Healthy smoothie suggestions please.
September 12, 2009 2:16 PM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions for nutritionally well-balanced smoothies that can replace meals.

During the week, I'm too tired after work to cook a proper meal so I figured a good smoothie could do the trick. I just don't know where to start. Since it will be replacing a meal, what things should I add to it to get optimal nutrition? A friend of mine suggested wheat grass, but I have no experience with that. I do not use dairy or any other animal products. Thanks!
posted by MaryDellamorte to Food & Drink (24 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
Soy powder, soy milk, bananas, strawberries.
posted by dfriedman at 2:23 PM on September 12, 2009

My meal skipper smoothie is OJ,Banana,a bit of flax seed oil, some blue berries, quick oats and a dairy based protean powder but you could use rice or soy based powder as well. The quick oats and the protean together are there to make a nice slow digestion of the carbs so that it's not just a sugar bomb.
posted by jade east at 2:27 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]

I use smoothies as meals all the time. Here is my favorite recipe. I adapted this from The Fat Flush Diet by Louise Gittelman.

I scoop Plant Protein powder (I get it at Sunflower Market and it's purely vegan with all the amino acids).

As many frozen strawberries as you like

Enough orange or other fruit juice to just cover the strawberries

One generous tablespoon of flaxseed oil (I prefer Barleans with lignans)

Blend until smooth and enjoy. It keeps me full til lunch.
posted by xenophile at 2:29 PM on September 12, 2009

Jade east beat me to it. I roll with whey protein. Oh, and I always include frozen strawberries.
posted by cachondeo45 at 2:30 PM on September 12, 2009

Chick peas. I kid you not.

Inspired by the many calls to just experiment with my new juicer in this post, I one day decided to mix (canned) chick peas and strawberries. It was damn delicious I tell you. Like a creamy strawberry magical elixer. The chick pea taste was virtually non-existent.

Since this incident, I have added it to various juicing and smoothie endeavors. In a smoothie, you'll retain the protein and fiber from the almighty chick pea, which will help keep your stomach feeling full. With berries, it's like a creamy (but not overly thick) milkshake (without the milk). Seriously - chick peas don't have a lot of flavor, but they are quite healthy. If you mix it with bold flavors, you'll forget that you even added it to your smoothie concoctions. I know, it totally sounds gross, but don't diss it until you try it at least once!
posted by raztaj at 2:47 PM on September 12, 2009 [21 favorites]

Response by poster: I like chickpeas a lot so that suggestion is definitely something I'll try, I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to trying new things. I already have some flaxseed oil, but I guess I'll have to invest in some plant-based protein powder.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:06 PM on September 12, 2009

Protein powder, bananas, and milk (in your case, whatever vegan milk substitute you like) are a pretty good universal smoothie foundation.

Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies; you don't even need to thaw it out. If you live near a Trader Joe's, they have a fantastic selection of inexpensive frozen fruits - grab one bag each of everything and have fun experimenting.

I totally love this peanut butter shake recipe with protein powder added, though it's on the sweet side. Just substitute soy milk for milk and agave nectar for honey (or just skip it entirely, it gets pretty sweet) and maybe add extra banana.

I've also recently discovered that, if you don't want to bother with the blender, protein powder mixed into an iced latte works pretty well in a pinch.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:16 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I rarely visit the Trader Joe's next to the Whole Foods I go to every week. I will make an exception this weekend and pick up some frozen fruits, thanks for the suggestion. Has anyone tried putting nuts in their smoothies?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:21 PM on September 12, 2009

I haven't tried nuts, but I like oatmeal in a fruit smoothie. It's hit or miss among others.
posted by ignignokt at 3:26 PM on September 12, 2009

I've used almonds and almond powder in my smoothies. The powder was much smoother, of course. Both were delicious. (A smidgeon of almond oil on top of that made it that much better.)
posted by moira at 3:27 PM on September 12, 2009

Walnuts and almonds are both great in smoothies.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 4:17 PM on September 12, 2009

Almond butter is good in smoothies. Especially with bananas.
posted by corey flood at 4:25 PM on September 12, 2009

An AskMe search on smoothie kale or "smoothie green" will show you several people swearing by adding fresh or frozen kale or spinach to their recipes with added nutrition and little difference in flavour. See also this thread.
posted by maudlin at 4:40 PM on September 12, 2009 [4 favorites]

You can toss in raw almonds at the last minute and stop before they are completely blended so they are in chunks like a Dairy Queen Blizzard. I like this, and it makes me slow down a little while drinking since I need to chew.

