Smoothies are an ideal breakfast, post-workout recovery or afternoon snack – if they contain the right things. Use the following building blocks to create a smoothie that has everything you need and nothing you don’t!
The health benefits of dark leafy greens are undeniable. Every smoothie should contain a handful of leaves. The flavor isn’t noticeable and it’s an easy way to get your daily greens in! My favorite is baby spinach, but kale, arugula, and leafy lettuces are also good smoothie greens.
Virtually every fruit makes a good smoothie. I always include a few blueberries for brain power, and use mostly frozen fruit so I don’t need ice. Frozen bananas make an especially creamy, potassium-rich smoothie. Strawberries, peaches and mango are also great frozen options. When in season, fresh cantaloupe makes a refreshing smoothie that’s loaded with Vitamin A!
Milk or Milk Alternative
You’ll some need liquid for your smoothie to blend. Avoid adding liquids that contain sugar, since fruit is full of natural sugars. Milk or an unsweetened milk substitute are good options that also add calcium. Water works as well.
The key ingredient in a breakfast or recovery smoothie is protein. There are a variety of protein powders available, from dairy whey to plant-based proteins like hemp or rice. When choosing a protein powder, make sure it doesn’t contain much sugar (less than 5 grams per serving is ideal). Also make sure you like the taste! Some of our favorite protein powders are Biochem Whey Protein in Vanilla, Plant Fusion Plant Protein in Chocolate and Mrs. Green’s Balanced Meal Plant Protein.
If you aren’t into protein powder, adding 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt will give you 10-12 grams of protein.
The last thing your smoothie needs is some healthy fat. Seeds are a great source of omega-3s. Just a tablespoon of chia, flax, or hemp seeds will give you a boost of omega-3s and additional protein, fiber, and minerals.
Play around with different combinations to find your favorite! Using the five building blocks to create a balanced smoothie will ensure that your day begins with a strong foundation.