Smoothies, if done right, can be an excellent way to start the day or get through an afternoon slump. In fact, sometimes I have a smoothie as my lunch so I do not feel weighed down. Here are my top recipes with superfood ingredients that will energize you and slim you down.
You might be wondering, why would I follow recipes when I can go have a nice smoothie made and then not clean up afterwards? Well this is the companion post to the DAO of Financial Fitness for a reason. For the same 12 dollars you spend on the smoothie, you could buy all of the ingredients to last you at least 2 weeks. Even if you argue it is worth the money to save the time, most smoothies have a massive caloric cost, at least 300-400 calories, and you can never rely 100 percent on the nutrition information as advertised. You have no way to control how much of the mix, the powders, or the other ingredients are added. Once when I had a smoothie where I added peanut butter, I was agog when I saw the person preparing it for me take an ICE CREAM scoop worth of peanut butter, which is about 3 times the recommended serving size.
My recipes do not have a lot of high-maintenance ingredients and are easy to make. To save time cleaning up, I have stocked up on multiple dishwasher safe blenders, so that way I do not have to clean up my blenders until I run the dishwasher. Smart, right? 🙂
About Protein Powders
This is an area where you really need to taste the rainbow to find your best fit. Some options include:
- Plant-based protein powder
- Weight-loss protein powders (i.e., with green tea extract)
- Whey Protein
- Egg protein powders
Here are the main things I look for when I buy protein powders:
- Sugar content: You can find a lot of powders that are sweetened with stevia or monk fruit.
- Protein content: About 15 – 20 grams is what I go for, but you may need more depending on your size, gender, and fitness goals.(in a future post I will address how to eat for your fitness goals).
- Caffeine content: Some proteins powders, especially if they are weigh-loss related have a small amount of caffeine, i.e., coffee bean or green tea extract. For smoothies consumed in the morning, this is ideal; but if late in the afternoon or evening I would avoid that ingredient
- Calorie content: I usually prefer that the protein powder have no more than 100 calories per serving because the smoothie will otherwise turn into a calorically pricey snack or meal – this is before all the other ingredients.
- Superfoods: Any powder with seeds, like pumpkin, chia, and flax is always a great choicie to get extra Omega-3s.
- Reviews: I very much rely on reading ALL customer reviews before I buy just about anything online, but protein powders are good candidates for skimming reviews because you can see if many people observe a chalky, clumpy or otherwise undesirable taste.
For each recipe, I will specify the brand of powder I use that happens to be in my pantry at the moment, but none of these are sponsored. Also, I will include the ingredients for each.
How to Make Smoothies
It is pretty self-explanatory that you blend them in a blender (I would recommend a Nutribullet or Ninja but basically any kind that can grind up ice is good)! One tip here is to make sure you put the liquid base here, and measure the amount out in a cup – usually 1 cup of the milk base is enough. Even if it is plant-based, it still has calories. Add all the “large” ingredients like fruits and the hard ingredients like seeds, and add the protein powder or yogurt last so you get that creaminess on the top.
For the thickest blend add ice cubes to the mix. You can also thicken up the mixture by adding collagen or gelatin (such as from Vital Proteins)
Also, watch portion sizes (for more on that, read my post here). Pouring a pound of fruit into your smoothie (which is easier to do than you think) will overwhelm your body with carbs and can add a lot of extra calories, defeating the purpose of a smoothie.
Smoothie and Smoothie Bowl Recipes
Glo up Smoothie
This is a good option if you are coming back from vacation or just a fun weekend – the kind with eating out and maybe those few extra glasses of wine or dessert. This will level set you and make you feel amazing.
- 1/2 cup frozen Blueberries
- 1/2 frozen banana
- Flax or chia seeeds
- 1 cup almond milk (or you can use coconut water for the electrolytes)
- Vanilla protein powder
- Frozen spinach
- Optional: 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
- Base: Oat Milk (a low sugar kind, like from Califia farms)
Avocado “mint chip” ice cream smoothie
This is one of my favorite “dessert” smoothies, for that time at night when you want something sweet. The mintiness of the mint chip also is a good palate cleanser and digestif. The avocado provides both fat to help you stay full and fiber. If you do intermittent fasting, this is a great way to end your eating window so you can still feel full the next morning. I definitely eat this one with a spoon – it is almost ice cream like with enough ice and optionally some Greek Yogurt.
- Mint Chip Chocolate protein powder
- 1 cup almond or oat milk
- 1 cup frozen spinach
- 1 kiwi (a fruit that is very low in calories)
- Optional: 1 tbsp heavy cream or canned coconut milk (for extra creaminess)
- Optional: Add extra dark chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup Greek or Coconut Milk Yogurt
- Extra ice cubes
Chocolate peanut butter espresso
This is the ultimate treat and you can punch it up with a shot of espresso and it feels great, especially if you have just done an intense morning workout and have a full day of meetings ahead. The banana will give you energy, the nut butter and protein will keep you full and the chocolately peanut butter taste will keep you satisfied and away from sugar cravings.
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seed butter/cashew butter/peanut butter/almond butter (take your pick)
- 2 tablespoons Peanut butter powder
- Chocolate protein powder
- 1/2 tsp himalyan sea salt
- Optional: extra shot of espresso or 1/4 cup cold coffee
- Optional: Add medjool date
Cacao cherry recovery smoothie
If you are about to do a really intense bootcamp case, long run, or intense weightlifting session, this is the post-workout recovery drink for you. The fresh and tart cherry syrup will help your muscles recover faster, and the cacao/chocolate protein powder decreases inflammation.
- 1/2 cup Frozen cherries
- 1 tsp tart cherry syrup
- Coconut milk
- Chocolate protein powder (I like the chocolate brownie blend from Idealfit.)
- 1 cup almond milk
- Optional: Add extra dark chocolate chips, like this kind from Hu’s Kitchen (dairy free).
- Optional: Add medjool date
This is the ultimate summary treat – hydrating and full of antioxidants
- Clovis farms Tropical Smoothie Blend (containing pineapple, mango, kale, banana, spinach, berries and passionfruit)
- 1/2 avocado
- Optional – add additioal 1/2 cup papaya
- 1 cup Almond milk
- Plain Greek Yogurt or Vanilla Protein Powder
Blue Majik Smoothie and Bowl
This is the ultiate “Instagram” smoothie if you are into that. The “blue” color comes from the algae component. I know it sounds gross but it basically does not have a taste which is why it is great to mix with just about anything. To make the “blue” even bluer, I primarily use blueberries and chia seeds. Studies also show that there is a benefit to blue-colored food and utensils. In fact, blue is the only appetite suppressant on the color spectrum.
- Blue Majik powder
- Frozen and Fresh Blueberries
- Chia seeds
- Shredded UNSWEETENED coconut
- Dark Chocolate Catalina Crunch – which is optional but I like to put it on top and eat it like a cereal with blue milk! The extra fiber in the cereal keeps me full.