The Perfect Smoothie Formula

My mamas ask me regularly if I have any good smoothie recipes. ‘Good’ is a pretty subjective term. Do my smoothies taste like Booster Juice? No. Do they have any juice in them? Not exactly. Extra sweeteners like maple syrup? Again, that’s a no. Healthy-ish? Definitely. Satisfying? Yes. P’s and N’s? You bet.

I don’t use recipes, so much as a formula for my everyday smoothie. They’re not the same every day, but pretty close, because I want smoothie packed with P’s and N’s (protein, produce and nutrient dense foods) vs. making a McDonalds style smoothie that’s basically a juicy milkshake: tons of sugar, low in protein and lots of processed ingredients. Although I’m sure it’s delicious, will leave us hungry and with cravings soon after.

My formula is pretty similar to this infographic by Precision Nutrition. I blend mine using a Blendtech, but any reasonably powerful blender will do the trick. There are basically 6 Components:

Liquid: I tend to use water and ice. Some people like milk or almond milk or other milk substitutes. I use around 4oz. of liquid per person, but you can always add more if you want it to be softer.

Protein: The key to picking a protein is A) Do you like the way it tastes? B) Do you digest it well or does it give you a stomach ache? C) Does it actually contain a reasonable amount of protein? I prefer a plain New Zealand Whey protein with 25 grams of protein per serving. I know that some people are nervous about using protein powders or they prefer to eat ‘real foods’ as opposed to the powders.  A good option here would be Greek Yogurt, which also has lots of protein. I use a combination of both: 1 scoop of protein and about a quarter of a cup of plain Greek Yogurt. I choose a non-fat yogurt for the smoothie because I add extra fat with other ingredients.

Veggie: You can really choose your own adventure here: dark leafy greens, carrots, beets, cucumbers. Most days I default to a handful or two of spinach or kale mostly because I buy them pre-washed so there’s no effort involved! If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you know I default to some lazy tendencies 😉

Fruit: Again, you can choose what you like here. You can use fresh or frozen. I wouldn’t even worry about which fruits are high in sugar (like mango or cherries) and which are low (like berries) as long as you’re not putting a crazy amount of fruit in the smoothie. A general rule of thumb would be 1 – 2 handfuls of fruit. Most days I use half a frozen banana and about a quarter cup of blueberries. Sometimes I use pineapple, mango or cherries instead.  It just depends on what I’m in the mood for and what I have on hand.

Fat: Yum. This is the best part: nuts, nut butters or seeds. I’m a big fan of the creaminess of almond butter.  I also use shredded, unsweetened coconut sometimes. The quantity here is about 1-2 thumbs or small teaspoons.

Flavouring: This is a good time to experiment. You could try anything from vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa to cardamom or a sprinkle of coconut.

The bottom line here is the proportions. If your goal is a healthy-ish smoothie that’s satisfying and nutrient dense, don’t go crazy on the sweet things and keep the proportions in mind. I’d love hear what combos you guys come up with. Drop me a line to let me know. Happy blending!  xo J

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