Healthy Beginnings

4 Breakfast Smoothie Recipes to Help You Ditch Your Donut

Healthy Smoothie_1028x500

Smoothies have wormed their way to a special place in our hearts, taste buds and routines. Wormed might be a poor choice of words, but I’ve found that over time, far from being just a trend, they’ve come to play a bigger role in my work day routine. I’ve actually come to appreciate them more and more on many levels. They’re delicious, they’re portable, they can be prepped in advance, and they can be (depending on what you put into them) very nutritious. They’re certainly just as convenient and better for you than most cereals. They are quite forgiving, requiring little-to-no precision or planning — you can just throw them together. Unless your refrigerator is in a hope- less state resulting from endless bachelorhood (beer, old Chinese food, even older pizza and an open box of baking soda) you can probably create a great smoothie with whatever you have in your kitchen right now. The combinations are endless.

While juicing, smoothies’ fussy cousin, gets a bad rap for being wasteful and bad for the planet (lots of fruits and vegetables grown, but most of it thrown out as post-juicing waste), they’re also far less nutritious. Smoothies use the whole fruit or vegetable (no, you don’t have to use the seeds or skins that you’d throw away eating in the usual way) so you get all the great food value. Bonus: With smoothies, you get the benefits from the fiber. They’re good for your digestive system and keep you feeling full longer. Add some form of protein and you’re good for the entire morning!

Below are the recipes for four of my favorites, with some rules of thumb for combinations and variations. The new power blenders, created for producing the perfect smoothies, are expensive things of wonder. They make the process so easy, fast and deliver just the right textures. Most of them also allow you to create single serve and go smoothies! While they’re worth the investment, you can absolutely do this with a regular, old school blender, I just recommend that if you use one you blend for much longer than you ever think you need to — especially with the fruit and veggie-based ones. This helps to slow down or eliminate separation.

GREEN MACHINE

  • Apple
  • 
 Ginger (fresh grated, not powdered)
  • Cucumber
  • 
 Celery
  • Kale
  • 
 Coconut water

Variation: Substitute apple and ginger for mango and mint (trust me)

  • Optional: Ice

FRUIT AND YOGURT

  • Whole fat Greek yogurt
(preferably plain, but vanilla if you must)
  • Your choice of frozen fruit (mixed berries, peach, etc.) 

  • Add coconut oil
  • Your choice of liquid 
(coconut water, almond milk, etc.) 


Variation: Fruit and ice only

NUT BUTTER AND BANANA

  • Bananas (I freeze ones that are turning brown and I haven’t used, and they’re perfect for this.) 

  • Nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower, cashew, you choice) 

  • Almond milk (others are fine)
  • Optional: Any combination of coconut oil, yogurt, ice

POWER BOOSTER (this one is a bit of a treat, but some days you need a dreamy pick me up)


  • Coffee (brought to room temperature)
  • Ice
  • Almond milk
  • 
 Whole fat Greek yogurt
  • If you want sweetener, maple syrup or honey are great options — 
or you can buy the sweetened almond milk
Decadent: Add some chocolate syrup, you won’t miss Starbucks.

Tips:

  • Use flavor combinations that appeal to you, or that naturally go together. For example: Peanut butter and banana.
  • A good base of flavors can also allow you to add supplements or veggies that you wouldn’t normally eat because they can cover the taste.
  • Don’t be afraid of (good) fat! Coconut oil feeds the brain, and full-fat dairy is easier on the lactose front. (It also has more natural protein.)
  • Go easy on the sugar! The right combinations are sweet and flavorful enough, if you’re going to turn it into dessert you might as well have a donut.
 So, be mindful of flavored and sweetened yogurts or liquids.
  • Speaking of liquid, you always need some. I use coconut water or almond milk most often, depending on what makes sense. But milk, water and juices work just fine.
  • Proportions are to your taste (if you’re going to use a straw to drink, use more liquid so it can be sipped more easily).