Smoothies are our go-to breakfast or lunch in the heat of the summer! They are also exceptionally easy to prepare and eat on the go, which leaves no excuses for not preparing something ahead of time. With smoothies, you’re not grabbing something unhealthy when you’re out-and-about because you’re starving.
However, let’s be clear about one thing – not all smoothies are created equally. Many are made simply with fruit and very few other ingredients, which can spike your blood sugar. It also won’t keep you satiated (full) until your next meal.
The next three recipes we will teach you the proper way to build a smoothie using superfood powders that can take your smoothie to the next level!
Let’s start by discussing the important parts for building a proper smoothie. Like I mentioned before, many people throw together a smoothie by putting a bunch of fruits together in a blender and calling it a day, eating it and then end up hungry an hour later. Here are some crucial ingredients that need to be included in your smoothie to make it healthy, satiating and not to mention delicious.
This is one of the most important parts of smoothie, since it will keep you full and provide essential nutrients in the form of amino acids. The easiest way to add protein to your smoothie is by adding some sort of protein powder, which now comes in a variety of flavors and sources. I typically like to keep an unsweetened, unflavoured variety on hand because it’s the most versatile option and works in many different recipes. My other favourite to have on hand is chocolate for dessert type smoothies and when I’m craving chocolate (which face it, is pretty much all the time). If you have issues digesting dairy or are a vegan, thankfully whey is no longer the only option available on the market. Protein powders are now made from rice, quinoa, hemp, pumpkin seed and legumes. If you stand the thought or the taste of protein powder (let’s face it, some people just can’t tolerate it and that’s okay), there are other protein options, like seeds (chia, hemp, flax, pumpkin, etc) and collagen powder, but more on that later! Some people get real adventurous with packing in the protein and use tofu or even beans!
Despite getting a pretty bad rap in the 90’s, with most high-fat food products being replaced with low-fat alternatives, fat is an essential for our bodies and a component of every cell we are made of. The issue with fat lies more within the quality of fat, where trans and highly processed fats can lead to inflammatory issues in the body, while others can be very nourishing and important for the body. My favourite types of fat to add into a smoothie are avocados, oils like flax, hemp, coconut, whole nuts and seeds or nut/seed butters and high fat yogurt. The great thing about fats is they often make the texture creamier and smoother.
This is often something people tend not to add into their smoothies because they are afraid the taste will be overpowering or simply don’t typically consume a lot of vegetables. You’d be surprised how many are super easy to add into smoothies without an overwhelming amount of taste or that can be masked by other ingredients like fruits. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s important to eat your vegetables, but typically people tend to stick to what they know and do not eat a wide variety of colours. There’s a reason people often say to eat the rainbow and it’s because each of those colours provide different phytonutrients that help the body complete different metabolic processes and keep you nourished. One type of vegetable I always include in my smoothies is a leafy green – spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, beet greens, parsley or whatever your heart desires. Don’t be afraid to add other less common vegetable ingredients like beets, celery, pumpkin, carrots and even cauliflower, which is included in one of our recipes below!
Fruit is not one smoothie ingredient that’s often missed so I won’t go into much detail here, other than the fact that you don’t want a smoothie solely made out of fruit on a regular basis. Berries, like blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries are the lowest sugar fruits to include so I often have a big frozen bag of these on hand. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy bananas and more tropical fruits when you make a smoothie but if you’re going this route, it’s important to combine these with the above mentioned ingredients to help balance out their sugar content.
Your base is important to make your smoothie liquid and to the consistency you find most appealing. There are lots of options for your smoothie base including a variety of non-dairy milks, cow/goat/sheep milk, kefir or yogurt, kombucha, chilled tea, vegetable juice or simply just water. All of these options offer a variety of nutrients and benefits to your body. If you need a boost of protein, add in some cow, goat or sheep milk or yogurt, or if you want to add a blast of antioxidants, include a cooled green tea as your base. That’s the fun part about building smoothies, you get to use your creative side and have fun in the kitchen being a mad scientist, by combining ingredients you wouldn’t necessarily think to put together.
This is where things get interesting and you can really amp up your smoothie in a number of health promoting ways. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a superfood is defined as “a food that is rich in compounds considered beneficial to a person’s health”. While many of us know of common foods that are considered to be superfoods, such as blueberries which are high in antioxidants, and salmon being rich in omega-3’s, did you know there are a number of powdered options that are an easy add-on to your already superfood fueled smoothie?
