3 Steps to Turn a Smoothie into a Meal Replacement
Everyone has at least one meal they find difficult to fit into a busy day.
Today we’re sharing our formula for creating a nutrient-dense smoothie that is a completely acceptable meal replacement for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.
Step 1: Fruits and Veggies
I think most of us know that most of our plate should be fresh fruits and vegetables. The same goes when you’re making a smoothie; you want to pack your blender full of nutrient-dense produce. These fruits and veggies act as the complex carbohydrates of your meal, which give you energy but take time for your body to break down which prolongs your energy.
Choose 1 fruit and 2 veggies from this list, or get creative with your own ideas:
- Banana (tip: frozen bananas add creaminess to your smoothie)
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries, etc.)
- Spinach (handful)
- Sweet potato (tip: steam and then freeze, are a good natural sweetener)
- Cauliflower (tip: steam and then freeze)
- Zucchini (tip: steam and then freeze)
Step 2: Add protein
Protein helps to keep you full, keeps your muscles and bones strong and supports your brain and stabilizes your moods. It is recommended to get in 20-30g of protein per meal, and your smoothie is no exception.
The simplest, easiest way to do this is to find a protein powder you like and to add a scoop or two based on the serving size amount. With protein powders, you can get animal based or plant based, depending on your preference. Some of our favorite protein powders include: Vega, Sunwarrior, Orgain, Raw Organic, and Terris whey.
If protein powder isn’t your thing, you can add the following to get your protein. Just make sure you add a combination of at least 20-30g:
- 3 tbsp hemp seeds = 10g
- 1 cup plain kefir = 10g
- 3 tbsp chia seeds = 9g
- 2 tbsp peanut butter = 8g
- 1/2 cup cooked white beans = 8g
- 2 tbsp almond butter = 7g
- 1/4 cup soaked cashew = 7g
- 3 tablespoons flax seeds = 6g
- 1/4 cup rolled oats = 4g
Tip: by adding 3 tablespoons of seeds in addition to protein powder, you can benefit from the healthy fats and fiber found in the seeds as wells as vary your protein source.
Step 3: Add Healthy Fats
If this step makes you nervous, let us clear the air that not all fat is created equal. Eating the types of fats we are suggesting below will not make you fat.
Healthy fats are where some smoothies may fall short but they are really necessary for keeping you full, as well as supporting your hormones, skin, and aiding in digestion. Incorporating healthy fats is important for ensuring you actually absorb all the nutrients in your smoothie.
The below are smoothie friendly healthy fats. You want to aim for about 1-2 tbsp in your smoothie.
- Avocado (1/4 of a ripe avocado)
- Nuts or nut butter (peanut, cashew, almond, walnut etc.)
- Seeds or seed butter (hemp, flax, chia, pumpkin etc.)
- Coconut milk (the canned kind)
- Coconut oil or MCT oil
- Seed oil (flax, hemp, or chia)
Note: some foods on this list act as a source of plant-based protein, so keep that in mind when selecting your combos.
Next step, add it all in the blender with 6-8 oz of water, coconut water or unsweetened plant-based milk (almond, coconut, rice, hemp, oat) and blend until everything is well combined and desired consistency is reached.
Our go-to breakfast smoothie: Banana Nut Bread
- 1/4 cup frozen banana
- 1 handful baby spinach
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- 1 tbsp flax or chia seeds
- 8-10 oz unsweetened almond milk (varies depending on your desired consistency)
Blend on high and enjoy! If you don’t feel full for at least 4-6 hours, add a little more protein and fats into your smoothie.