Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Make a Protein-Packed Green Smoothie

How to Make a Protein-Packed Green Smoothie |

{Update: I've since changed the recipe to incorporate full-fat yogurt instead of fat free. Why? Because in order for your body to absorb certain fat soluble vitamins and nutrients in vegetables, it has to be consumed with a healthy fat. That means when you eat fat-free foods mixed with veggies or fruits, your body is likely just flushing the vitamins out! For more info read here and here.}

Tired of paying $5+ for smoothies that are touted as "healthy", but are really loaded with artificial ingredients, fruit juices and sorbets that skyrocket the calories and sugar content? 

Would you rather have complete control over what goes into your drink? Are you enticed by the idea of consuming half your daily servings of fruits and veggies in one drink?

Time to make your own healthy green smoothies! 

All you need are some basic fruits and veggies, a liquid (like water, milk or 100% no sugar added juice), quality protein powder and a reliable blender

Pick whatever flavor combinations you like. The variations are endless. Experiment until you find a favorite or just use whatever is handy in your fridge or freezer at the time. 

Just keep in mind that you should consume everything in moderation. This is not a be-all-end-all solution for consuming healthy greens. You should also be eating them cooked, as well. :)
Here's my own go-to smoothie recipe at the moment: 

Protein-Packed Green Smoothie 
A supercharged green smoothie that boasts two servings each of fruits and vegetables. Drink it to feel energized, slim down your waistline and support a healthy nutritional lifestyle.
Serves: 1-2

1 frozen banana 
1/2 cup frozen peach slices
1/4 cup full-fat greek yogurt 
1/2 scoop good quality, organic protein powder
1 Tablespoon of organic chia seeds 
1 Tablespoon of organic cacao powder (optional) 
2 large handfuls of organic spinach (about 1.5-2 cups)
Purified water (reverse osmosis is a good option), to taste

Recommended Equipment

Place all ingredients into a blender, making sure to add the frozen ingredients first (at the bottom). Add purified water, to taste. Use less water for a thicker smoothie and more for a more liquid drink. Secure lid and mix well. Depending on the strength of your blender, you may have to take the lid off a few times to push the solids (fruits & spinach) closer to the blade until everything is well pureed. Pour into a glass and drink your fruits and veggies with a straw! :)

Notes & Tips
If you're going to use the smoothie as a meal replacement, make the full amount and eat it all yourself. If you're drinking it for a sustaining and healthy snack in between meals, halve the recipe or split the smoothie into two portions. Refrigerate the other half in a container with a tight lid and drink within 24 hours. 

When splitting the smoothie, I recommend using a full scoop of protein powder instead of a half. It will add a few more calories, but it'll bump up the protein content for each portion. 

You only have to cut off the very tips of the spinach stems. The rest of the stems can be blended in along with the spinach leaves. 

If you like your smoothies sweeter, add another cup of frozen or fresh fruit and drizzle in a tablespoon of local, raw honey. In my recipe, as in most green smoothies, you can't taste the greens (spinach) because the fruit and other ingredients mask it. However, to lower calories, I've added less fruit since I don't need it as sweet.

  • Greens: kale, swiss chard, mustard greens (organic if possible)
  • Fruits: blueberries, blackberries, rasberries, strawberries, oranges, mangos (blueberries & strawberries should be organic to avoid the high number of pesticides used on those crops)
  • Protein, Fiber & Nutrients: soaked almond butter, wheat grass, psyllium husk
  • Juice and Liquids: 100% orange, apple, cherry, grapefruit, cranberry or grape juice (no sugar added), fresh brewed iced tea (green, black, yerba mate, oolong)

Want to detox while drinking delicious smoothies? 

If you're looking for an easy and short whole foods based cleanse that will nourish your body while removing impurities, I highly recommend the 7 Day Diet Plan For Weight Loss and Improved Health by Katherine Kyle of Green Thickies.

More Recipes from The Rising Spoon: 

I'd like to hear from YOU!

What's your favorite fruit combo for smoothies?

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. However, I ONLY recommend helpful products that I myself would use. And I'm really picky about what I share with you guys. Because I myself am super choosy about what I buy and consume. Recommending products that I love or want to own helps me cover the costs of running this blog and keep providing you with free, helpful information. And it costs nothing extra for you. Thanks!

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