Posts Tagged ‘smoothie’

Almond Joy Smoothie – Vegan and Healthy!

What better way to wake up in the morning than knowing that, taste-wise, you will be eating the equivalent of a candy bar for breakfast while getting all the nutrition needed to supercharge your day?

That’s exactly how I felt this morning, knowing that yesterday I had experimented with creating an Almond Joy-type smoothie and today I had some ideas to perfect it!

This smoothie replicates the flavors in an Almond Joy bar.  The chocolate flavor comes from cacao, the almond flavor from almond butter and almond extract, and the coconut flavor from coconut milk and unsweetened coconut flakes.  What about the fruits and veggies?  Those come with the addition of a handful of spinach and a frozen banana, while calcium comes from the coconut or coconut-almond milk.  And I also like to add some hemp protein powder for some extra protein, but that’s optional.

Almond Joy Smoothie

All the goodness of the candy bar, replicated with healthy ingredients!

All the goodness of the candy bar, replicated with healthy ingredients!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large handful baby spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 1/4 cups coconut milk (the kind from the carton, not the thick canned kind) or almond-coconut milk blend
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (peanut butter also works)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon cacao power
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 1 tablespoon hemp protein, optional
  • 1-2 dates, pitted (optional – include if you like extra sweetness)

Combine in blender and enjoy your smoothie!  Sprinkle with extra coconut flakes if desired.  Makes one tall glass (about 2 cups).

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Vitamin-A Packed Mango-Goji-Carrot Smoothie

Smoothies have turned out to be the neatest trick to getting more veggies into my diet.  Today I decided to experiment with a new vegetable (and a new color): carrots.

I’ve been pretty successful when matching the same color fruit and vegetable, so I opted for a mango-carrot smoothie.  To amp up the nutritional value and to make it more filling, I added goji berries, avocado, and chia seeds.

This smoothie is packed with Vitamin A.  So what’s the big deal about this vitamin?  Vitamin A helps maintain healthy skin, teeth, mucus membranes, and skeletal tissue, and it promotes good vision.  This smoothie delivers about 300% of your daily vitamin A needs – 1 cup of mango has 25% of your daily need for vitamin A, while 1/2 cup chopped carrots has over 200% and goji berries contain about 68% in 2 tablespoons.  Although Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin and thus can be toxic if ingested in large amounts, this is highly unlikely to happen from consuming foods (only from vitamins), as your body only converts the amount of Vitamin A that it needs.  That’s just another reason that, when possible, we should get our nutrients from whole foods, not vitamins!

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They key ingredients for the mango-goji smoothie.

Mango-Goji Smoothie

  • 1 large mango, peeled and cubed
  • 3 small or 1 large carrot, peeled (about 1/2 cup, chopped)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 tablespoons goji berries
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond or coconut (or almond-coconut) milk
  • 2-3 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients in blender.  Enjoy!

Potassium-Packed Green Apple Smoothie

Yes, it’s nice to start my day with a chocolate smoothie that reminds me of a milkshake.  However, there is nothing that energizes me more than a green smoothie full of light-tasting fruits and veggies.  Drinking one of these smoothies is not only a yummy experience, but also makes me feel “cleaner” and revitalized.  I thought that this was purely psychological until I looked up the nutrition info. for this smoothie and learned that it contains half of the daily recommended value of potassium.

I get frequent muscle cramps, which is where my interest in potassium began.  As I researched more on the Mayo Clinic website, I learned that potassium is needed to maintain muscle health, including a regular heartbeat, and that the daily recommendation is 1600 to 2000 milligrams a day.  It is found naturally in many fruits, vegetables, and legumes, as well as other foods.  As I did further research, I learned that the way minerals operate and interact in our bodies is not yet known for sure, but minerals such as potassium are critical to our health.

To make the smoothie prep easier in the morning, I like to place the dry ingredients in the blender the night beforehand and chill in the fridge.  In the morning, I just add the liquid ingredients and blend.

Below, my recipe for a Potassium-Packed Apple Smoothie.

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Energizing Green Apple Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, preferable green, sliced and core removed
  • 1 pear, sliced and core removed
  • 1 large handful baby spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp protein (optional)
  • 1/4 cup coconut water
  • 3/4-1 cup almond milk
  • 3-4 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

Nutrition Information: 355 calories, 929 mg potassium (Calculations based on information from the Calorie Counter from CalorieKing.com).