I love smoothies. Some days I have a smoothie for breakfast and another one for lunch or supper – they are that good.

Once I learned a simple formula to make them, they have been an easy and time-saving addition to my diet. I know a lot of other people love smoothies too. The evidence is all over Instagram with the fancy photos of smoothies lined with beautifully cut fruit, granola, coconut…

What is so great about them? This is my smoothie pro list:

  • You can pack a tonne of nutrients into a quick and delicious meal
  • The taste can be anything you want it to be – but always delicious
  • Greens and veggies can be thrown in without anyone noticing
  • It’s like eating ice cream for breakfast
  • They are quick and easy to prepare
  • They can be as complicated or as basic as you wish
  • The combinations are infinite (You can even add toppings that add crunch and more flavour)
  • You can take beautiful pictures of them and post them all over the place and get all the attention!

There are a few cons:

  • Not easy for travelling – I would say impossible unless you pack your blender with you (I have heard of this!)
  • The blender you have makes a huge difference in the smoothness of your smoothie- and it sucks to depend on a blender
  • You can easily get hooked on these for breakfast every day
  • It is a little harder in the winter to not freeze while eating one
  • Sometimes when experimenting, the flavour is inedible.

 

As you can see, I had to dig pretty deep to come up with cons for the great smoothie!

If you find it hard to get enough key nutrients in your diet, you may benefit from a perfect smoothie. You can add in the ingredients you need to get the nutrients your body so badly wants.

Follow this simple formula to create your perfect smoothie – and then another, and then another…

My Smoothie Formula!

  1. The Liquid

The liquid helps the ingredients blend and can also add needed nutrients and flavour. This can be any of the following:

  • Water
  • Cooled tea
  • Nut milk (this will give you a creamier texture)
  • Kombucha or water kefir (they add a great tangy/sour flavour to the smoothie)
  • Fruit or veggie juice (but know that you are adding more sugar and calories to the meal. You will also want to use freshly made juice and not junk from the store.)

My top 2 are water and my homemade kombucha. The kombucha is very strong, and I can taste it through any other flavours I have in there, so I really want to make sure I’m feeling it before I throw some into the blender.

2. The Fats

The next is the fat component. It is great to add whole food fats into the diet, and the smoothie is the perfect place. They add a richness and will help you feel full longer. Try one or two of these in your next smoothie:

  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Cashews (these add a real creaminess)
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Well any nut really!
  • Avocado (they add creaminess as well, but also that distinct flavour)

My daily smoothie will always have flaxseeds in and sometimes I’ll add in chia seeds as well. It’s a really special day when I throw some nuts in there!

3. Fruit

Then there’s the fruit. Yay! I prefer frozen fruit because I like to eat my smoothie with a spoon, but if you’re into drinking it through a straw, fresh may be your best bet. Feel free to add one or as many as you can handle:

  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Apple
  • Kiwi
  • Orange
  • You can really try any fruit, and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

I am a fan of the texture of frozen bananas in my smoothies, and then I’ll usually add another fruit for the added flavour.

4. Veggies

If you can handle it, add veggies. Try any that you enjoy normally:

  • Carrot
  • Ginger
  • Cucumber
  • Beet
  • Sweet potato
  • Pumpkin

If you are feeling adventurous, go for it. Try a veggie you haven’t before and see how it goes. I would suggest adding a little bit in to begin with and then adding more if the flavour is okay. Some veggies are pretty strong and may not work too well, but don’t let me stop you!

5. Extras and Fun Additions

This category can get pretty huge. This is all the fun little things you can add in the may or may not add flavour, but is more for the specific nutrients you get out of them. Some examples are:

  • Protein powder – Where do you get your protein from?!
  • Spirulina/chlorella – also great for protein and many nutrients
  • Molasses
  • Buckwheat groats, oats, steel cut oats…
  • Other cool powders you can find – like Vita-Mineral Green, vitamin C powder, superfood powder, turmeric (this can be powder form or the actual root)…
  • Spices/herbs – cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, cardamom, mint, basil…

This can be as big of a category as you like. Right now I have gone simple, but I can always add in new things whenever I feel like it. This is a super fun category. At the same time, you do not need to add any of these. Anything works.

6. Greens

This is an important category because a lot of the nutrition will come from the greens. Some are a little stronger than others, and if you are not used to the flavour, you may want to use less or mix with a weaker green. Some examples are:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Alfalfa sprouts – any kind of sprouts
  • Swiss chard
  • Beet, mustard, turnip greens.

I find the lettuce and kale to be the most mild, alfalfa sprouts are in the middle, and Swiss chard and the others are pretty strong.

The last step would be to add any toppers you want. These add cool texture, more nutrients, and more flavour to the smoothie. Toppers can include, but are not limited to:

  • nut butter
  • cacao nibs or powder
  • hemp, pumpkin, sunflower seeds
  • coconut
  • granola (preferably homemade)
  • cinnamon
  • beautifully cut up fruit (only if it’s beautiful though!)

There you have it. That is the formula I use to get a perfect smoothie every time! I put these categories in this order because this is the order I put them in the blender, and it works out pretty well. I find that when I put the food in the blender in the same sequence, I am less likely to forget something.

Challenge

If you are new to smoothies, or even if you have dabbled with them, I challenge you to have a smoothie each morning for 14 days.

Use the outline I have given you above, and work on making and eating one a day for 14 days. I think you will be delighted with the way you feel, and smoothies may even become a regular meal for you.

If you feel like sharing your experience, I would love for you to join our Facebook group – Vivacious Vegan Women – and tell us all about your adventure.

Final Thoughts

Our greatest changes happen when we take things slow – when we alter one thing at a time until it becomes a habit, and then move on to the next.

Eating habits are no exception. As you slowly begin to eat more whole foods, you will notice other things in your life improving – I promise!

Enjoy your next smoothie!! I know I will.

Yours in plant love,

Carly

 

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