I’ve hit a wall recently with my yogurt and granola breakfast. It’s probably because of the weather change. Granola just seems like a fall and winter type food. However, my stomach is infinitely happier if I eat yogurt and its probiotics on a regular basis. So I went in search of something that could pack a big, nutritious punch, but would also incorporate my daily yogurt.
Enter the smoothie.
Can we take a moment to appreciate the ease and versatility of the smoothie? You can make straight fruit smoothies, green smoothies, chocolate smoothies; sweet, savory, creamy or not. And how about all of the things one can add to a smoothie? Chia, flax, protein, fiber, nut butters… And some less-than-tasty things are easily masked by the thick richness of a smoothie.
I usually prefer fruit smoothies. Something about chocolate, peanut butter, and banana just doesn’t do it for me. That’s more like a milkshake in my mind. But I can imagine that protein powder works better with those flavor combos, so you do you. As a vegan, I prefer to get my protein in other ways, which is why I add a lot of hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax meal, and sometimes add almond butter if I need the extra boost.
On the topic of protein, specifically as everyone seems so concerned that vegans don’t get enough, let’s do a quick breakdown on this smoothie recipe. The Dietary Reference Intakes suggest 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily. This roughly calculates to 56 grams for a non-active male, and 46 grams for a non-active female (ME!). So I figure I need about 46 grams of protein per day. That’s actually not a lot. So in this smoothie we have:
Silk Almond Milk Yogurt: 5 grams per 5.3oz container.
Ground chia seeds: 4.7 grams per oz/2 Tbsp.
Flax seed meal: 1.3 grams per Tbsp.
Hemp hearts: 15 grams per 1/4 cup.
So that’s about 26 grams of protein in this smoothie from just those ingredients. The quantities are about what I use in this smoothie too, which is convenient. But then you have to factor in the fruit.
Blueberries: 1.1 grams per cup.
Bananas: 1.3 grams per medium banana.
Pomegranate arils: 1.5 grams per half cup.
So we maybe get 1-2 grams from the fruit blend I use. That’s over half of my daily protein in one plant-based meal. And if you need more protein for your lifestyle, you could easily add some protein powder if you needed. Another food I eat a lot of, though not in combo with this smoothie, is walnuts, which have 12 grams of protein per cup. I eat these by themselves, or on top of salads. With the additional gram or two here and there in my zucchini, bell peppers, and other veggies, plus the additional hemp hearts I use as a garnish for everything, I am getting more than the recommended daily amount of protein.
Take that haters.
As always, it is important to know yourself and do your research. What works for me and my lifestyle may not work for you and yours. But as you can see, a quick Google search and some basic math is all it takes to ensure you are eating enough of the nutrients your body needs.
Ok, I’ll put my soap box away now. Just make this smoothie and enjoy.
1 container of plant based yogurt
1 cup of frozen fruit – I use a blend of blueberries, bananas, and pomegranate
1/2 cup of plant based milk, or more if needed (chia seeds act as a thickening agent)
1 Tbsp flax seed meal
2 Tbsp ground chia seeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1 Tbps ground cinnamon, more if you are crazy like me, or less if you aren’t
1 tsp ground ginger
1-2 Tbsp pure maple syrup, to your own desired sweetness
Optional: a few drops of an essential oil blend for gut health
Add all ingredients to a blender/Ninja and blend until smooth. I go a little extra long so the pomegranate seeds are extra broken down.
Hello! I’m Whitney and this is my home for all things food and life.