Breakfast smoothie!
August 4, 2011 6:40 AM   Subscribe

Help me make the best and most nutritious breakfast smoothie? (Gluten-free)

I recently found out I have an allergy to gluten. So in my quest to find new and healthier foods to eat for my new lifestyle I have gotten really into breakfast smoothies!

Currently, for a 1 person 16 oz smoothie I'm using 1 banana, 1 apple, some Stonyfield French Vanilla yogurt, a little milk, frozen mixed berries, and some protein powder. I really enjoy it and it tastes great considering I don't like bananas and have never had them before this.

However, I would like everyone to chime in on all aspects of this smoothie and suggestions for other types of smoothies. Some questions include:

1. Is this smoothie sufficient for breakfast? Meaning I don't need to eat anything else.

2. Should I be eating even more fruit after this during the day or is this enough?

3. Are there any other ingredients you can suggest to improve the nutrition aspect of this smoothie (allergic to flax seed possibly)?

4. Is it possible to eat too much fruit?

5. I've been told I need some fat to help digest the fruit, is the milk and yogurt sufficient for this?

I've always had a very hard time being interested in eating fruit, so I'm finding this a great way to actually eat some healthy fruits.
posted by modoriculous to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
That sounds like an overly sweet smoothie to me. I'd use plain greek yogurt instead of the sweetened-flavored one, and add some chopped up kale and flax oil (if it turns out that you're not allergic). A handful of walnuts would be good too.
posted by headnsouth at 6:52 AM on August 4, 2011

My comment looks unclear, I don't recommend walnuts in the smoothie, just a handful to nibble on in addition.
posted by headnsouth at 6:55 AM on August 4, 2011

Ahh okay, I'm allergic to peanuts and possibly other nuts, still waiting, so I'll have to see.
posted by modoriculous at 6:56 AM on August 4, 2011

4. Yes, easily. Sugary fruits can wreak havoc on calorie/carb counting.
posted by unixrat at 7:13 AM on August 4, 2011

I usually add one or two Ts of sunflower seed butter to my smoothies (trader joe's brand).
posted by quodlibet at 7:37 AM on August 4, 2011

I like to add a scoop of Trader Joe's Super Green (or is it Mega Green) powder. It's got alfalfa, wheatgrass, barley, and a bunch of antioxidants. I taste no difference in my smoothie when I use this vs. when I don't. I also add flax seed oil for the omega 3, but you said you might be allergic.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 7:47 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

That sounds like a good smoothie to me, although I've never done one with apple before. I agree that you should go for a Greek style yogurt, as they tend to be not as sweet and higher in protein.
If you're looking to change up the flavors now and again, I can recommend adding pineapple and strawberries to your banana and dairy combo. It's my current favorite. If you use fresh strawberries, don't bother taking the hull and leaves off. They give you extra vitamin-y goodness and fiber, and you really can't taste them once you blend it all together.

I've also heard of adding spinach and other dark leafy greens to your sweet fruit mixture.

I agree that it is possible to have too much fruit in one day, but I don't think that one smoothie with the amounts of fruit you listed reaches that limit. I am not a nutritionist, but I think you should try to incorporate a little more fruit into your diet. You don't mention if you get enough veggies during the day, but that would of course help, too.
posted by purpletangerine at 7:47 AM on August 4, 2011

3. Are there any other ingredients you can suggest to improve the nutrition aspect of this smoothie

I've also been making a lot of banana-and-mixed-berry smoothies, and I add frozen kale.

People in another thread have recommended chickpeas (garbanzo beans).

I agree with others that you don't need vanilla yogurt in a smoothie that's already sweetened by the fruit.
posted by John Cohen at 8:11 AM on August 4, 2011

I agree that you should go for a Greek style yogurt

Agreed. And to be clear, this is not just a yogurt that has Greek-looking lettering on the side but yogurt that has low-fat and high protein in it will give you the most nutrition without the other stuff. I'm not sure if your goal here is just fuit/breakfast based or if you're also on a health weight loss thing, but my only suggestion is that yeah, this looks a little sweet. Stonyfield yogurt is delicious but relatively high calorie. Nothing wrong with that unless you're counting calories. The milk will be fine with the fruit and I hadn't heard the "you need some fat to digest the fruit" thing, though I am not a nutritionist.

