Yummy Healthy Blender Smoothies
Banana, PB and Oatmeal Smoothie: Great for anyone who needs energy all morning. I do a lot of my running early in the day, and this genuinely keeps me going all morning. You can vary this however you want, but this is what works for me!
- 1 cup Almond Milk (Unsweetened)
- 2-3 Dates (to taste. These add a ton of sweetness with the banana so I'd go for one).
- 1 Tbsp Almond Butter (Or Natural Peanut Butter).
- 1/2 cup Oats (Steel Cut are ideal, but just make sure your oats aren't fine cut and you can go for any kind).
- 1 ripened banana (Frozen is always cool ;) ).
- 1/2 cup water (if needed)
- 5-6 ice cubes
- Dash of Sea Salt (to taste). Pink Himalayan Salt is a good option.
Opt out of the ice cubes if you want this to have less of the chilled effect. I personally prefer it that way, but this is your smoothie!
Blend on high, pulsing, at first, and then switch to low until everything is smooth (tee hee), and combined well. This yields about 2 servings. Pour into glasses and pop into the freezer for 10 minutes if you want an added chill.
Extra Credit Additions:
- For the ON THE GO morning: a shot of espresso, or 1/2 cup very strong coffee.
- For the added health boost: 1/2 Tbsp of *Maca Powder
- 1-2 tbsps Chia Seeds. If you go for these, the added protein is excellent and you will be full for a long time. But, be sure to toss them in with the milk and water and let them soak for about 10 minutes before you blend. They need to puff up in the liquids.
Berry Berry: Great to load up on your antioxidants, get a little zing of extra energy and boost the immune system all at once right at the start of the day. A favorite of mine throughout the summer, and any time of day.) It's also a mood-booster if you're having trouble #adulting this morning.
- 2 Cups Mixed berries. TIP: Get a few boxes of frozen berry mixes at the grocery store. Make sure that there is no added syrup/ sugar, etc, and that they are 100% berries, only. A lot of stores carry boxes designed for smoothies, so I'll stock up on those sometimes. Or, buy your usual fruits and freeze half of those to use later. Depending on allergies/ intolerances, go for blueberries, raspberries, strawberries (you can toss them into the blender with their little green leaves still on!), cranberries, anything you like. The more, the better. But make sure they're frozen first for the best effect.
- About 1 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (or lemon juice).
- 5-6 ice cubes (or more, your preference).
- 1-2 tbsps Chia Seeds (see note above).
- 1 tbsp fresh, sliced Ginger. Mmmm, ginger is amazing. This is a major smoothie-booster.
Blend in blender on high to break up the ice and berries, then on low until you are satisfied. Should make 2 servings.
*Maca Powder is one of my favorite add-ins of late. Do some research on it if you question if it is right for you, but in my experience, this is a hormone-balancing, energy inducing, performance-enhancing powder that comes from Maca Root. It has helped to clear up my skin, keep anxiety at bay, and give me an overall healthy energy boost, day in and day out. A little goes a long way, and the taste is kind of nutty/ malt-flavored (so I like it, but not everyone will). Read more about Maca Powder here: http://www.vegkitchen.com/nutrition/7-top-health-benefits-of-maca/).
Green Smoothie Options
Green Giant Smoothie: Okay. Everyone has their favorite green smoothie. I'm going to list out two that I use regularly. This first one is not for the faint of heart. It is packed with health benefits, and intended as a quick way to glug down the greens you are neglecting. I drink this as often as I can but bear in mind that it can take some experimenting before you find the recipe that works for you.
This smoothie will boost your immune system, help fight off existing colds and infections, increase circulation, and pack your system with vitamins you are not getting enough of that can be found primarily in greens like broccoli, spinach, kale, and so on. Zinc, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Iron (hey there spinach!), vitamin B and many more can be found in this and give you the energy and mental focus to tackle your day. Let's go!
- 1 Cup (+) Greens: This can be whatever you have in your fridge. I stuff handfuls of spinach, salad mix, kale, whatever is going to waste, into the blender, but keep it to just 1 cup if this is your first green smoothie.
- 1 celery stalk, chopped.
- 1/2 avocado.
- 1/3rd of a Cucumber, sliced. (approx. 4 slices).
- 1 cup of water.
- About 1 tbsp fresh ginger, sliced.
- 2 slices of lemon or 1 tangerine, peeled and sliced.
- 1/2 green apple or pear, sliced. This will add some sweetness to this mix.
- 4-5 ice cubes.
This mix produces a lot of liquid, and also a lot of pulp. It's more of a green juice than a smoothie in some ways, but I really think it's got a ton of power. Blend on high, then on low for a bit until you feel it is all blended. Pour into glasses keeping the lid on slightly to 'strain' the extra pulp if you don't want it. Yields 2-3 servings.
Extra Credit Add-ins:
- 1 tbsp Spirulina/ wheatgrass mixture. I keep this on hand to add or do a shot of frequently, and it really boosts the germ-fighting aspects of this mix.
- Chia Seeds (soak) - if you want that added protein.
Refresh and Glow Green Smoothie: (... Name in progress.) This is a green smoothie for those who want their greens, want to feel good, but also really want to enjoy the taste (crazy concept, amIrite!??!) and unwind. I drink this on a pretty regular basis. It works wonders at helping reduce stress, get a gentle energy boost, feel refreshed and hydrated and also take in all those awesome green things.
- Handful (approx. 1 cup) Leafy Greens (follow as before).
- 3-4 slices of cucumber
- 1 1/2 cup brewed/ chilled green tea. (Prep method: steep 1-2 tea bags green tea in boiling water. Do not add honey, sugar, etc. Pour into tall glass and chill in the refrigerator about 20 minutes, or overnight if you are making this smoothie in the morning).
- 1/2 green apple or pear, sliced.
- 1/2 avocado.
- 1 cup coconut water.
- 1/2 frozen banana (optional).
- 1 tbsp fresh, sliced ginger.
- 5-6 ice cubes.
Blend on high, then low until all ingredients fully incorporated. Yields 2-3 servings.
Extra Credit add-ins: Same as previous green smoothie.
The most important, in my opinion, and somehow miraculously still healthy! Although I do count the sugars found in Dates and Bananas, these are technically sugar and dairy-free options, and I'm an enormous fan of them.
Vegan Chocolate Milkshake (Smoothie): I think just about everyone has their own healthy chocolate milkshake alternative, if they've attempted to go plant-based or vegan, or just find solutions to their sugar cravings. I am obviously not immune to this!
- 1 frozen banana
- 5-6 ice cubes
- 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 3-4 dates
- 1/2 avocado
- 2 or 3 tbsps Unsweetened Cacao powder
- 1/2 tbsp sea salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Blend on high, then low until fully smooth(ie). Pour into glasses and stick in the freezer for 30-40 minutes, then serve with a straw or spoon! Yields 2 servings. If you feel like cheating, go ahead and get out the can of whipped cream. But bear in mind the sugar content!
Extra Credit: Frozen Aztec Hot Cocoa! (Oooooo this is not for everyone but it worked for me!)
- Add 1 full teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper to the mix, and add about 1/2 tbsp of Unsweetened Cacao to make it just a little bit darker.
- Add that 4th Date if you do this step* :) and a little extra almond milk.
Peanut Butter Vanilla Milkshake (Smoothie):
- 1 frozen banana (not super ripe)
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 cup Peanut Butter (natural) or Almond Butter
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt (to taste)
- 2-3 dates (to taste)
- 5-6 ice cubes
Same process as above. Blend on high, then low, then freeze 20-30 minutes until ready! Crush up one or two almonds and sprinkle on top.