- Greens Powders – if the thought of adding leafy greens to your smoothie is one you can’t stomach, there are powders available that combine a variety of veggies all in one small scoop that adds a huge amount of nutrients that your vegetables typically would, if not more.
- Camu Camu – this powder is formed from berries found in the Amazon, which are known to be chock full of Vitamin C. In fact Camu Camu contains the most Vitamin C of any food currently known and has 3575% of the RDI in just 100g. Talk about a super amount of Vitamin C!
- Spirulina – a natural algae and rich green in colour, which typically means it is also rich in chlorophyll, which is believed to have body deodorant effects and helps detoxify the blood. It is one of the most nutrient-dense foods we know of and is a good source of protein and iron for vegans.
- Turmeric – a favourite herb of many for many different reasons. Curcumin is the active ingredient found within turmeric that contains the beneficial properties. This bright yellow-orange powder is most well known for its anti-inflammatory properties, which can help improve many conditions including arthritis, pain and wound healing, skin health and IBD, among other things as well.
- Bee Pollen – while the thought of consuming bee pollen might be a little unconventional, it is such a powerful food that some countries consider it a medicine. It is often used for natural allergy relief, and has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties, ultimately helping to protect your immune system. There is some concern of people experiencing negative effects from consumption because of previous allergies to pollen so proceed with caution and under the care of a health practitioner if you want to start including this superfood into your routine.
- And that’s not all of them, there are so many other superfood powders available and additional information on a few more that we’ve included in our smoothie recipes below, like mushrooms, maca, pitaya and collagen.
As with all new foods and supplements you want to add into your routine, be sure to do your research and make sure adding these superfood powders will not cause any issues, especially if you are currently on medication, or happen to be pregnant or breastfeeding. Since most of these powders are considered foods, you’ll get the go-ahead from your healthcare practitioner but it’s also better to be safe than sorry.
I love, love, love chocolate (and not feeling guilty about consuming this delicious rich-tasting chocolate smoothie! The superfood we’ve included in this recipe is mushrooms (don’t worry you won’t taste them in this smoothie)! Mushroom powders are all the rage right now! We aren’t just talking about button mushrooms that you find on the produce shelves, we are talking about different varieties of mushrooms, like Maitake, Shiitake, Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Chaga and Reishi. These mushrooms act as adaptogens, enhance our immune systems, benefit our brain health, among many other things. A five mushroom blend by Harmonic Arts has been included in our Chocolate Caramel Coffee Smoothie. Trust me, you’ll love it and be making it all the time!
Chocolate Caramel Coffee Smoothie
- ½ cup oat milk
- ½ cup New Orleans Style – Station Cold Brew
- 1 tbsp Harmonic Arts 5 Mushroom Chocolate Elixir
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (we used Garden of Life)
- 1/2 small avocado (or frozen bananas)
- 3 medjool dates pitted. Soak in hot water if not soft.
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- sea salt to taste
- 1 cup ice
Topped with Nature’s Emporium Cacao Nibs or your favorite toppings!
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy it for breakfast or anytime of the day!
Piña Cau-Lada Energizing Smoothie
- ½ cup full-fat coconut milk
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ⅓ cup cauliflower chopped
- ¾ cup frozen pineapples
- ½ cup frozen bananas
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 1 tbsp white chia seeds
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 scoop Genuine Health Fermented Organic Unflavoured Protein Powder optional
- Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately and enjoy it for breakfast or any time of the day!
- Garnish with lime, pineapples wedges and coconut chips.
Pitaya Collagen Bowl
- Food processor or high-speed blender.
For the bowl:
- ½ cup frozen mango
- ½ cup frozen bananas chopped
- 1 cup frozen strawberries
- ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp Pitaya Plus Organic Freeze Dried Dragon Fruit Powder
- 1 scoop Vital Proteins Collagen
For the toppings:
- 1 kiwi sliced and halved
- 1 ½ tbsp sprouted gluten-free granola
- 1 tbsp bee pollen
- coconut chips
- broccoli spouts
- In a food processor or high-speed blender, blend frozen fruit.
- Add coconut milk and process until very smooth and fluffs up.
- Pour smoothie into coconut bowl or bowl of choice and add toppings.
- Serve immediately, enjoy!
We hope that we’ve inspired some smoothie creativity in you and informed you on some fun new superfood powders to include! What are your favourite smoothie blends and superfood powders to use? What are you looking forward to trying from the options we provided?
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