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How to Make Whole Food Plant Based Smoothies

By Kelsie White

How to Make Whole Food Plant Based Smoothies

Nutrition Bites | Week 12

Welcome back to Nutrition Bites! This is Week 12, and we will be talking about how to make whole food plant based (WFPB) smoothies. Smoothies can be a great addition to a healthy diet, but it is important to make them well-balanced, especially if they are going to take the place of a traditional meal like breakfast or lunch. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good fruit smoothie, but smoothies are the perfect opportunity to sneak in other plant foods that you might not eat very often. To do this, we will talk about how to add the major food groups such as fruits, vegetables, and plant proteins in order to make a satisfying yet tasty smoothie. Let’s get started!

Berry Protein WFPB Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¾ cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ a frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen kale
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 3 pitted dates

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Add more liquid as necessary to reach desired consistency.
  2. Enjoy!
Building Better Smoothies

If you are up to the challenge of adding more variety to your smoothies, I want to share a few tips to help improve the quality. The first is to invest in a good blender if possible. This will really help to make sure that your smoothies are blended thoroughly and chunk-free. Next is to use all frozen ingredients. Choose frozen fruit and veggies instead of fresh, and this will allow you to skip using ice cubes to thicken up your smoothies. Along these same lines, I highly recommend freezing whatever greens you choose to use, such as spinach or kale. In my opinion, this makes their flavors not as prominent, and can also aid in digestion.

One smoothie factor that is important to me is creaminess. When you order a smoothie at a coffee stand or restaurant, oftentimes they add yogurt, milk or even ice cream to make it creamy. When we are going for a whole food plant based approach, there are a couple of ingredients that we can add to get a similar effect. Bananas and avocados are my favorite things to add to help increase the creaminess, and bananas also double as a natural sweetener. Some other options include plant-based yogurt, silken tofu, soaked cashews or some coconut cream.

Lastly, I love to add spices to my smoothies to help give a burst of flavor. Cinnamon and turmeric are two great options, but I encourage you to get creative and see what you can come up with!

Smoothie Blueprint 

To help simplify things, I have put together a WFPB Smoothie Blueprint. It breaks down a smoothie into its main categories and gives ingredient servings and suggestions for each one. The goal with this process is to make a complete smoothie using whole or minimally processed plant foods, without adding protein powder or other highly processed ingredients. If you do, however, feel like protein powder is necessary for you, check out my previous article for tips on choosing a good protein power. Take a look below to see the complete Smoothie Blueprint.

Extra Recipes  

There are so many amazing recipes for whole food plant based smoothies that you can find online. But I do want to share a couple of my favorites that are not only delicious, but also incorporate a variety of fruits and vegetables. The first is a recipe for a Green Apple Cinnamon Smoothie from Lettuce Veg Out. Next is a recipe for an Orange Cream Smoothie from Eating Richly. Lastly is a Red Velvet Smoothie from The Natural Nurturer.

Prep-Ahead Smoothies 

Making your own smoothies are great for busy mornings, but sometimes, even that feels like it can take too much time. This is where Prep-Ahead Smoothies come in. This is a simple way to prepare most of the ingredients ahead of time, saving you a bit of time later on. The idea here is to measure out the ingredients into bags or jars. To do this, simply follow a few easy steps:

  • Add any or all solid ingredients to a baggie or jar, including fruits, veggies, greens, seeds, powders, spices, nut butters, etc.
  • Label the bags with ingredients if you wish and store in the freezer.
  • Remove from the freezer when ready to make. Dump the contents of the bag or jar into the blender and pour in your liquid of choice.
  • Blend and enjoy!
Weekly Challenge 

WFPB Smoothies can be perfect for any meal. This week, I want to challenge you to mix up your mornings and aim to drink a smoothie with added greens for breakfast 2x this week.

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