Having a delicious, creamy smoothie for breakfast is a great way to pack in your nutritional needs for the day, but many smoothies are not as clean or green as you might think!
With vegan smoothie options available at your local brunch stop, grocery store juice bar, or Starbucks, it can be tempting to think all smoothies are created equal. In reality, many of these smoothies are loaded with sugar from excess fruit and filler ingredients. These smoothies won’t keep you full until lunch time, and may actually be causing more harm than good.
I decided to break down the nutritional components of smoothies and create versatile base for the Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Smoothie that can be tweaked as needed. It’s easy to memorize, so you’ll always have the ability to create variety in your own diet without needing to spend extra money or worry what sugary additives might be hiding in a purchased smoothie.
The Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Smoothie Breakdown
Have you ever made yourself a giant fruit smoothie (or bought one at brunch with friends), only to feel hungry a few hours (or less!) later? If so, you might wonder how a smoothie could be a sustainable breakfast option. Here are five key smoothie ingredients to stave off hunger and keep you satisfied until lunch time:
While fat tends to get a bad rap in our culture, healthy fats are actually vital to certain functions in your body, like absorbing certain vitamins or regulating your hormones! Fat consumption also releases leptin, your “I-feel-full” hormone, so you won’t be tempted to reach for a bag of chips before your next meal. Clean, healthy options to toss into a smoothie include avocado, coconut oil or coconut butter, nut butters, and MCT oil.
Beyond building muscles, which is what it’s best known for, protein is responsible for transporting oxygen and nutrients throughout the body and supporting the immune system. Like fat, protein also contributes to satiety, meaning you feel full after eating a meal with healthy protein and are less likely to snack. A clean, plant-based protein is nice to have on hand, or you can add a few tablespoons of your favorite nut butter.
Unlike fat and protein, Fiber is not digested in the body. Instead, it’s main function is to help with digestion and regulate blood sugar levels, as fiber has been shown to slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, flaxseed, other seeds and nuts-all great smoothie additions!
You might be balking at the idea of adding vegetables to your smoothie, but vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, or beets are an excellent way to increase the fiber and nutritional content of your smoothie without adding all the sugar that comes with fruit! If you do add fruit, just be sure to limit yourself to ¼ -½ cup to avoid a blood sugar spike and crash a few hours later. Another yummy and clean option is to throw a handful of greens like romaine lettuce, kale, or herbs into the mix!
Liquid of choice:
I like to include a vegan milk as my smoothie base, but you could also start with water or a green juice (just look out for added sweeteners). To keep your blender running smoothly, you’ll likely need at least 1-1 ½ cups of liquid, but you can play with this amount depending on the consistency you’re looking for. Oat milk, Flax milk, or other nut milks are a great place to start.
The recipe below is a base recipe that’s intended to be versatile, while meeting your basic nutritional needs for breakfast. Customize the recipe to your liking by swapping out the banana with fresh or frozen blueberries, grated carrots, a handful of spinach. Or try adding some superfoods or spices, as desired, such as bee pollen, collagen, your favorite granola (try this clean homemade version!), or chia seeds.
Ultimate Vegan Breakfast Smoothie
- 1.5 cups almond milk or vegan milk of choice
- 1 scoop protein powder choose a plant-based protein, like Nutiva
- 1 tbsp MCT oil or coconut butter
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1/2 banana
- Layer your ingredients in a high-speed blender, starting with the almond milk to make blending easy.
- Add the rest of your ingredients except for the ice and blend on medium-high speed, scraping the sides as needed, until blended to desired consistency.
- Add the ice cubes or additional liquid as needed. Serve immediately!