Go-To Smoothie Recipe

Smoothies are probably my favorite way to add to my daily intake of fruits and veggies. I have at least one a day, so I thought I’d share with you my tips for creating your own go-to smoothie recipe!

Bases:

  • Water
  • Unsweetened almond milk

Veggies (always frozen raw or after cooking):

  • Sweet potato, steamed
  • Butternut squash, steamed
  • Kale, raw or steamed
  • Cauliflower, raw or steamed
  • Zucchini, raw or steamed

Fruits:

  • Frozen banana
  • Frozen mixed berries
  • Avocado

Add-ins:

  • Greens powder
  • Adaptogen blend
  • Protein
  • Collagen
  • Coconut oil
  • Ice

Toppings:

  • Kamut Puffs
  • Nut butter
  • PerfectBar
  • Granola

Putting it all together:

Your smoothie routine should be replicable day after day, which is why I use only two different bases. Water for most smoothies and almond milk for more “dessert” type recipes.

Using frozen vegetables and fruits is the trick (along with starting with a smaller amount of liquid than you think you need) to making soft-serve like consistency in your smoothies. I like to eat mine with a spoon so that texture is especially desirable! If you live in a region with harsh winters like I do it is often more affordable to buy frozen produce than fresh. For things like sweet potatoes and bananas I actually prepare and freeze them in bulk myself because it’s cheaper that way! I’ve tested out adding many different types of veggies to smoothies and for me the list above represents ones that blend into a creamy smoothie without adding too much grit or flavor that just doesn’t “go” with the rest of the smoothie. Buying frozen goods doesn’t mean that they are less nutritious than fresh (it can actually be the opposite if the produce is currently out of season in your area).

Snacking on fruit throughout the day is a habit of mine so I tend to limit the amount I put in each smoothie. Bananas are bought fresh and then cut up before I freeze them so I can use about 1/3 – 1/2 of a banana in each smoothie. I use avocado (unfrozen) if I want a heartier smoothie with a mousse-like texture. Berries add a bit of sweetness and extra antioxidants.

Add-ins and Toppings:

My favorite greens powders are the ones made by Amazing Grass. I like the Original, Alkalize+Detox or Detox+Digest blends. SunPotion makes a great adaptogen blend. As always, Hammer Nutrition (click here for a 15% discount code to use there) makes some of my favorite protein powders but I also like Whole Foods brand Vegan Sport Protein, Amazing Meal or SFH Whey. Recently I started using collagen*** from Vital Proteins in my smoothies and I’m really eager to try their whey!

Most of my smoothies are made into bowls so I like to pile on the toppings. I love Kamut Puffs for their texture and size (a bunch of brands make them) and Purely Elizabeth granola for their flavors and on-point ingredients. PerfectBars are delicious and of course good old peanut and almond butter are staples in my smoothie routine.

I hope this post helps you create your go-to smoothie recipe! Doing so will save you serious time and money 🙂

 

 

***”When you chew, drink, or swallow collagen, it immediately hits your digestive tract. You digest it the same way you do any other natural protein: into individual amino acids. Your body can’t bring those aminos directly to the site of the injury in order to create or rebuild tendons and ligaments. ‘There’s no evidence that I’ve seen that what you’re ingesting can actually be used by your body…It goes through your body and comes out as waste,'”Please read this article about collagen to learn more. Personally I use it as a tasteless, highly-blendable source of protein with very low to no carbs. There are a lot of claims out there about ingesting and/or taking collagen orally and its benefits, that article helps debunk them!

 

 




What To Do With All These Strawberries?

IMG_0207_2

 

If you’re like me right now, you feel like you have so many strawberries that you swear they’re coming out of your ears.  This week at one of my jobs we’ve been receiving boxes and boxes of them from our local, organic farmers.  I even had to come up with a special smoothie just to use up more of them before they go bad!  We have so many that today after I created a new recipe my boss gave me some as a treat.  So now I’m here, writing and munching on strawberries, trying to come up with sweet ideas for what to do with all of them!  Here’s what I have so far:

  • Top them with homemade whipped cream, sweetened with local maple syrup or honey.
  • Dip them in melted semi-sweet or dark chocolate.
  • Add them to your oatmeal or cereal in the morning.
  • Mix them into your smoothies!  Here’s the recipe I created this week:

Strawberry Smoothie

Total Time: 5 minutes

Serving Size: Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 4-6 fresh strawberries, depending on the size
  • About 1 cup of coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Add in chia seeds if you have them!

Instructions

  1. Add coconut water to the blender first, then the rest of the ingredients.
  2. Blend until combined.
  3. Enjoy!
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes
http://www.katielean.com/what-to-do-with-all-these-strawberries/

  • Pop a couple of them on top of your favorite ice cream or dessert.
  • Make strawberry-rhubarb pie.
  • Slice them and make a salad (this week at work we made one with strawberries, spinach, a little bit of red onion, fresh feta cheese, sliced almonds, and a simple lemon, honey, thyme, and olive oil vinaigrette…YUM).
  • Pull together some strawberry lemonade and make it icy-cool with frozen strawberries.
  • If you’re really ambitious, make your own strawberry preserves or jam.
  • Add them to your yogurt along with some granola.
  • Freeze them to save for later.
  • Dehydrate them.
  • FINALLY, eat them plain because they’re so delicious!

