources of fiber. Fiber is associated with a wide variety of health benefits, including promoting gut health and satiety (i.e., feeling full).
- Good Texture: Beans can help make smoothies thick and extra creamy.
Here are a couple simple, tasty bean smoothies to whip up the next time a smoothie craving strikes.
- Chocolate Banana Black Bean Smoothie: This smoothie tastes delicious and chocolatey, and it is naturally sweetened with frozen over-ripe bananas.
- Strawberry Banana White Bean Smoothie: Strawberries will be in season soon! Celebrate with the classic strawberry banana flavor combo. If you want, try Mayocoba beans in this smoothie instead of white beans. Mayocoba beans are creamy, delicious, and one of the main beans we grow here in Colorado.
Or, you can simply start by adding in a handful of cooked and rinsed beans to one of your tried-and-true favorite smoothie recipes. Don’t believe us that it will work? Then start with a small amount of beans, taste test, and add more as desired. Tell us in the comments what you think!