7 Power Smoothies for a Healthy Start
Do you own a really good blender? Then it’s time you consider adding a power smoothie to your daily routine. Power smoothies are not your average banana-strawberry concoctions. Instead, the emphasis is on combining ingredients high in specific nutrients so you can sip your way to more energy and sneak in vegetables, protein, or whatever else your diet needs that day. Check out these seven recipes to get your started on your power-smoothie routine.
1. Green Smoothie
According to the National Institutes of Health, most Americans do not get enough calcium. Adults should get 1,000 milligrams of calcium every day, and this green smoothie from All Recipes will bring you a little closer to that goal. Two cups of kale are about 20 percent of your daily needs, and the milk adds about 7 percent.
- 1 banana, thickly sliced, frozen
- 2 cups chopped kale
- 1 tablespoon flax seed meal (optional)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
- ¼ cup milk
- ⅓ cup orange juice
Directions: Place the banana, kale, flax seed meal, and coconut oil into a blender; pour in the milk and orange juice. Cover and puree until smooth; serve.
2. Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie
Use Greek yogurt to really get the maximum benefits from Kitchen Treaty’s recipe – switching from regular yogurt could give you 11 grams of protein compared to about 6 grams with non-Greek yogurt. Blueberries bring a strong dose of antioxidants, and the rolled oats have 4 grams of fiber. Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, said on WebMD that she tries to have 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein to get the morning started on the right foot. The yogurt doubles this for the protein, and the half a banana pushes the fiber to over 5 grams.
- ½ medium frozen banana
- ½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- ½ cup vanilla yogurt
- ½ cup milk
Directions: Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a glass and serve with a straw.
3. Blueberry, avocado, and spinach smoothie
Spinach? Avocado? In a smoothie? You better believe it. It’s an unusual combination of ingredients, but as A Healthy Life for Me shows, the result is a drink packed with antioxidants and nutrients. Avocados are associated with being high in fat, but the fats present contain anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, if you can’t stand carrots and turn green at the at the thought of orange vegetables, you’re in luck with avocados, because they are high in carotenoids.
- 1 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves
- 1 cup almond-coconut milk (you can use just coconut or just almond)
- ½ ripe avocado, skinned and pitted
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 scoop chocolate or vanilla protein powder (optional)
- ½ fresh ice
Directions: Place all ingredients in blender and puree. Serve in glass and garnish with a few fresh blueberries if desired.
4. Spinach, kiwi, and chia seed smoothie
Chia seeds are a great addition to almost any smoothie because their nutty but mild flavor will enhance most recipes. On top of that, they are healthy! Two tablespoons have around 11 grams of fiber, and chia seeds have a high concentration of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, and calcium. Your day will be off to a sweet, healthy start when you drink this smoothie from Joy the Baker.
- 1½ cups almond milk, cold
- 1½ cups packed baby spinach leaves
- 1 banana, cut into chunks and frozen
- 1 ripe kiwi, peeled, cut into chunks
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons wheat grass powder
- ½ to 1 teaspoon maca powder
Directions: In a blender, combine almond milk, spinach leaves, frozen banana chunks, and kiwi chunks. Add some of the awesome extras if you’re so inclined. Blend until smooth. Enjoy immediately.
5. Apple-almond-flax smoothie
Almond butter gives you a pinch of protein, but the real stars are the flaxseeds, which are high in antioxidants, omega-3s, and other nutrients. The almond butter and cinnamon will pair well with the apple, and there are plenty of reasons to get an apple a day. Apples help regulate blood sugar, and regularly eating them can help lower cholesterol — so get your daily does with She Knows’ recipe.
- 1 large apple, cut into small pieces
- ½ frozen banana
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup coconut milk
- handful of kale (optional)
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth and enjoy immediately.
6. Green Power Juice
A Tasty Love Story’s Green Power Juice is not for the faint of heart, or people without a high-power blender or juicer. But don’t let the ingredients daunt you! The recipe yields two glasses, so take on the challenge with a health-conscious friend. You’ll both get a shot of energy, so drink it after a workout or to prepare for a long day. Manganese and copper are found in almonds – they are nutrients that help the body produce energy. Zucchini is a good banana alternative for adding potassium to your diet. Potassium is particularly important for people who work out. Colorado State University explains that if you don’t replace potassium levels after a long workout, you might lose too many fluids and experience muscle cramping.
- 1 big broccoli stock, or 2 smaller stocks
- ½ zucchini
- ½ cucumber
- 4 to 6 apples: depends on size and need for sweetness
- ¼ to ½ lemon
- 1 avocado
- 15 almonds
- ice cubes
Directions: Place broccoli stock, zucchini, cucumber, and ¼ lemon in the juicer and press start. Then add 4 apples. Taste and add more apples and lemon if necessary. It’s OK if the juice semi-sweet and just a bit sour, because the avocado and almonds will need a little power in order to get the perfect balance. Add juice to a blender with avocado meat and almonds. Blend until all almonds are dissolved. Pour into glasses and serve with a few ice cubes.
7. Collard greens
Trying a detox and already bored of the usual ingredients you see? Then a smoothie stuffed with collards, like the one Real Simple made, is the way to go. The leafy green vegetable has four specific glucosinolates — glucoraphanin, sinigrin, gluconasturtiin, and glucotropaeolin — which support the body’s detox and anti-inflammatory systems. On top of that, collards are high in vitamins K, A, and C, as well as fiber, calcium, and manganese.
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups stemmed and chopped collard greens or spinach
- 1 ½ cups frozen mango
- 1 cup green grapes
Directions: Combine the lime juice, ½ cup water, collard greens, mango, and grapes in a blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute, adding more water to reach the desired consistency.