IMG_0208

 

Why should you eat strawberries?  There are so many reasons!  Besides being yummy, they’re full of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C.   They also have manganese, potassium, and folate.  But like any fruit, they contain sugar in the form of fructose.  Too much sugar of any kind is bad (moderation is key, even with fruits), but if you’re trying to decide between some candy or some strawberries, choose those little berries every time!

IMG_0209

 

Happy Summer Everyone!





Creamy Banana Kale Smoothie

IMG_0159

Creamy Banana Kale Smoothie

This smoothie is so simple and super yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup milk or non-dairy milk of your choice
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of ginger
  • Handful of kale (I used chopped kale)

Blend everything together in a blender.  Feel free to add more milk if it’s not blending well.  As you can see, my blender isn’t great because there are still little pieces of kale.  But I’m totally fine with a little texture.  If you aren’t just use a high quality blender (if it’s available) or blend longer to get all those pieces blended up.

IMG_0156

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another option is to leave the kale out if you’re looking for a more “treat” type smoothie or don’t like kale.  Without the kale this smoothie is very sweet and almost tastes like ice cream!  Here’s what the smoothie looks like without it:

IMG_0168

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you a vegetarian or vegan?  Have you just amped up your workout regimen?  If you answered “yes” to either of those questions you might benefit from adding a protein powder to this smoothie!  If you are worried about your protein intake definitely talk to your doctor or dietician before you start supplementing because protein powders are complicated.  Besides the various types of powders out there, that complicated nature is due to the large amount of false information about them out there.  For example, most people do not need to supplement their diet with protein:

“Most athletes can get the recommended amount of protein through diet alone, without the use of supplements. Protein powders and protein supplements are great for convenience, but are not necessary, even for elite athletic performance. For example, Rossi works with athletes at the University of Virginia and only relies on protein powders when athletes need immediate protein right after a workout and don’t have time for a meal. ‘Whole foods are always best, but with a busy athlete trying to juggle a million things, it is more realistic to provide them with the convenient shake,’ she says. ‘When someone has more time and motivation to plan, then the focus can be on more whole foods.'”-Alexandra Caspero, MA, RD

I don’t use protein powder everyday.  I use it on days I know I’m going to do a long, difficult workout or after said workout, but only if I don’t have time to make a full meal afterwards.  I’m also a vegetarian.  Some people on vegetarian and vegan diets do not get enough protein because they are uneducated about which foods to eat to get complete proteins into their diet. Read a short article about sources of vegetarian protein here.

When I do use protein powder I use this:

IMG_0153Facts-ClassicVan500g

I like this protein powder because it doesn’t give me a stomach ache, it tastes good (but kind of grainy/chalky like any powder), it’s vegan, relatively low in calories, has fiber, has very little sodium and sugar added, and has iron!  Check out Sunwarrior’s Website here.

To conclude here is some information about how much protein you should be getting each day if you are an athlete:

“The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Dietitians of Canada and the American College of Sports Medicine recommend the following for power and endurance athletes, based on body weight:

  • Power athletes (strength or speed): 1.2 to 1.7 grams/kilogram a day
  • Endurance athletes: 1.2 to 1.4 grams/kilogram a day

For an adult male athlete, that’s about 84 to 119 grams of protein a day; for adult females about 66 to 94 grams.
By comparison, a sedentary adult male needs about 56 grams of protein a day; for females it’s about 46 grams.”- Also from this article.

 

Happy smoothie making! 🙂

Post-Workout Banana Chocolate Chai Smoothie

Training for a half-marathon means going for some pretty long runs… and being home for Easter weekend means spending as much time with my family as physically possible, so naturally my dad came with me on my 9.5 mile run this morning.  For a run that long it’s important to refuel your body afterwards to recover.  (And to drink lots of water!!)  After cooling down for a little I decided I definitely wanted a smoothie.  My obsession with anything chai spiced inspired me to whip up this one.  I hope you enjoy it 🙂

 

3/4 cup milk (or any non-dairy milk of your liking)

1 banana

1-2 tablespoons of Lake Champlain Chai & Mighty Hot Chocolate Powder*

2 tablespoons almonds (or more or none if you don’t like the texture)

Handful of ice

 

Add the milk, ice, chocolate powder, banana, and almonds to the blender.  Blend until creamy, adding extra milk if it has trouble blending.  If you have a favorite protein powder it would definitely be delicious in this simple smoothie.  I added almonds, but you can add any nut you’d like!  Mine were Trader Joe’s Cinnamon Almonds (just because that’s what we happened to have on the counter) and they added a nice touch to the chai spices in the chocolate powder!

*Unfortunately one of my favorite chocolate companies Lake Champlain Chocolates seems to have stopped making this hot chocolate powder 🙁  but you can substitute this for any hot chocolate or cocoa powder (raw, unsweetened, sweetened, etc.) you’d like!  You could even use chocolate syrup or chocolate chips.  If you want your smoothie to be chai spiced but your powder is not chai flavored add a dash (or to taste) each of cinnamon, ground ginger (or some fresh ginger), black pepper, and cardamom.  If you have another spice you think will taste great, go for it(maybe nutmeg?)!  You can’t really go wrong here.  Happy running!!