'Can't Live Withouts': Smoothie Ingredients

Jamie's avocado inspired smoothie
Our first edition of "Can't Live Withouts" was on our favorite health foods.  This time around we chose to showcase our favorite smoothie recipes which have taken us each countless hours to perfect--or in Christine's case, countless hours of failure...fish oil...in a smoothie?
Any special ingredient you add to your smoothie? Leave a comment! Continue reading for each of our own personal favorites.

Jamie's Smoothie
  • Almond milk
  • 1 tsp Matcha green tea
  • Honey (as needed)
  • 1 avocado
  • Baby spinach
  • Frozen mango
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed (heaping)
  • 1 scoop Vega Smoothie Infusion Mix
  • Half a scoop of Cyto-Matrix Provitalex pure whey protein  
  • Water and ice
I use the avocado for creaminess, the flax seed to keep me regular and the Vega and Cyto-Matrix mixes for that extra hit of greens and protein. This may seem like a lot of ingredients, but it works! You may as well get the most bang for your buck and make a smoothie with as many great healthy things as you can. I usually fill up my blender cup (Cuisinart smoothie blender) with all the ingredients then fill it half way with almond milk and the rest with water. Never use both banana and avocado together as a thickening agent, it makes the consistency of the smoothie very jello-y. Enjoy!

Nadia’s Smoothie
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • 1 banana
  • 2 big handfuls of baby spinach
  • Greens+ Transform protein powder (vanilla)
  • ½ cup yogurt
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbs matcha
I try to go for fruits and veggies with high antioxidant content and whey protein to keep me fuller in the day for longer.  I particularly am fond of putting baby spinach in my smoothie because it’s such a great way of increasing your dark leafy green intake, and you can’t even taste it AT ALL.  Honestly a good friend of mine showed me this trick and I had to try it for myself to believe it, but once I did, I was hooked.  The addition of the matcha increases the antioxidant content three-fold as well as giving it that great caffeine kick I need to wake up in the morning.  The Greens+ protein is one I’ve been using for years; I love the blend of phytonutrients and the flavour.  Finally, the yogurt and banana make it super smooth, and VERY tasty.  This smoothie will have you going well into the afternoon! YUM!

Kate's Smoothie
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries 
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon lecithin 
  • 1/2 scoop of unflavored Absolute Vegetarian protein powder
For me taste is key. If I can taste the protein or any other added ingredient besides fruit and deliciousness then I will not enjoy my smoothie. I find coconut milk really makes it creamy and sweet without added sugar and it has quite a low calorie content (45 per cup). Lecithin contains phosphatidyl choline and is obtained mostly from vegetable sources, most commonly soybeans. It has been shown to promote healthy hair and skin, cardiovascular health, physical performance and muscle endurance as well as aid in fat metabolism. I could not make the 'perfect' smoothie without my Vitamix and I highly recommend everyone invests in one! I make a smoothie everyday no matter the temperature as my days feel incomplete without it. 

Christine's Smoothie (Mishaps...)
While my friends maintain their smoothie drinking habits throughout the year, I find it a bit too cold for me in these Canadian winters to keep drinking smoothies for breakfast.  I find that since I drink my smoothie on the car ride to school, it is nearly impossible for me to warm up until half way into the day. So, instead of writing about what delicious and/or nutritious things I put in my smoothies, I decided to write about my smoothie fails.  Here are a few things I have experimented with in smoothies and have determined are not smoothie-worthy:
  • Fish oil:  Yes, I know what you’re thinking…But I reasoned that since I don’t love the feeling of oil in my mouth, I would be better off to blend it into my smoothie with the hope that it would be masked by other things.  WRONG! My fish oil has a slight lemon taste to it and it ruined my smoothie completely.   I only tried it once, and that was all I needed. However, if you have been following our blog, you know that we generally LOVE fish oil! Check out James' post on omega-3s and our post on our favorite supplements for more information.
  • Baby carrots (and I would assume regular-sized carrots): While great on their own, raw baby carrots do not blend well.  With the addition of raw carrots, my smoothie became quite chunky and unfortunately I was chewing a lot more than sipping.  The carrots really only affected the texture so if you’re into chewing your smoothie then feel free to add carrots and reap the health benefits!
  •  Flaxseed (unground):  Again, it was well intentioned but drinking your smoothie becomes a lot more labor intensive with unground flaxseeds.  Plus, it becomes much more difficult for your body to digest them, so the effort is a bit wasted.
Try experimenting with your smoothie and testing out different ingredients - just make sure YOU enjoy the way your smoothie tastes! No one wants to eat something they do not enjoy! 

Good luck!
We would love to hear about your successes and failures. 
The An Avocado A Day team! 


Lindsay said...

I love to put spinach in my smoothies. I have also put pumpkin purée in my smoothie, pour into a bowl and top with granola! It's delicious!

Christine Cho said...

Sounds amazing! Maybe some cinnamon on top would put it over the edge :)

Alex said...

Ginger is great - almond butter works too!

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