Who doesn’t like a good smoothie? You can pack some powerful nutrients into your blender. Not to mention they can be quick to prepare and they are highly portable.
I feel like I am constantly rushing about and don’t have the opportunity to sit down and enjoy a good, nutritious meal as often as I would like. The smoothie is my answer to good nutrition on the go.
You can put almost anything in a smoothie, almost. I was watching a Fixer Upper where Joanna made Chip a ham sandwich smoothie. I’m not so sure I would like a ham sandwich smoothie and it didn’t look like Chip liked it either.
Smoothies can be sweet, which a lot of them are, or more savory, kind of like V-8 juice. It all depends on what you like and what flavor or nutritional profile you’re looking to get.
My husband likes to keep his smoothies pure and simple with fresh and frozen fruits, nothing else. There is definitely something to be said about tasting fresh, ripe fruit without anything else getting in the way. It reminds me of summer time happiness.
A Word (or two or more) About Protein
I like to add protein in my smoothies for energy and to keep my hunger at bay. I have tried a few different protein powders and found that unless I am going for a milkshake consistency and flavor, I don’t like to add them in.
Some protein powders can be a bit grainy. I find that texture plays a big role in whether or not I like a smoothie, so grainy is not my favorite.
Also, some protein powders have added sugar. Others will have artificial sweeteners or stevia. I am not a huge fan of added sugars. I definitely dislike artificial sweeteners (they leave a very bitter aftertaste in my mouth, yuck). And unless stevia is done right it can also leave a bitter aftertaste.
My preference is for pure protein without added flavors or sweeteners. I don’t have an aversion nor an allergy to dairy, so I like to use grass-fed whole milk, kefir or plain Greek yogurt. The fat in the dairy also helps to satiate my hunger for a longer period of time.
I also like using nut milks. I prefer to make my own as the store bought ones tend to have additives and preservatives. Although nut milks aren’t difficult to make, they are time consuming. You need to soak the nuts, ideally, overnight before blending and extracting the “milk”.
Silken tofu is another protein option. I have not personally tried it but I can see how it could add a creamy texture without added flavor.
Still, another great protein option is brewer’s yeast. Start out with just a teaspoon to see if you like the taste. You can adjust up or down from there.
Although I have not tried every protein powder on planet earth, I have tried my fair share. Most don’t suit my tastes but there are some that I like.
- WelleCo Chocolate and Vanilla is a plant-based protein with 123 kcalories and 19.3 grams of protein per serving
- Life’s Abundance Chocolate and Vanilla is a plant-based protein powder with 100 kcalories & 14 grams of protein per serving
- Bob’s Red Mill Hemp Protein Powder is a plant protein with 120 kcalories, 14 g protein and 8 g fiber per serving.
The hemp powder allowed the fresh taste of my fruit to shine through. It had a slight grainy texture but not enough that I minded it.
This is how your skin gets that coveted glow. Fat (the good kind) helps your skin stay moist and dewy.
Nut butters are great sources of fat (and protein). I always have a jar of peanut, almond and cashew butter in my pantry. They make yummy additions.
It may sound weird but olive oil is an amazing healthy fat addition. Just a tablespoon blended in and you won’t even notice it’s there.
Fruit is loaded with skin-loving vitamins, antioxidants and fiber to keep you regular.
Literally any fruit you like will work. The most fun is to experiment with all kinds of different fruit to see what tastes great. Fresh fruit is the best but frozen is a close second. Costco has big bags of all kinds of frozen fruit.
One of my must haves in my smoothies is acai. I love it and it is cram jam packed full of antioxidants. It also has a good amount of fat (the good kind) in it. It’s not really sweet so if you want a sweet profile, it needs to be mixed with other sweet fruit.
Sambazon makes frozen acai pulp in sweetened and unsweetened varieties. I prefer the unsweetened because I use other fruit to sweeten my smoothie. There is only one store in my area that carries the unsweetened Sambazon acai but I did find that Trader Joe’s carries their own brand of unsweetened acai.
Acai powder is a great substitute to the frozen pulp. I use Navitas Organics Acai Powder but there are others out there. Just make sure it has fat listed in the nutritional profile.
Like fruit, vegetables are loaded with skin-loving vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.
Again, literally any vegetable you like will work. You can even add fruits and vegetables together if that floats your boat. Kale, spinach, and beets are great veggies to add to smoothies.
Cucumber is another one of my favorites to add to smoothies. It is technically a fruit but it tastes more like a vegetable so I place it in the vegetable category.
Adding avocado will thicken your smoothies and make them well, smooth. Like cucumbers, avocado is technically a fruit. But its savory character makes it feel more like a vegetable so in the vegetable category it goes.
A blender is the best option but not all blenders are created equally. Using whole fruit and vegetables requires a powerful blender if you want a smooth consistency.
I personally own a Vitamix and I love that thing so much. I use it almost every day and it has never failed me.
Another option is the Blendtec. I have not used one of these before but I know people who have, and they love it.
- Place fruit and veggies of choice into single portion, resealable bags and refrigerate or freeze. Grab a pre-made bag, dump into blender, add ice, liquids, and any nut butters. Blend.
- Pour coconut milk, nut milks, or any other milk into ice cube trays. Freeze and use these frozen milk cubes instead of ice cubes.
- Use frozen fruits or a mixture of frozen and fresh fruit for a thicker consistency.
- Frozen bananas are great additions just remember to peel your bananas before freezing them. If you don’t, you’ll have a tough time getting the peel off.
- If you don’t want to taste your veggies but want to add them for their nutritional advantages, mix them with citrus fruit and pineapple.
- Stacking order matters. The heavy ingredients should be on top to help push everything into the blades:
1. Liquids (water, juice, yogurt)
2. Dry Goods (grains, seasonings powders)
3. Leafy Greens
4. Fruits & Veggies
5. Ice & Frozen Ingredients
- Make sure to wash all of your produce before cutting or blending, even if the package states it was pre-washed. I always feel it’s better to be safe than sick.
- If you’ve found a particular smoothie combination that you like, make a big batch and freeze in single serving containers for a quick, time-saving meal or snack.
- My Vitamix has a clean cycle but if you don’t have a clean cycle on your blender you can “make” one. After you’ve made your smoothie, rinse out the blender and fill 1/4 way with warm/hot water. Add a drop of liquid dish soap and replace on the blender’s base. Make sure you place the lid on and turn your blender on for a few seconds. Empty out the soapy water and rinse. Now you have clean blender and blades without having to take anything apart.
- The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out by Angela Liddon
- Super Smoothies: 61 Recipes and 12 Detox Plans
- Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health by Jo Robinson This is one of my favorite food books. It has great information about fruits & vegetables. She discusses what to look for in the grocery store & farmer’s market. She also discusses the best ways to store & cook your fruits & vegetables.
- 1/2 Cup Green Grapes
- 1/2 Lemon peeled & seeded
- 1/2 Cucumber
- 1 Cup Pineapple
- 1/2 Green Apple seeded
- 1 Cup Kale spines removed
- 1 Cup Bok Choy
- 1 Cup Parsley Leaves
- 2 Cups Ice Cubes
- Place all ingredients into blender
- Secure Lid
- 2 Oranges peeled & seeded
- 1 Lime peeled & seeded
- 6 Strawberries
- 1/2 Cup Wild Blueberries
- 1/2 Cup Dark Cherries
- 1/4 Cup Pomegranate Arils optional
- 1/4 Cup Hemp Powder
- 1 Tbs Chia Seeds
- 1 Cup Ice Cubes
- Place all ingredients into blender
- Secure Lid
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