There are four elements that should be included in every smoothie:
Each of these contribute to making sure you stay satisfied and ensure you consume a nutrient rich drink or meal substitute.
It goes without saying everything you put in your smoothie should be organic (or as close as possible). I like almond or coconut milk, but you can use any liquid you like. Cashews with water blended together make a nice cashew milk. Coconut water is another great choice. I’ve even used green juice. Let’s get to the four elements.
For fats, you want to think healthy and filling. Adding fat will really keep you full for quite a while. Avocado, almond butter, and coconut oil all are great choices. I try to add a whole avocado if I have one. If I’m trying to disguise the taste of something, I prefer almond butter. Another favorite is Bulletproof Brain Octane — a super clean MCT oil. You’ll never know it’s in there.
Fiber can be a lot of things:
Many of these components can offer double or even triple benefits. Nuts, for example, can be considered a fat, a fiber, and a protein. Chia seeds are one of my favorite sources of fiber (and protein), and once they hit liquid, they expand, keeping you full for hours! Fruit such as berries add fiber and a little sweetness. Freeze them ahead of time to keep everything cold!
That bag of mixed greens you were going to use in a salad that’s about to go bad? It has a home in your smoothie. Almost any leafy green you can think of can be used here: kale, spinach, romaine. Some other great options include zucchini, celery (I use the leafy parts on the inside), and Moringa. I love to add spirulina, it has a strong taste, so start small.
Tip: Freeze any greens you aren’t going to use in the week. They can always be thrown in a smoothie and you won’t even taste them! The exception here is arugula. I’ve tried using this one a few times, and it is nearly impossible to cover up its spicy taste.
I like to use a protein powder. Usually I alternate, but some of my favorites are:
- Kuli Kuli Smoothie Mix (adds an additional cup of greens)
- Garden of Life Whey Protein (whey helps our bodies to produce glutathione, a master antioxidant)
- Bulletproof Collagen Protein (collagen is great for hair, skin, and bones)
You can use whatever protein powder or source you like. You could even add a raw egg— just make sure it’s pasture raised organic.
There are so many great things you might want to include for added nutrients, sweetness, or just for fun. Frozen bananas are a great go to because they can help disguise the taste of almost anything. Additionally, they are a great source of potassium and magnesium. Another great source of magnesium is raw cacao. This also adds a delicious chocolates flavor without any of the guilt. Dates are another great add in as is vanilla extract.
One of the things I love about making smoothies is that you really don’t need anything fresh on hand. If I’ve been gone for a while, I can usually throw together one of these from every category by using what’s in my freezer and my cupboard. I also love to “finish” my smoothies by topping them off with bee pollen, raw cacao nibs, and unsweetened coconut flakes.
How to Take it on the Plane
Ok, this might be the only reason you’re reading this post, and the secret is to freeze your smoothies. I often make more than one serving at a time, so if I’m not going to drink my smoothie in the next day or so, I pop the leftovers in a glass jar and place it in the freezer. Be careful with the glass! If it’s not thick enough it may break in the freezer. Mason jars work well and you can even try a stainless thermos. Just make sure it doesn’t leak. You don’t want to freeze plastic–read here. To bring it through security, however, it must stay frozen. So keep it on ice packs up until you get past the checkpoint. The best part about this strategy is that it will keep everything else in your food bad cold, too!
Whether you are traveling or just busy and don’t want to meal prep, smoothies are probably my meal of choice. They’re incredibly convenient to make ahead of time and freeze for a quick meal on the go.
What’s your favorite smoothie recipe? Comment below and let me know!
Jennifer Halverson says
I love this! And I think my smoothies have been hitting all the key points: fat, fiber, greens, protein. Yay! Thank you for inspiring me, Wendra!
Thanks Jen! I’ve seen you make some pretty awesome smoothies!
I am a HUGE smoothie fan too! I always freeze my greens before tossing in because it covers up their tastes and frosts up the smoothie nicely. I know we both adore our medicinal mushrooms too 🙂 I don’t care for the taste of goji berries, so I hide them in my smoothie as well. Great blog!
Thanks Jill! I got the idea of freezing my greens from you! Such a great tip!