Smoothie recipes are a dime a dozen. Green monster, Berry Banana, Cocoa Peanut Butter… Enter these or any other smoothie flavor into your Pinterest search bar and you will be overwhelmed by the number of options available. If you can read and follow simple directions, these Insta-worthy smoothies too can be yours for health-boosting consumption. But what if you don’t have time to whip out your phone and look up a recipe?
Plant packed smoothies are great healthy additions to our everyday life. It doesn’t matter if you’re paleo, vegan, gluten-free, raw, none or all of the above, it’s hard to argue with the nutrient content of fruits and vegetables. But to make a drink like this a part of your daily routine, it has to be simple. It has to be accessible. It has to be adaptable.
Let’s break down the basic formula of how these smoothies are created
Vegetables – Leafy greens are a classic. Spinach mixes really well in a green smoothie. Kale is a little tougher to blend completely, but baby kale makes a great option. You can include carrots, celery, cucumbers, beets, and tomatoes. Use what you have on hand and incorporate the colors you know your diet is lacking.
Fruits – Frozen or fresh fruits work equally well. Try bananas, berries, apples, pears, pomegranate seeds, watermelon chunks, peeled citrus fruits, kiwis, mangos, and pineapple. This is where most of the flavor and sweetness in your smoothie will come from.
Sweetener – Bananas (fresh or frozen), pitted dates, honey, maple syrup, agave syrup, and coconut sugar are just a few natural sources of sweetness for your smoothie. The sweetness of your drink is ALWAYS adjustable by you! I typically err on the side of a less sweet smoothie, starting with about ½ a frozen banana. After I blend it up and sample it, I will add raw honey by the teaspoon until I am satisfied with it’s sweetness.
Protein – If you have a protein powder you love, add a scoop! Hemp seed powder, pea protein powder, nuts, or nut butters also make great additions.
Fat – A little heart healthy fat adds a LOT of staying power to your smoothie! Especially if you are active, or if you want your smoothie to hold you over until your next meal, you will want to add a little fat. Avocados, avocado oil, shredded coconut, coconut cream, coconut oil, or red palm oil make great additions to your smoothie.
Liquid – Add enough liquid to make your whole smoothie come together in the blender! More liquid for a thin smoothie you can sip throw a straw, less liquid for a thick smoothie you add toppings to and eat with a spoon. You can use almond milk, coconut milk, hemp seed milk, pomegranate juice, or any other type of juice or milk. If don’t have any of these things available, just use water!
Superfoods – Many superfood ingredients will stay fresh in your kitchen cabinet for many months, and add little flavor but a HUGE nutrient boost to your smoothies! They’re not “must-haves” or “building blocks”, but are an amazing added bonus. Consider adding cinnamon, chia seeds, flaxseeds, goji berries, camu powder, acai powder, spirulina, carob powder, or cacao nibs to your next recipe.
Those are your smoothie building blocks! With vegetables, fruits, protein, fat, liquid, sweetener, and superfoods in mind, have fun experimenting with different nutritious combinations.
If you’re not ready to get creative just yet, try one of these two smoothies that were created especially for the #LoveSquad!
Hot Pink Beet and Berry Smoothie
Give the greens a break and take advantage of a wealth of phytonutrients available from beets. Not only are they nutritious, but they create a STUNNING hot pink smoothie that’s as fun to drink as it is easy to make.
1 cup cooked beets
1 medium bananas, frozen
1½ cups strawberries, frozen
½ cup raspberries or other berries of choice, frozen
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 cup almond milk
1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave nectar, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Dash of cinnamon
Green “Superhero” Smoothie
Why are so many smoothies called the “green monsters”? What’s so scary about spinach?! Spinach is actually the “superhero” of the drink. This smoothie will have you feeling superhero-strong with a variety of antioxidants from spinach, blueberries, and pomegranate seeds.
2 cups spinach
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ frozen banana
2 medjool dates, pitted and soaked
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1 cup almond milk
2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
Try out our recipes above or leave us a comment of your favorite smoothie below. Spread the Love.
Writer: Caitlin Jones; is a ALB creative who is a paleo aficionado- “I love paleo cooking because it enables me to live such an active lifestyle. Treating your body right by feeding it healthy foods not only feels really great, but can taste amazing while being simple and accessible to everyone. I want to share my passion about healthy cooking with everyone so that we can all live our lives to the fullest potential!”
Photographer: Caitlin Jones