Smoothies in a Blender

Fiber and Nutrient-Rich Tips and Recipes for Smoothies

When it comes to power breakfasts, smoothies are a great grab-and-go item. They can energize our morning before a day of work or during family and holiday obligations. Smoothies may be part of a New Year’s Resolve to start each day with superfoods and balanced nutrition. Whatever your reasons may be, try some of these nourishing smoothie recipes to spice up your morning or to bolster your brain with a midday boost.

Prep Your Base for Smoothies

If you like to use cashews (I do!), soak them in advance. When it comes to  frozen items, you can prep them ahead of time and store measured in baggies. I like to let them thaw overnight before breakfast.

Spicy Smoothie

Whatever the season, I like to add warming spices or fresh ginger to smoothies to balance the fact that they are often made with ice or frozen fruits. For a supportive power breakfast, I also like to add adaptogens that calm the airy energy of the vata dosha, such as ashwagandha or tulsi (holy basil). Cinnamon is shown in research studies to help the body regulate blood sugar. In addition, cinnamon and sea salt can help boost the sweet flavor of drinks without adding excess sugar.

Sweeten Smoothies Without Sugar

Lucuma fruit powder and mesquite bean powder can add sweetness without raising blood sugar levels. They both have a caramel-like flavor and are rich in minerals.

Mesquite additionally has a nice smokey flavor.

Dates also make a great sweetener since they are also rich in minerals.

Figs are another mineral-rich option with a unique flavor.

Both figs and dates are high in fiber and make great raw or smoothie sweeteners since they are whole foods with their fibers and minerals intact.

Fortify With Essential Fatty Acids

I like to add hemp and chia seeds to make sure I’m getting essential fatty acids. Flax seeds are also good options for people who enjoy the stronger taste and texture of flax.

 

Blueberry Lavender Smoothies

Yield: Approx. 16 fluid ounces (2 cups)

Ingredients

100 gr zucchini (approx. ½ of a medium zucchini)
20 gr pitted dates (approx. 2-3 dates)
5 fluid ounce blueberry yogurt (dairy or nondairy)
½- ¾ cup packed spinach
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup hemp seeds
½ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ashwagandha powder
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp lavender
pinch of pink Himalayan salt
½ cup water or more as needed to reach desired consistency
Optional: Protein powder of choice

Directions

  • Combine ingredients in blender.
  • Start with ½ cup water and blend until smooth.
  • Add more water if needed to reach desired consistency.

Chocolate Salted Caramel Smoothies

Yield: Approx. 16 fluid ounces (2 cups)

Ingredients
100 gr zucchini (approx. ½ of a medium zucchini)
40 gr pitted dates (approx. 4-5 dates)
1/3 cup cashews, soaked, rinsed and drained *
3 tsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp mesquite powder
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp maca powder
½ tsp tulsi powder
¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt
1½ cups water or more as needed to reach desired consistency
Optional: Protein powder of choice

Directions

  • Put ingredients in blender as listed.
  • Start with 1½ cups water and blend until smooth.
  • Add more water if needed to reach desired consistency.

*Note: If using milk or nondairy milk, omit cashews and water, and use 1 ¾ cup milk of your choice. Adjust amounts as needed to reach desired consistency.

Green Smoothies

Magical Matcha Smoothies

Yield: Approx. 16 fluid ounces (2 cups)

Ingredients
100 gr zucchini (approx. ½ of a medium zucchini)
30 gr pitted dates (approx. 3-4 dates)
1/3 cup cashews, soaked, rinsed and drained *
5 fluid ounces vanilla yogurt (dairy or nondairy)
1 tsp hemp seeds
1 tsp Matcha green tea powder
¼ tsp tulsi powder
¼ tsp spirulina powder
1 tsp lucuma powder
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch pink Himalayan salt
1 cup water or more as needed to reach desired consistency
Optional: Protein powder of choice

Directions

  • Put ingredients in blender as listed.
  • Start with 1 cup water and blend until smooth.
  • Add more water if needed to reach desired consistency.

*Note: If using milk or nondairy milk, omit cashews and water, and use 1 1/2 cup milk of your choice. Adjust amounts as needed to reach desired consistency.

Golden Milk Smoothies

Yield: Approx. 16 fluid ounces (2 cups)

Ingredients
100 gr zucchini (approx. ½ of a medium zucchini)
30 gr pitted dates (approx. 3-4 dates)
1 ½ tsp Gaia Golden Milk mix (turmeric, black pepper, cardamom, vanilla, ashwagandha, and dates)
1 tsp chia seeds
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp mesquite powder
pinch pink Himalayan salt
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk or dairy/nondairy of choice
½ cup water or more as needed to reach desired consistency
Optional: Protein powder of choice

Directions

  • Put ingredients in blender as listed and blend until smooth.
  • Add extra water if needed to reach desired consistency.

