Breakfast jump start, energizing snack, healthier dessert… there’s no denying that smoothies do it all! Packed with nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, nuts, and more, smoothies are a quick, easy meal to give you the shot of energy you need to power through your workout, workday, kids’ soccer tournament, or whatever unexpected hurdles life throws your way.
Smoothies are so simple and adaptable the recipe combinations are virtually limitless. But don’t get overwhelmed because we have a few tasty options to help get you going.
1. VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
There’s a common misconception that smoothies are fruit-based, but the truth is adding vegetables can help you find a delicious balance. In fact, energy-boosting smoothies are an ideal snack for sneaking in an extra serving of spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, or arugula. You'll barely even notice those greens are in there! Grab some Birds Eye® C&W premium quality chopped baby spinach or premium chopped kale from the freezer section to give your smoothie a frosty finish. Add your favorite fruit—strawberries, blueberries, cherries, bananas, oranges, mangoes, or pears—no matter the choice, you can’t go wrong! Combining fruits and veggies in your smoothie can help you get your daily dose of fiber plus Vitamins A, C, K, and potassium—all in one convenient snack.
2. PROTEINS AND POWDERS
Did you know you can pump up your smoothie with proteins or powders? Try Earth Balance® natural peanut butter with flaxseed for a boost of ALA omega-3 fatty acids. Consider pumpkin, hemp, flax, chia, and other super seeds as well as walnuts or almonds as an added source of nutrients. Mixing in a little protein powder like the Berry Power Protein Smoothie is another fantastic way to soup up your stamina. Energy-boosting smoothies are a simple way to get more protein in your diet. Plus, it’ll keep you from craving other less healthy snacks.
There are many other powders you can add to your smoothie to give it that extra boost. When you need a little pick me up try one these!
- Ashwagandha: May help reduce cortisol and inflammation while improving brain function
- Maca: Known to improve energy levels along with memory
- Cacao: Good source of iron and magnesium and may improve brain function
- Matcha: Contains caffeine along with L-theanine, which helps you avoid a post-caffeine crash
- Chlorella: A complete protein source, it also provides vitamin B12, iron, and more.
- Beet powder: May improve athletic performance.
3. SPOON OR STRAW?
How much liquid you use in your energy-boosting smoothie is mostly a matter of preference: do you like an easy sipper or thick enough to make your spoon stand up? If you prefer it thick like this Mixed Berry Smoothie Bowl, you'll want to add just enough liquid to let your blender go to work. Try experimenting with varying amounts of these liquids to find the consistency that works best for you:
- Coconut, almond, or flax Milk
- Coconut water
- Fruit juice
- Sparkling water
- Plain water
4. HOW SWEET IT IS
The fruit in your smoothie may give you all the sweetness you need. If not, try adding honey, maple syrup, or stevia. Honey and maple syrup also lend their own flavors to the smoothie, like this Maple Fruit and Oat Smoothie.
If you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, it’s better to blend up an energy-boosting smoothie than dig into a bag of chocolates or crush a carton of ice cream. This Orange Peach Smoothie uses Snack Pack® vanilla pudding, offering a sweet, creamy texture which plays nicely with the vitamin-rich peaches and orange juice.
5. SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADD-ONS
Adding special ingredients to your energy-boosting smoothie can enhance flavor, texture or even the nutritional value. Consider this classic Strawberry Banana Smoothie. It only has four ingredients but the Reddi-wip® topping gives it a decadent finishing touch! Unexpected additions like MCT oil or avocado can also be included for extra energy or creaminess.
Here are some other often overlooked ingredients you might like to try:
- Tofu: For protein and creaminess
- Coconut or MCT oil: You've gotta love those healthy fats!
- Oatmeal: It adds thickness and will help you feel full, and it contains magnesium and iron.
- Cayenne pepper: It'll give your citrus or chocolate-y smoothie a little kick! Try it in this Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie. For a healthy breakfast idea, substitute plain yogurt and raw cacao for the Snack Pack chocolate pudding, which also provides the added health benefit of magnesium, iron, and antioxidants.
If you’re concerned with overloading your favorite smoothie with new ingredients, start by adding a little bit at a time. Taste it as you go to find the right mix. And who knows? You may discover a new taste sensation! Just keep creating and have fun!