Cashews practically dissolve, and are good with yogurt.

I think nuts (or oil, I guess) are extremely important since although fruit is good for you, it is a big shot of sugar. Nuts help balance that out some with fat, a more stable source of energy. I don't think oats, protein powders, or chickpeas will fill that role.
posted by samsm at 5:04 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Whoops, missed the vegan thing. Most of that is still relevant.
posted by samsm at 5:06 PM on September 12, 2009

Silken tofu is good in smoothies. Quite a few of the smoothie recipes from EatingWell use it.
posted by amarynth at 5:15 PM on September 12, 2009

My smoothie is usually frozen mango chunks, flax seed, a banana, water, and spinach. It helps if you have a vita-mix for this type of smoothie. You can substitute an apple or blueberries or any fruit you like if you don't like banana or mango. I try to stay around 50% green and 50% fruit. Spinach has a lot of protein, but if you want to add another protein source, there's nothing wrong with that. Some people prefer less green or less fruit. Customize it to your taste.
posted by aperture_priority at 5:27 PM on September 12, 2009

I was going to post a peanut butter banana smoothie, but see above. I always through in a scoop of protein powder and freeze the banana. Add a 1/4 c of oatmeal, too, if you'd like. I've been having this for breakfast everyday. Fabulous.
posted by purenitrous at 6:15 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

if chick peas work, I bet beans would work too - I feel like they have even less of a flavor, plus a lot of asian desserts have red bean paste in them, so it goes well with sugar. Just rinse them well if using from a can, or just boil a bunch - it takes a few hours but you'll have a stock you can use all weel.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 8:06 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

Wheat germ blends in easily. Buy a bag of raw and keep in the fridge with a clothespin to seal, or buy it toasted and you don't have to refrigerate. Great source of fiber, B-vitains, folic acid and several minerals.

Wheat germ, flax seed, yogourt and peanut butter are my must-haves.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:33 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

weel? week*
posted by KateHasQuestions at 9:39 AM on September 13, 2009

If you like your smoothies sweet, use blackstrap molasses to sweeten them. Although the taste may take some adjusting to, it is a phenomenal source of iron. A very good idea if you're vegan.

Another good addition: nutritional yeast. I actually like the flavor, but it's relatively mild and doesn't clash with most other flavors, and gives you a bunch of B vitamins that are pretty lacking in vegetarian diets.

Frozen banana actually thickens the smoothie to a texture like ice cream or gelato. Make sure to peel and cut up the banana before freezing.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:26 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Whatever you blend, add 1-2 leaves of swiss chard to it. Instant green vegetable + antioxidants, and you won't taste it against whatever else is in the blender. You can probably get away with some very soft silken tofu - another thing that you won't taste against everything. Just add it late in the blending. You want to mix it, not destroy it.

Another tip: have some good bread alongside your smoothie. It'll give your stomach more to work on, and you'll get some carbs and vitamins that way. Hopefully, you have a good boulanger near your house, where you can get a vegan-compliant baguette.
posted by Citrus at 8:34 AM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

I know I'm late to the party here, but here's the smoothie that is basically my breakfast every morning:

1 1/2 cup soy milk
1 banana
a big handful of raw spinach
1 scoop ground flax seed (I get this from Costco)
1 scoop brown rice/hemp seed protein powder (see below)
2/3 cup frozen fruit mix with mango, papaya, pineapple, strawberry (from Costco as well)
1/3 cup rolled oats (uncooked)
1/3 cup cooked quinoa

I eyeball the amounts, and I drink it pretty thick. This makes about 24 ounces or so for me, so you might need to experiment with amounts. The spinach has very little effect on the flavor and I know I'm getting a good dose of greens in the morning.

I get the protein powder from True Protein, who have a good selection of powders and allow you to make custom blends at very reasonable prices. They have several vegan options. I highly recommend them.
posted by pahool at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2009

« Older Present that will last forever?   |   How to express condolences with estranged neighbor... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.