 

herbs for smoothies

Chai Spice Smoothies

Yield: Approx. 16 fluid ounces (2 cups)

Ingredients
100 gr zucchini (approx. ½ of a medium zucchini)
30 gr pitted dates (approx. 3-4 dates)
5 fluid ounce container vanilla yogurt (dairy or nondairy)
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mesquite powder
¾ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp maca powder
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground clove
¼ tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
pinch pink Himalayan salt
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk or dairy/nondairy of choice
Water as needed to reach desired consistency
Optional: Protein powder of choice

Directions

  • Put ingredients in blender as listed and blend until smooth.
  • Add water if needed to reach desired consistency.

Smoothie Swap—Do Bananas Really Work for You?

I really love smoothies. They are fast, easy, tasty, and super healthy when prepared thoughtfully. But what I don’t love is the bloated, heavy belly discomfort I sometimes feel after having one of those delightful liquid meals.

If that sounds familiar to you, the culprit may be the bananas. Bananas are often a staple in smoothies because of their creamy, almost soft serve ice cream-like texture, but unfortunately, they can be difficult for some people to digest when they are eaten in combination with other foods.

There are different thoughts on this. In Ayurveda, bananas are categorized as a sour food, and they do not mesh well with dairy for most people. In Raw Food food-combining rules, bananas are not to be mixed with proteins. In Macrobiotics, unless you live in a tropical area where they grow naturally, bananas are not recommended at all. Outside of the tropics, the Macrobiotic recommendation is to enjoy sparingly due to their high sugar content.

Try Zucchini

I have a wonderful smoothie substitute for those naughty bananas — zucchini! Zucchini has a mild neutral flavor. Its mucilaginous texture creates a creaminess similar to that of a banana. The largest nutritional difference between bananas and zucchini are the calories and the sugar content.

Zucchini has a comparable amount of potassium, and as an added bonus, a good amount of Vitamin C.

Zucchini is typically easier to digest than bananas when mixed with other fruits, proteins, and fat. This makes it a better choice for people with sensitive digestive systems.

When selecting zucchini, keep in mind that conventional zucchini tends to be a GMO crop, so choose organic! The zucchinis you use for smoothies can be frozen or fresh, with the skin on or off. If you are freezing zucchini, first cut it into small pieces to make measurement and blending easier.

 

Smoothie Product Recommendations

Golden Milk Spices

Gaia Herbs Golden Milk Powder: gaiaherbs.com

Superfoods

Navitas: navitasorganics.com
Sunfood: sunfood.com
Terrasoul: terrasoul.com

Spirulina

Look for spirulina sold in colored glass that is protected from light.
Spirulina Manna by HealthForce Superfoods: healthforce.com

Hemp Seeds

Manitoba Harvest: manitobaharvest.com
Nutiva: nutiva.com

Non-Dairy Yogurt

Kite Hill: kite-hill.com
Silk: silk.com
So Delicious: sodeliciousdairyfree.com
Good Karma Foods: goodkarmafoods.com
Forager Project: foragerproject.com
GT’s CocoYo: gtslivingfoods.com/offering/cocoyo/cocoyo
New Earth Superfoods Probiotic Coconut Kefir Yogurt: newearthsuperfoods.com
Anita’s Coconut Yogurt: anitas.com
Amande Cultured Almondmilk: amandeyogurt.com

Dairy-Based Yogurt

Siggi’s Icelandic Yogurt: siggis.com
Noosa: noosayoghurt.com
Brown Cow: browncowfarm.com
Maple Hill Creamery: maplehill.com
Chobani: chobani.com

Protein Powders

Sunwarrior Classic Protein, Classic Plus, Warrior Blend, Illumin8 Plant-Based Organic Meal: sunwarrior

Ayurvedic Herbs

Banyan Botanicals: banyanbotanicals.com
San Francisco Herb Company: sfherb.com

 

Smoothie Tools: Powerful Blenders

Vitamix: vitamix.com
The choice for many a chef, Vitamix Blenders comes in a variety of models with three different series: Ascent, Legacy, and Personal. Models have variable speed and pulse controls and the Ascent series offers timers, wireless connectivity, and multiple containers.

Blendtec: blendtec.com
With home and professional options as well as a variety of speeds, Blendtec’s designer and professional models have touchscreens for fine-tuning performance. Add-ons include mills and mixers.

NutriBullet: nutribullet.com
The compact size and simplicity of use makes this a smoothie powerhouse. According to NutriBullet, the difference is in the nutrient extraction. Four different models are available.

KitchenAid: kitchenaid.com
The Blender Girl Tess Masters is the global spokesperson for KitchenAid blenders. She consulted with the company to develop the Pro Line Series Blender. Some of the features of this KitchenAid blender include a Thermal Control Jar and soup recipe setting to make soup (or warm veggie smoothie) creation easy.