Healthy smoothies have been a craze for a while now, and let’s face it, most people have blenders at home. Although many smoothies are full of sugar, there are plenty of ways to make them more balanced and healthy without losing their appeal.
We love using protein powder in our recipes, which is perfectly healthy and shouldn’t just be seen as a bodybuilder’s supplement. Nutritionally, your body sees drinking a scoop of whey protein (a by-product of cheese production) as the same thing as eating a chicken breast. It’s not some miracle muscle-making potion (for that, you need to lift A LOT of weights). For people who exercise regularly, protein is essential for muscle repair and recovery.
Now let’s talk about frozen fruit. If you haven’t already discovered it, this will rock your world. You can buy pre-frozen fruit in most supermarkets, or freeze it yourself. You can do the same with fresh herbs and spices (best frozen in water – perfect for smoothies). Heck, Tesco has even started selling frozen avocados!
Try out these five easy recipes, complete with nutritional information, to enjoy at any time of day.
Peanut butter and banana
This is our all-time favourite. Sweet, simple and filling:
- 1 small/medium super ripe frozen banana (the riper the better, the trick is to buy fresh bananas, wait until they start to get spotty, chop them up into bite-sized chunks and freeze).
- 1 tablespoon of smooth or crunchy peanut butter (we like Pip & Nut‘s creamy texture)
- 300ml of milk (any kind)
300kcals, 9g of protein, 29g of carbs, 8g of fat (based on semi-skimmed milk).
Add a scoop of whey protein for a perfect post workout blend at 415kcals, 31g of protein, 31g of carbs, 10g of fat.
Green tea, blueberry and banana
A little more adventurous and full of antioxidants:
- 1 small/medium frozen banana
- 1 green tea bag
- 1 handful of frozen blueberries
- 1tbsp of honey
Leave the tea bag to brew in 200ml of hot water for a few minutes before discarding it, then stir in the honey until dissolved and blend everything together.
222kcals, 52g of carbs and 2g of protein. This is a good one to have on endurance training days where your body also needs carbohydrates for recovery.
Honey cinnamon cashew
A heavenly combination:
- 1 handful of raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
- 200ml of water and a couple of ice cubes
220kcals, 5g of protein, 25g of carbs and 13g of fat. Add a scoop of unflavoured or vanilla whey to bump it up to 28g of protein for a perfect post workout or mid-morning/afternoon snack. The whey will make the smoothie a lot thicker, so you might need a bit more water.
The balanced breakfast smoothie
Thicker, slightly heavier but pretty much guaranteed to keep you full until lunch:
- 20g of oats
- Half a frozen banana
- 1 large pitted medjool date (optional)
- 1 handful of frozen berries (blueberries work best, but any will do)
- 1 scoop of unflavoured or vanilla whey (optional)
- 200ml of milk (any)
- 1 teaspoon of chia seeds (optional)
380kcals (based on using almond milk), 30g of protein, 52g of carbs and 8g of fat. A healthy, filling breakfast that can even be made the night before, popped in the fridge and grabbed in the morning.
Vanilla coffee smoothie
A great alternative to your regular coffee fix:
- 1 shot of cold coffee
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 200ml of milk (cows or other, works very well with almond milk)
- 1 scoop of vanilla whey
300kcals, 28g of protein, 30g of carbs, 8g of fat. This is a great lower carb snack with a good blend of macronutrients for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.