A smoothie sensation has hit Singapore! For me, it started with Smoothie King. I really appreciated that Smoothie King displayed the calorie and macro (proteins, sugar, fats) information and the exact ingredients in every smoothie! Of course, calories are not everything, but together with macros they do form a good picture of what exactly you are putting into your body. Then Boost came into the picture, with equally nutritional transparency and good taste to boot! There are also many other independent smoothie bars in Singapore, and we also have our traditional fruit juice stalls at kopitiams and hawker centres (think: avocado milkshake!).
In this article, I will be talking about why smoothies are good for you and why it has captivated the Singaporean belly, where you can find good smoothies as well as how to save some money and make your own!
Why are smoothies so awesome?
Smoothies are basically fruits blended up with a liquid base (can be water, dairy and non-dairy milks) as well as various boosters (protein, chia seeds, etc.)
REASON #1: Healthy!
Fibre and Nutrients: Smoothies differ from juices and are arguably better because a juice removes much of the pulp, skin and seeds of the fruit, which contributes much of the fibre and nutrients. Juices are thus typically high in sugar (from the fruits) and some nutrients, but you miss out on the full benefits of consuming the fruit. Fibre is good as it fills you up and aids in digestion.
Healthy Sugars: While smoothies may be high in sugar, it really depends on what is put into the smoothie, and a smoothie does not necessarily have high sugar! It’s all about making prudent choices when ordering. Some smoothie joints also allow you to request to hold off on additional sugar.
REASON #2: Better than sugared drinks or coffee!
Smoothies can thus be a balanced part of a healthy meal, or be consumed post-meal when you are feeling a little peckish as we usually are (;D). Instead of heading to Starbucks or buying a sugared drink, why not consume smoothies which are roughly the same in calories (and price) but at the same time bursting with way more flavour and nutrients?
REASON #3: Yummy!
Some of the smoothies I drunk are some of they yummiest drinks I’ve had, and they satisfy your sweet tooth cravings without bearing down too much on your healthy diet.
Singapore’s Best Smoothie Shops
The smoothie sensation has hit Singapore such that you can find smoothie shops in almost every mall. Big chains like Smoothie King and Boost have sprouted up everywhere, so wherever you go, you can pretty much get your smoothie fix. Independent smoothie bars are also great, especially if they are conveniently located near your workplace or school.
This is by far my personal favourite! Smoothie King has delicious smoothies (mostly about 200 calories) that provide different categories of drinks to suit different people. There are:
- REFRESHING (contain special ingredients that assist in improving overall health.)
- SLIM & LITE (low in fat and many have special ingredients that promote weight loss.)
- NUTRITIOUS MEALS (geared toward weight gain and muscle building. They are high in protein.)
Smoothie King also has healthy and light wraps, salads and tacos that are quite yummy. Right now there is a promotion for selected smoothies and wraps for $9.90 and under 500 calories!
My favourite drinks are: Hi Protein Almond Chocolate (super yummy and chocolatey, without a strong taste of whey) and their Christmas special of Chocolate Berry. Angel Food from the Slim & Lite category which contains bananas and strawberries is also very popular!
You can find out about their smoothies, including nutritional facts on the Smoothie King website: http://smoothieking.sg/smoothies/
Boost Juice (from Australia) recently took Singapore by storm and is sprouting up in malls, everywhere. Literally everywhere. They have both juices and smoothies, and like Smoothie King has different ranges of drinks.
- Low-Fat Smoothies (98% fat free smoothies made with TD4 yoghurt full of probiotics)
- Super Smoothies (low fat smoothies with super booster powers, a meal in a cup)
- Skinny Minnies (the supermodel’s drink, less calories than 2 apples)
- Super Juices (freshly squeezed juices with super booster powers, no added sugar or water)
- Lean & Green (low fat, gluten free, dairy free)
- Fruity Crushes (99% fat free, 100% dairy free)
I’ve tried the Berry Berry Light flavour from their skinny minnies category, and it was fruity and light. Recently, Boost is having a 2 for $10 offer on their largest size smoothies (20oz or about 600ml)!
Nutritional information is available on their website as well: http://boostjuicebars.com.sg
The Amino Bar
The Amino Bar combines protein with their fruits to create unique protein shakes and smoothies! It has less outlets than Smoothie King and Boost, and has three outlets in total in Novena, One-North and Tras Street. They also have a range, but in their case it pertains to the calorie and protein value.
- Gainers (High-calorie nutritional shakes)
- Builders (Medium-calorie nutritional shakes)
- Burners (Low-calorie nutritional shakes)
Lithe ladies like us would definitely choose the Burners category. Though I have not tried it, some of the options look mouth-wateringly good. They have one called Matcha Green Hulk, which contains vanilla protein, green tea, honey and soy milk. My eyes also spot the Chocolatte, which contains chocolate protein, coffee grains, honey and soy milk.
Their website also offers more information:http://www.theaminobar.com/index.php.
Make Your Own Smoothie!
Nevertheless, smoothies are relatively expensive and not very sustainable to spend on every day! As a student, they are a special treat when I feel like I deserve it! It is relatively easy to make your own smoothie.
- Blender (I use a food processor! Use anything that works for you.)
- Knife to cut the fruits and veggies into smaller pieces.
There are many guides online of how to make smoothies, and here is one I find simple and relevant!
- Base: you can also use dairy milk, or non-dairy milk such as rice milk, oat milk or almond milk. My favourite is almond milk because it is low in calories and does not have a strong flavour!
- Fruits: you can freeze your fruits to create a new dimension of taste and texture. I love using frozen bananas and mangos. Avocados are great too! (frozen or unfrozen)
- Boosters: Chia seeds and maca powder are nutritional superfoods. They are relatively expensive in Singapore, but a little goes a long way! You only use a little bit each time. They are available in nutritional food stores, including Unity (by NTUC), organic shops, and selected Cold Storage and Fairprice Finest outlets. Alternatively, you can buy them from iHerb.com! Shipping costs about $4, and it’s my go-to place for health foods.
- Sweeteners: It does not have to be raw, but honey, agave and even maple syrup are definitely better sweeteners than plain old refined sugar! Stevia is a plant extract with zero calories (the best low calorie sweetener around), and is also available on iHerb.com.
For those of you that like something more specific, here are a few of my tried-and-tested recipes.
- 1/2 cup almond milk + 1 frozen banana + 1 tsp maca powder (optional) + sweetener of choice
- 1/2 cup almond or soy milk + 1/2 avocado + ice + sweetener of choice
- 1/2 cup of almond milk + 1/4 cup of greek yoghurt + 1 frozen banana + 2 cups of baby spinach + sweetener of choice
They’re really yummy and it’s super fun to play around and be creative!