With a hint of spring here and there, I’m ready to embrace #smoothieseason 2018! When I make a smoothie, I prefer it to have a fro-yo consistency and to eat it with a spoon rather than drink it as one would a juice. To accomplish that goal, I find it’s best to set out all your dry ingredients/toppings and measuring spoons/utensils before you remove any frozen fruit from the freezer. Otherwise things begin to melt and it just gets too soupy for my liking.
In my opinion, there are 4 only parts to a smoothie:
1.) Liquid – I prefer to use unsweetened, unroasted almond milk because it’s low in calories, has a neutral taste, and is easy to find in almost any shop here in Belgium. However, you could also use another non-dairy milk, juice, or yogurt.
2.) Frozen fruit – This takes some advanced planning, i.e. purchasing frozen fruit, or buying fresh and freezing it upon ripening. I do a mixture of both. Normally I freeze my own bananas (after they become super ripe, and unappetizing to eat in raw form) and berries (I stock up when there’s a promotion) and then I try to find various other frozen fruit at the supermarket, but there’s quite some variation in availability here in Belgium so hardly ever buy the same fruit mix twice in a row. This can be frustrating at times, but I usually try to convince myself that it actually makes the action of grocery shopping all the more exciting…who knows what one can find! 😉
- Protein powder: I typically add this to every smoothie I make and use either Purasana Belgium (they have a handful of powders ranging in protein from pumpkinseed protein to pea, etc) but mainly I buy Garden of Life’s raw organic vanilla protein powder which is non dairy and is one of the healthiest I can find. I also recently bought a container of Sun Warrior because of Jesse and Marni of The Ultimate Health Podcast are sponsored by them and talk about its tastiness in almost every episode. #Greenwashing! But I digress and I have not tried it out yet. Purasana products are available from Kazidomi (the online health foods marketplace in Belgium) or in various shops around Brussels. The other powders can be purchased from amazon.co.uk.
- Greens: I try to consume a spoon of spirulina per day- either in my smoothie or dissolved in a glass of OJ. Lately I have been using a small spoon of matcha powder, but chlorella powder is an option too. It smells really bad, but you can’t taste it once it’s mixed in. You could also throw in some raw spinach or kale to give your bowl a fresh greens boost.
- Fruit/Veggie: I have only tried açaí berry powder, but I want to try beetroot powder next. Just waiting to finish the bag of açaí berry powder. I’m sure there are a host of other fruit and vegetable powders that I’m unaware of.
- Collagen peptides: This powder is still quite new to me, but I love the idea of having stronger skin, nails, and hair! So far I haven’t found this in Belgium yet, but bought a container of unflavored Vital Proteins on my last trip Stateside.
- Other powders like Maca and psyllium: I love the smell of maca root and it’s nutty taste really adds something unique to a smoothie. I’ve only tried psyllium once, but it does make the smoothie have a more gelatin texture and I’m not sure how I feel about that. I have texture issues.
4.) Toppings: Sky is the limit here! My advice is to go with a mixture of nuts and seeds to find out what you like. I like to research the nutritional info of each topping to see the iron values, for example and then try to pick the best bang for my buck. Here are some of my suggestions:
- Chia or pumpkin seeds;
- Trail mix/nut mix – raw and unsalted;
- Cacao nibs;
- Other dried fruit like cranberries (sweetened with fruit juice only), raisins, mango, dates, blueberries, goji berries etc.;
- Coconut – either in powder or rougher flake form;
- Additional raw or frozen fruit;
- Homemade granola/muesli;
- Soy lectins; or
- Nut butters like coconut (my newest fav), almond, or cashew.
Step 1: Prep your ingredients
Step 2: Pour 200-250 mL of your liquid in your blender/container used for blending.
Step 3: Add frozen fruit. Depending on what machine you have (i just use a stick/emulsifying blender) you might want to do the bananas first and then add the other fruit in. By the way, I always use bananas, but if you dislike them or have an allergy, just add in more mango or strawberries.
Step 4: Add in your protein or other powders.
Step 5: Pour into a bowl and add your desired toppings. Eat immediately.
[This smoothie bowl can be eaten at any time: a filling breakfast, a light lunch, dessert, post-yoga meal. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!! Bon appétit or Smakelijk!]