For most of us, it seems like there aren’t enough hours in a day that will allow us to finish everything we have planned. Commuting, deadlines, workouts, taking care of our family, spending quality time with friends and loved ones, and eating three delicious home-cooked meals a day – sounds impossible, and sadly, it is impossible for a great number of people. This is the reason why we tend to skip a meal every now and then in an attempt to finish everything else we have planned for the day. If you’re looking for great recipes for meal-replacement smoothies, you’ve come to the right place.

Pick the base

First things first: you have to have a proper base for your smoothie. Pretty much any liquid is okay: juice, water, coconut water, green tea, milk or a milk replacement, but you have to be mindful of the taste. It’s also important to know the nutritional value if you’re going for low-calorie and low-sugar options. Ice cubes are also used if your smoothie is too thick, but most often, people choose milk: regular or soy or almond. If you’re not sure which milk is best for you, you can always experiment with different ones, so you know which one is best for a different blend or recipe. Still, if you don’t want to use milk, green tea, coconut water, and water are a great choice because this way you’re sure they’re sugar-free.

Always add protein

Protein is incredibly important for your overall health and your mood, so having some protein for every meal is a good idea, and your meal-replacement smoothie shouldn’t be an exception. Not only will it make your muscles and bones stronger, but it will also help you feel full. Around 20 grams of protein in your smoothie should do the trick, and your only concern should be what protein is best. Protein powders are incredibly easy to get and add to your smoothie, but even if you’re not a fan of them, you can still find protein in groceries such as hemp and chia seeds, peanut butter, kefir, soy milk, quinoa, and rolled oats.

Fruits are essential

Fruits are lifesavers in smoothies! Not just delicious, they are also healthy and refreshing, and easy to blend. You can use fresh as well as frozen fruit, but if you’re using fresh, try adding ice cubes for better texture. Bananas are very popular because they make you feel full, and fresh berries are incredibly easy to freeze. The best thing about berries is that you can also find them ground, so if you don’t have enough fresh acai berries at home, you could always use acai berry powder instead. If you’re watching your sugar intake, pick strawberries, raspberries, lemons, and limes, but if you’re not concerned about it, you can always use bananas because they give the best creamy base.

Spice it up

No matter how hard we try to come up with a great recipe, sometimes the taste can just be bland. When that happens, it can be hard to make yourself finish your smoothie and enjoy it even if it’s good for you and your health. This is where herbs and spices step in and save the day: add them to your smoothie to make it flavorful, and in a blink of an eye, you will feel like you’ve eaten a delicacy. Mint is always a good idea in summer because it cools you down, while ginger is perfect if you want it spicy but not exactly hot. Cinnamon and vanilla are great if you’re craving something sweet, and cocoa powder will make it thicker and flavorful at the same time.

Not all fat is bad

You are probably doing your best to avoid eating fats, but don’t forget that some fats can actually be good for you. When you add some healthy fats to your smoothie, it’s going to make a world of difference in terms of taste and nutritional value, so don’t try to skip it. Avocado is a great source of fat, and it can make your smoothie creamy and delicious, but if it doesn’t fit with what you have planned, you can always add some nuts or even nut butter (peanuts and walnuts are always a good idea, but almonds and cashew nuts can work too). Coconut milk and coconut oil are an option, or you could try some other seed oil instead, such as chia or flax.

Always keep an “emergency smoothie bag” in the freezer, so you know you will have something to fight the hunger pangs for a while. Even though these smoothie recipes are all delicious, nutritious, and healthy, it’s a bad idea to make it a habit to drink a smoothie instead of eating a proper meal. Try to make an effort and find more time for meals in your day, but rest assured that if you can’t make it, one of these recipes will always be there to save the day.