There was a time when the only acceptable way to wake up was with a cup of coffee. Today, the hype is on the smoothie. Instead of leaving you drained and depleted, like a latté, a breakfast smoothie will provide you with sustainable energy that keeps your body feeling strong until your next meal.
Beware of smoothies that can take an unhealthy turn with dairy, sweeteners, and concentrated juices. This recipe, conversely, is full of nutrient-dense ingredients that will help you stay alert and satisfied, so you can blaze through your morning to-do list. Bananas and berries provide a hint of sweetness, so it’s every bit as tasty as it is good for you.
Jump-Starter Green Smoothie
2 packed cups chopped kale leaves
½ cup peeled and chopped cucumber
½ cup blueberries
½ peeled banana
1 serving organic, unflavored pea protein powder (follow serving size listed on label)
1 teaspoon spirulina powder
2 cups fresh green juice (made only with greens), plus more if needed
- Place all the ingredients into a blender. Blend on high until smooth. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add another ½ cup of liquid, and blend again.
- Pour into a 1-quart Mason jar or two 16 ounce cups.
- Green Smoothie with Coconut Water. Replace green juice with raw coconut water for a sweeter flavor.
- Green Smoothie with Collagen Powder. Replace the spirulina with collagen powder. This powder has a neutral flavor, and is said to be good for hair, nails, skin, and joints.
- Green Smoothie with Cacao Nibs. For a hint of indulgence, mix 1 tablespoon of cacao nibs into your blended smoothie. This adds a little crunch, which can make you feel more satisfied.
Place fresh blueberries and a peeled banana into an airtight container, and pop it into your freezer the night before you make your smoothie. Frozen fruit creates more of a frosty beverage that’ll remind you of an ice-cold shake. You can also buy frozen berries and keep them on hand.
Adding a teaspoon or two of your favorite superfood is an easy way to add nutritional power to your smoothies. In this recipe, spirulina, a powdered form of algae, is known for removing heavy metals from your body and promoting alkalinity. It also imparts a beautiful deep-green color to your smoothie. You can try other superfoods, from chia and flaxseeds to maca and collagen powders, for their varied health benefits.
If you plan on enjoying lots of smoothies, consider investing in a high-speed blender. Cheap blenders, like the brands you can buy at the grocery store, don’t always have the power to incorporate all your ingredients. A chunky smoothie can fall short in both taste and texture. A good-quality blender, such as a Vitamix, is worth the investment if you plan to use it daily.