Delicious Ways to Jazz-Up Your Protein Smoothie
Posted on 11 November 2014 by Leonie Satori
I am the first to admit that I have a bit of a thing for smoothies, I find they are a great afternoon pick-me-up in summer, a fabulous way to sneak all kinds of nutrients into your diet that may be challenging to include in your regular meals and can really be a tasty alternative to expensive store bought fruit smoothies.
First, choose your protein. For proteins and amino acid profile, a good quality whey protein isolate always makes a good base – whey isolate is full of immune boosting immunoglobulins and easy to digest. When using plant based protein, it is always good to have two different types of the go, to ensure that you receive a good range of amino acids. Hemp protein, spirulina, sprouted rice protein and pea protein are nutritious plant based proteins that are delicious and easily digestible. For most people, small portions of protein throughout the day are better than one large serving, say for example at night – follow this suggestion and you should never feel bloated after a smoothie.
Second, choose your fruit or vegetable. While the standard favourite for me is the humble banana, and berries come a close second with added antioxidants and flavour, it is good to experiment with other ingredients such as pineapple, beetroot, zucchini, pumpkin, apple or pear. Yes, you read right – pumpkin and zucchini … sweet or soft vegetables are an ideal fit for a smoothie, if you have a robust blender, you will be surprised how well these flavours and textures will fit together with your other ingredients. Green leafy vegetables are also an excellent addition to smoothies and a great way to increase the fluid and minerals in your smoothie without noticing the flavour – just remember to use leafies such as dark lettuce, kale and spinach as these are the mildest flavoured greens.
Add flavour, spices and more nutrients. Spices such as cardamom, cinnamon and ginger are great flavour boosters, can help to disguise ‘overly nutritious’ ingredients and can also aid digestion. Turmeric is one of my favourite herbs to slip into smoothies; it is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant and adds a nice texture to smoothies. I am fond of making use of left over herb teas like Teeccino or peppermint as the base for smoothies; I also like the addition of beetroot powder to support the gall bladder or even broccoli sprout powder for added liver support.
Below are some interesting flavour combinations that can turn your usual boring old smoothie into a sparkly new and interesting nutritional drink:
- Hemp protein, pineapple, banana, turmeric, ginger (shown in picture)
- Whey protein, frozen pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg
- Spirulina, rockmelon, banana, rice milk
- Rice protein, pear, ginger, cucumber
- Hemp protein, beetroot powder/juice, cocoa powder, zucchini
- Spirulina, kale, pineapple, coconut water
- Hemp protein, Teeccino, frozen banana
- Rice protein, honey dew melon, mint leaves, coconut milk
- Whey protein, frozen blueberries, chia seeds, flax seeds, almond meal
Keep a few peeled and chopped fruits on hand in the freezer to add to smoothies at the last minute. Use mint leaves in ice blocks to add fragrance to your blend. Remember that as a general rule of thumb, banana can usually fix most smoothie disasters, so always have some on hand when trying new flavours.
Research some new recipes and flavour combinations online and make use of herbs, spices and different vegetables to make your protein smoothie delicious, nutritious and enjoyable … the rest is up to your creativity and imagination.