Cold weather isn’t when you normally think of settling in with a cool frozen smoothie – but it remains one of my all-time favorite ways to start the day for two reasons: it’s a snap to whip up, AND it loads me up with powerful nutrients first thing so that at least I start the day on a healthy kick.
The smoothie I’ve been going back to over and over these days is some combination of the below:
½ frozen banana or avocado
1/3 cup frozen cherries/blueberries/strawberries/mango
1 giant handful kale or baby spinach, washed and dried
1/3 cup yogurt or almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds (you can use ground flax seeds instead if you like)
1-2 teaspoons Nutzo No-Peanut Nut Butter
frozen lime or lemon juice
water to blend
Nutribullet or other high powered blender
I add enough water to blend, and whir all these all together to make a super easy, nutritious, and relatively delicious (considering you’re basically putting a salad in your smoothie! The Nutzo and fruit really help mask this flavor) morning smoothie.
If you’re getting a good workout in later in the day, or are just back from one, you may choose to add a scoop of protein powder – I prefer pea protein to all the others, but organic whey is good, too. The yogurt is another great source of protein – choose organic 2% or whole for best flavor and nutrition. The almond milk is a good source of calcium and a vegan alternative with some protein, too.
The frozen fruit and kale/spinach are obviously loaded with their own essential nutrients, but the banana especially will help replenish potassium and magnesium in your system so you can skip the muscle cramping. The greens are there for fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory properties – everybody knows spinach is the iron king, and kale is loaded with vitamins, A, C and K all sulphur-containing phytonutrients that may help lower cholesterol, protect against cancer, and boost cardiovascular health. Plus, you want a ton of leafy greens in your diet because they are highly alkalinizing, meaning they help balance out the pH levels in your body so you can digest and absorb nutrients better – this is especially important if you find your eat a lot of acidifying foods like sugar and red meat.
I love chia seeds or flax seeds for a natural boost of fiber (fill you up!), protein (energize!), and health essential fatty acids (great hair, skin, nails, joint function, and even improved brain function and mood!). Just remember to keep both in your fridge to prevent the fragile fats from going rancid. You also want to buy your flax seeds whole and grind fresh in a coffee grinder every week or two.
Nutzo NP Nut Butter is one of my all-time favorites, whether spread on a piece of toast, with sliced apples, or thrown into a smoothie like this for an additional boost of healthy fats to help bind the smoothie and keep me full while adding a delicious peanut buttery taste without any peanuts! Peanuts can actually be really inflammatory and shouldn’t be eaten much at all, so this is a great sub for you PB&J fiends like me.
I add the frozen lime or lemon juice because it’s an easy way to store juice from citrus you might have that’s about to go bad, plus it adds a nice, fresh zing to round out the flavors.
You can always add your vitamins right into a smoothie like this – I’ve been known to throw greens powder in for the detoxifying and alkalinizing properties, or just open your capsules right into the mix if you like! See, the ever versatile smoothie breakfast. The more you can fill up on healthy, whole foods like this, the less you’ll need to rely on empty calories and snack foods to fill you up…goodbye pastry basket, hello easy, happy, health.
(This picture is for your amusement…you try looking good at 5:30am.)