You'll know you're eating too much fruit if your poop gets runny but generally speaking except for watching your sugar, eating fruit is pretty good for you especially like this. Other things that are good in smoothies

- you can add a dash of vanilla to get the vanilla flavor
- I put maple syrup in mine
- you can cut up a whole melon and put chunks in the freezer and toss into smoothies as needed. This is good for a chilled smoothie and saves on prep work, same for frozen blueberries
- I really like wheat grass type stuff but this is not for everyone
posted by jessamyn at 8:19 AM on August 4, 2011

Awesome feedback so far. I will definitely go get some Greek yogurt asap, probably try kale, and maybe even do some spinach. I would have liked to try the Trader Joes Mega Green because I've heard great things about the ingredients you mention but I'm also allergic to barley. I'm in fact allergic to a lot of things hence the trying to figure out my diet thing.

I do eat a good amount of vegetables. I try and have a salad of spinach and arugula, with brocollini, onions, corn, and carrots just about every day for lunch. Typically vegetables are always included in the dinners we make at home too. I wish I was a nutritionist or knew one, so much information to learn!
posted by modoriculous at 8:31 AM on August 4, 2011

Definitely put in some greens. My usual smoothie is about half a cup of frozen berries, a cup of fresh pineapple, half a cup of unsweetened yogurt, a scoop of protein powder, a little milk, some ice cubes, and 3-5 cups of baby spinach. Blend (adding some water if too thick as us) and you'll get about 3-4 one cup servings of a dark green smoothie that tastes like pineapple, not spinach.

Flax or chickpeas sound like good experiments, but add just a little to start. I wouldn't add oil directly to the shake, but a shot of Carlson's lemon fish oil before your smoothie wil taste like lemon and nothing else and will do you good.
posted by maudlin at 8:31 AM on August 4, 2011

It's hard to say if this is a complete breakfast without knowing what you eat the rest of the day. A banana, an apple, and a handful of berries is not more fruit than you should eat in a day, but it's more than you should eat at every meal 3x per day - I say this mostly because 9 pieces of fruit a day is 180 grams of carbohydrates, and a 2100kcal diet should include about 240-340g, so you'd be over halfway there on just fruit.

My advice is, given that nutritional breakdown estimate I just linked, go into a calorie-tracker website and enter your smoothie. Be precise, weigh your fruits if possible, measure your yogurt and milk, note whether they're full-fat or skim milk, how much and what type protein powder, etc. My vague estimate that I did on sparkpeople, without knowing those details, resulted in 646 calories, 98g carbs, 13g fat, and 39g protein.

It's not about the breakfast numbers, though, it's about how that fits in with what you eat the rest of the day and what your dietary goals are. I encourag eyou to use a tracking software not just for measuring your smoothie, but also to see what else you're eating and how it all works together.
posted by aimedwander at 8:34 AM on August 4, 2011

More awesomeness, just to clarify I am in pretty much ideal shape for my height and weight so I'm not looking to diet or anything, but I would like to give my body the best nutrition each day that I possibly can.
posted by modoriculous at 9:34 AM on August 4, 2011

You can put coconut milk in your smoothie for some delicious saturated fat.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:13 AM on August 4, 2011

I add Chia Seeds to my morning smoothie, which I make with frozen blueberries, raw almonds, honey, and milk.
posted by cross_impact at 12:31 PM on August 4, 2011

Green Smoothies are the way to go!
I've been doing this one for the last 2 weeks (next week I need to change it up)
2 cups spinach
1 cucumber
juice from 1 lemon
1 stick of celery
2 apples (3 if no banana)
banana - option depending on if I'm in a sweet mood
1 inch of ginger root
Google Green Smoothie and you'll find TONS of resources.

Here are a few bookmarked sites that tell you nutritional info on fruits and vegetables - i used them when trying to put together smoothies.
Nutrition data
worlds healthiest foods
health 24
posted by doorsfan at 2:28 PM on August 4, 2011 [3 favorites]

Here's what I tend to do for a breakfast smoothie:
1/2 cup plain, low-far yogurt (no sugars added)
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 banana
large scoop whey protein powder
1 tablespoon fiber
1 cup other seasonal fruit (right now, cherries!)

I eat it in a bowl, with a spoon, topped with a little hemp seed granola (for some texture and crunch).
posted by browse at 2:54 PM on August 4, 2011

I intentionally eat a low carb/high fat diet because that's what's best for my health. YMMV. Here's what I put in my smoothies:

-- 6-7 ice cubes
-- 1-2 TBSP coconut oil
-- 1/2 c Fage whole fat greek yogurt
-- ~ 2 c coconut milk (unsweetened). Almond milk if I'm out of coconut or want a change.
-- 1-2 TBSP flaxseed
-- sometimes 1/4 - 1/2 c frozen berries
-- 1-2 scoops whey protein powder

If I don't put in berries, usually a heavy shake of cinammon instead.
posted by gingerbeer at 3:32 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]

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