Peanut butter, banana and a few splashes of milk (at the most basic level) is all you really need to create a nutritious smoothie. It provides a rich dose of potassium, protein and calcium all in a few little sips. However, in a superfood smoothie-crazed world, that doesn't quite cut it anymore.
Even the Jamba Juices, Tropical Smoothies and (NYC cult favorite) Juice Presses of the world have nothing on the kinds of smoothies that wellness bloggers and health nuts are whipping up these days. I mean come on, a Cashew Cookie Smoothie? Get outttt.
Alright, I may take that back about Juice Press. They're kinda killin' it these days, especially with smoothie names like F*%K Money Get Minty and Harvey Wallbanger With The Works.
If you were to peek my pantry and fridge at this very second, you'd find an overwhelming number of smoothie ingredients in there. Why so many? Well, considering that the nut butter aisle, non-dairy milk options and superfood section of stores are stocked up to the nines, then of course I want a little bit of everything to toss into that blender. I find a lot of joy and pleasure in putting a twist on every smoothie that I make. It keeps things interesting, especially if you toss some maca in there. Catch my drift, ladies?
With all of those superfood buzz words swirling around along with the overwhelming amount of choices that are (thankfully) now available at grocery stores, I've been able to spend some quality time concocting morning smoothies and am happy to share what I feel covers off on the modern gal's smoothie essentials (hint: yes, maca).
So carve out a corner of your pantry and free a shelf on that fridge of yours and get to stocking up on these top-notch smoothie essentials. And I mean get crazy. May as well pack that thing with all the good things so that you can power through your morning with an abundance of healthy energy and a well-nourished brain.
First things first.
A nut butter that is not peanut butter. Some of my favorites include sunflower seed butter, cashew butter and JEM Raw's entire line of sprouted nut butters. I also highly recommend making your own at home. The process itself is very rewarding and it's a way to include whatever flavors and nut varieties that you like! I fancy this Super Butter (supah buttah!) because you get a little bit of everything in just one (or a few) tablespoons.
Dairy-free milks. Your digestion and skin will thank you. Dairy causes inflammation that can mess with your digestive track and cause discomfort, not to mention that you may witness some acne flare-ups. Ditch the dairy for a week or two and notice if you feel a difference. It was a game-changer for me once I discovered that it was a culprit of skin issues and severe stomach pains. Some of my favorites: Silk Cashew Milk, Califia Farms Almond Milk and this line of dairy-free yogurt drinks. The latter of these three brands is very tummy friendly thanks to the healthy dose of probiotics and it definitely thickens up smoothies a little, if you're into that.
Plant-based protein powders. There are too many out there that taste like chalk, have hidden and unkind ingredients or come with unnecessary post-sip bloat. Plant-based proteins are the way to go, and I favor ALOHA's new protein powders that come in both chocolate and vanilla flavor. They're loaded with 18 grams of plant-based protein, including hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds and pea as a base. No chemicals, fillers, artificial sweeteners, or “natural” flavors. Very pure, very delicious, very dreamy. (Purchase some today with code ANDBEWELL to receive 20% off.)
Cacao powder. And no, not the cocoa powder mixes that you make hot chocolate with, but pure, raw cacao powder. It's a saving grace during that time of the month thanks to its high dose of magnesium. Not to mention that it can boost your mood and cut those sugar cravings right in half. I've found that it blends well with a simple smoothie consisting of wild blueberries, cashew butter, vanilla protein powder and non-dairy milk. See what I did there?
Maca. A little bit of this potent root goes a long way in providing natural energy and balance hormones. And, they call it a libido enhancer for a reason. Be mindful about how often and how much you consume. 1-2 tsp in your smoothie a few times a week is plenty.
Spirulina. It's extremely detoxifying and a source of complete protein. And when I say that a little bit goes a long way, I really mean it here. Sprinkle a tad into your smoothies (especially with spinach) to create a beautiful green concoction. Bonus: add just a bit to your face masks. It further purges toxins and leaves you with smooth, radiant skin.
Raw Honey. It's the best possible way to add natural sweetness and is very anti-inflammatory and soothing. I've been using Manuka Honey lately and absolutely love it. You can even find it on shelves at Trader Joe's, which is pretty awesome to me. I just love how the access to quality health products is continuing to improve over time.
Bee pollen. Speaking of honey, these little yellow superfood sprinkles (at least as I like to call them) is having a moment. It's mineral dense, alkalizing and a complete, essential protein. Not to mention that it's high in vitamin B to help combat acne and wrinkles. Just a small sprinkle on top of any smoothie will do the trick!
So now that you've got the essentials down, you might be wondering how to bring it all together? I've rounded up a few of my favorite smoothie combinations below, including seasonal favorites (like pumpkin and apple spice) to a favorite of mine that helps kick the (Monday) blues right in the rear.
And in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, make a PINK smoothie bowl! While I am not particularly a fan of the color pink, I'll get behind anything that supports the ta-tas.
Sip well, beauties.