Today I’m going to show you have to make two different types of smoothies: a protein smoothie and a green smoothie. But first, let’s touch briefly on the differences and why you might want one versus the other.
Depending on what your day is like, whether you work in an office setting, are running around with kids or you’re a yoga instructor, you probably expend a good amount of energy. To create the best smoothie for you, you want to look at energy going in and energy going out.
If you’re at an office or desk job and expending a little less physical energy, you might use this as a tasty meal replacement. If you’re doing more running around or on the go, you might use this as a post-workout boost or a pick-me-up in the afternoon instead of coffee or other stimulants.
- protein powder – There are many types of protein powders on the market including ones that contain whey, milk, pea protein, hemp protein and many others. I prefer plant-based powders that also contain greens but you can use any protein powder you like. I love chocolate but you can also use plain, vanilla or any other flavor.
- Almond butter – This is great because it has calcium and also good fats which will help keep you satisfied for longer and provide sustained energy. This is where you want to think about energy going in vs. energy going out and adjust the amount you use to suit your needs. If you’re using less energy, for example at a job where you are sitting most of the day, you wouldn’t need as much as if you running errands or an athletic trainer. 1/8 cup or 2 tbs is a fairly standard amount to start with and adjust to more or less as needed. You could also sub peanut butter, but be aware that it’s not a nut but rather a legume.
- A base liquid – You can absolutely use water here, but you may find that using a different base creates a more flavorful smoothie. I enjoy using almond milk, but you could also use rice milk or hemp milk. You may also choose to go with an organic, non GMO soy milk, but I personally do not advocate a lot of soy and prefer the non-soy options as an ideal. You’ll use about 8 oz.
- Fruits – I love to use bananas here. Bananas are loaded with potassium which is an important electrolyte for the body. They are also a great thickening agent and add a wonderful creaminess to the texture of your smoothie. You can add a variety of fruits here and you’ll want to choose them based on the flavors of your smoothie. For example, I like wild blueberries (higher ORAC score) with my chocolate protein powder and almond butter, but you might prefer bananas or cherries instead.
- Ice – This will help make your smoothie cold and creamy.
- Add-ins – Flax seeds, chia seeds or hemp seeds. Take your pick! Packed with omega 3’s, healthy fats and protein. But I do recommend you stick with just one.
This happens to be my favorite smoothie that I have in the morning.
Basic components: 16 total base liquid (8 oz water+8 oz coconut water)+ ~1/2 cup fruit + greens = ~20 oz/2.5 cups of smoothie
- Base liquid – For this smoothie, I like to use 8 0z of coconut water and 8 oz. of filtered water. I like coconut water both for its flavor and because it contains electrolytes which are minerals found naturally in our bodily fluids that we lose when we sweat. Those minerals are calcium, sodium, potassium, phosphoros and magnesium.
- Fruits – Again you can pick a fruit to suit your tastes, however I usually use pineapple. Besides tasting great, pineapple is loaded with vitamin C and it contains manganese which we need for healthy bones. Pineapple’s bromelain also aides in digestion. I also recommend using the juice of half a lime (or lemon). Limes are actually loaded with calcium and folate which is important for women during their childbearing years and for post-menopausal women.
- Greens – I recommend a mix of a main green with an additional green or herbs. Basil is great in this smoothie and is loaded with vitamins and minerals and contains a high amount of vitamin K, phytonutrients and antioxidants. Spinach is a great base green. It has a mild flavor and is loaded with vitamins and minerals plus contains fiber and omega 3’s
Helpful Smoothie Tips:
- Buy your pineapple (or other fruit) ahead of time and chop it up and freeze it in bags or buy pre-frozen fruit.
- Buy your basil and spinach in large containers and pre-portion it into smaller reusable baggies if you’re making smoothies regularly OR put your greens in larger gallon-sized bags in the freezer so you have it on hand when you do get the urge to make a green smoothie.
- Using frozen fruit (and greens) will also help create a more enjoyable, frosty texture for your smoothie without watering down the flavor with ice.
Recipe by Laura A. Bushey, MAT, Certified Health Educator and Personal Holistic Chef with Kitchen of Life. For more about Laura click here.