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9 Healthy Ingredients for the Ultimate Fitness Smoothie: Part I

In this special two-part article series, I’m going to fill you in on my smoothie recipe, and then give you the lowdown on what I consider to be the very best part of any good smoothie.

By
Ben Greenfield,
March 14, 2017
Episode #328

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In the article 6 Crazy, Exotic Superfood Cocktails, Shakes & Mind-Bending Recipes, I claim that I truly believe I could survive the entire rest of my life armed with merely a blender and a handful of select superfoods. If your idea of a smoothie is a handful spinach, a banana, and a bit of ice, then prepare for your mind to blown by the cornucopia of immune-supporting, metabolism-boosting, cognition-enhancing, muscle-building ingredients you can add to a smoothie or shake.

In this special two-part article series, I’m going to fill you in on my smoothie recipe, and then give you the lowdown on what I consider to be the very best part of any good smoothie: the top nine ingredients you can toss into your smoothie after the blending process is complete: ingredients for the added crunch, texture and flavor that can morph a simple smoothie from a ho-hum “liquid salad” into a complex recipe that tastes like a nourishing, healthy version of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

With the proper ingredients and close attention paid to flavor, balance, texture, and of course, nutritional profile, a smoothie can easily be transformed from an industrial-tasting protein shake to a natural, clean, satisfying and delectable, mildly hedonistic treat. Just imagine a rich spoonful of flavorful cacao nibs, coconut cream, maqui berry, and almond butter. The selection of smoothie essentials you’ll discover in this article will give you just that, and allow for any number of unique combinations. 

Sound tasty? Let’s do this.

My Ultimate Fitness Smoothie Recipe

Although a nuked Reese's peanut butter cup can certainly brighten a weary morning, I'm come a very long way since my daily breakfast of microwaved oatmeal with protein powder, peanut butter and a chocolate bar (I’m not kidding, that used to be my go-to breakfast).

Now, every morning, I simply chew on a what I consider to be the most nourishing, vitamin and nutrient packed meal of my day: my morning smoothie. And by chew, I do indeed mean chew. I use a high quality blender that can take a serious beating, mix the entire smoothie at a texture that allows me to eat it with a spoon (so that the enzymes in my mouth can initiate pre-digestion), then scoop it all into my lucky Theodore Roosevelt “Man In The Arena” mug.

And my smoothie is constantly evolving. Here's one version of my smoothie, from about two years ago. Here's another version from last year.

And what's the current iteration look like? Knock yourself out.

-Gather four to eight varieties of leafy greens, wild plants, vegetables and herbs. Chop and add to blender. On one morning, I might include dinosaur kale, spinach, cucumber, celery, mint, parsley and cilantro, and on another morning purple cabbage, red lettuce, carrot, basil and ginger. No rules.

-Add 3-6 ounces of full fat, BPA-free coconut milk

-Add 1 tsp MCT Oil

-Add 1/2 of a chopped avocado

-Add 1-2 scoops (20-30 grams) vegan or whey protein powder

-Add 2 teaspoons organic ceylon cinnamon (this can lower blood sugar response to a meal) 

-Add 2 teaspoons organic cacao powder if you like chocolat-ey goodness 

After blending, for added texture, crunch and the chewability factor, add any of the essential smoothie ingredients you’ll discover later in this article. For example, on a typical morning, I’ll toss in:

-1 handful unsweetened coconut flakes

-1 tablespoon organic cacao nibs

-1 handful raw almonds

-3-5 brazil nuts

-1 pinch high quality salt

Should this seem overboard to you, here a recipe one of my readers (Eric) recently sent to me, a recipe he drinks each day and a recipe that makes the complexity of my own smoothie seem quite trite:

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