Maybe it’s because I welcomed in the New Year in a place known for rainbows, but adding a variety of color to your morning seems like a good idea no matter where you wake up. And what’s the quickest way to deliver? Make a smoothie. One of the easiest breakfasts you can make is protein-packed smoothie. Not only can you blend healthy goodness in minutes, you can easily take it on the go as a portable breakfast (or even as an afternoon snack).
Of all the things I love about morning smoothies, it’s hard to beat how many options there are. (The irony of that statement, though, is that I have one favorite that I drink most days of the week). Once you have your basic recipe, you can personalize it any way you want. Before I leave you with my absolute favorite morning smoothie recipe, let me give you the framework for making a healthy smoothie and not a sugary dessert.
Start with a good base. Coconut water is hydrating and has electrolytes, almond milk is a good choice for a little heartier base and if you really want to thicken up your smoothie and add a healthy probiotic boost you can use kefir* (a fermented yogurt-like liquid) as your base. * Kefir makes a thick smoothie, so you may want to add more fresh than frozen fruits.
Next add a high quality protein powder – choose plant based and one with no bad artificial sweeteners. Protein is a key element to breakfast – it stabilizes your blood sugar (reducing sugar cravings), strengthens your immune system and keeps you feeling full (helping with weight control). My favorite brands are SunWarrior Raw protein powder in vanilla, VegaOne all-in-one and Arbonne’s vanilla.
Include at least a cup of greens* (kale, spinach, collards) and a cup or so of fresh and frozen fruit and you have a good basic recipe. *Note: if you do not have a high powered blender, your greens will not pulverize quite as much, so expect to see small leaf pieces in the end result.
Now, to really boost the power of your smoothie start adding in all kinds of goodness in the form of ”superfoods”: hemp seeds, ground flax, chia seeds, maca powder, raw cacao, goji berries, nut butter, spirulina powder or even an avocado. Experiment with different combinations of fruits and add-ins until you find a few favorites.
You will notice that I do not list any sweeteners in my recipe. It is not necessary (or advisable) to add more sugar than what is already present in the fruit and protein powder. BUT, if you feel compelled to make your smoothie even sweeter, then I recommend using a teaspoon of raw honey (only raw!) or a few pitted dates.
Create your own weekly rainbow by changing up what you blend in the morning. The photo I posted shows a few variations. Love pink? Try blending strawberries and bananas with goji berry powder, flax and maca. Want to add a burst of sunshine to your morning? Blend mango with peaches and bananas, chia, coconut water and hemp seeds. If purple is your favorite color, then mix blueberries, blackberries, strawberries and spinach with kefir for a base. And if green is your best color then a combination of banana, kale, cinnamon, chia seeds and flax will give you a green boost. The ones in the above photo do not all have greens, but do contain protein powder.
Which is my favorite ‘go-to’ morning smoothie? The Green one, of course! Let me know what your favorite combination is! Happy Blending!
Green Goodness Breakfast Smoothie
1 ½ cups almond milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp ground flax seeds
1 cup of kale leaves (washed and stemmed)
3-4 ice cubes
Fill blender with ingredients in order listed and blend until well combined. Pour into a glass and enjoy! (Or put in a disposable cup and take it with you.)