Per usual it’s time for Friday Five! If you are new around here then be sure to check out some of my other Friday Five posts. Each week I share five of anything and everything. Since the New Year is in full swing and it’s nearly Spring. Everyone makes resolutions to eat healthier I thought I would share five variations to the smoothie I make every day. It’s also that time of the month when some folks fall off the bandwagon, so now’s the time to hop back on.
I make a smoothie everyday for breakfast as part of my attempt to eat clean and healthy the rest of the day. I have found that I make smarter choices throughout the day when I start the first meal of the day on the right foot. I have also found that I don’t feel as guilty about eating that cookie at 3pm if I’ve had a nutrient rich smoothie in the morning. It may sound silly to love a smoothie for breakfast, but I love a smoothie for breakfast.
First of all, let’s talk about what is in my everyday smoothie and then talk about the variations.
Unsweetened Almond Milk or Water. I start with unsweetened almond milk or water as my base because I don’t want to add any extra sweeteners off the bat.
Frozen Mixed Berries. Berries are lower in sugar than other fruits. I prefer a mix of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries but you can use whatever mix you want. I like the mix because it’s a great balance of sweet and tart.
Ground Flaxseed. Flaxseed makes everything in your body work better, so I add a sprinkle. You don’t really taste it, but it does thicken the smoothie nicely.
Vegan Vanilla Protein Powder. I use Vega One because I believe in their products and enjoy the taste. Experiment with vegan protein powders to find one that you like. Vega One also contains additional nutrients so that’s a bonus.
Organic Baby Spinach & Kale. Don’t worry you won’t be able to taste it once everything is blended! These little greens pack a big punch. How says salad isn’t for breakfast?
Now for the variations:
- Hemp Hearts. Hemp seeds contain complete amino acids as well as all sorts of stuff that help with daily function and muscle repair. Sometimes I will add a tablespoon of hemp hearts to my smoothie if I’ve had a hard workout or run.
- Grated Ginger. Fresh grated ginger will change your life! I love the kick from ginger so I add quite a bit, but start with a teaspoon or so. Peel the ginger root with the back of a sharp spoon then grate right into your smoothie. You can also grate up a bunch a head of time and store it in the freezer.
- Maca Powder. This stuff has been used in ancient civilizations and has a unique taste. By itself it will taste kinda funny, but when you add it in with the berries it adds a different layer of flavor. It reminds me of vanilla cupcakes in a way. Maca powder helps with metabolism and energy levels. I add about one teaspoon for a boost.
- Almond Butter. Nut butters are my jam, ya’ll! I have never met a nut butter I didn’t like, but almond butter is kinda my favorite. Adding almond butter to your smoothie adds richness and creaminess, but also adds the benefits of nut butter. Almond butter is mild enough to not over power the flavors of the berries. I add anywhere from one teaspoon to one tablespoon. Be sure to look for a variety that doesn’t contain sweeteners or salt.
- Cinnamon. I have loved cinnamon since I was a child and I still love it now. Add a little shake to your smoothie for a unique flavor. Cinnamon goes great with vanilla and berries so you can’t go wrong.
Smoothies are easy to make in any blender, but I really love my Ninja blender because it breaks down everything to a better texture than your ordinary blender. One of these days I will upgrade to a fancy Vitamix, but for now I heart my Ninja.
If you are the type of person that wants to chew your breakfast then make half of the recipe below and have some oatmeal or a veggie egg white omelet. I like routine, but these variations help me mix it up so I don’t feel like I’m eating the same thing every morning even though I pretty much am.
- 1 - 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk or water
- 1 - 1.5 cups unsweetened frozen mixed berries
- 2-3 large handfuls organic baby spinach
- 1-2 large handfuls organic baby kale
- .5 - 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
- up to 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- up to 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
- 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon unsalted almond butter
- up to 1 teaspoon maca powder
- sprinkle ground cinnamon
- Place ingredients in blender. Blend and enjoy
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Do you enjoy smoothies for breakfast?
What is your favorite smoothie combination?