Here is how we did ours:
Fruit: Mango, Pineapple, Papaya, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries
Protein: Gold Standard 100% WHEY
Probiotics: FAGE All Natural Greek Strained Yogurt
Liquid: Orange Juice, Silk Almond Milk Protein + Fiber
To start you need a good smoothie maker, in other words, a blender or juicer. There are many blenders and juicers to choose from and prices can sometimes be steep. Ultimately, your choice will come down to personal preference. Juicers juice, obviously, and blenders blend. Both can process raw foods, but in different ways. We chose to go with a blender because a good blender can come close to juicing, yet accomplish so much more from food processing to blending. There are a few notorious blenders out there like the Vitamix, the Ninja, and our favorite, the Blendtec. Each blender varies slightly, but a good quality blender will make all the difference if you plan on consistently using your blender in your meal prep. A healthy lifestyle deserves a tried and tested blender.
Now, lets get on with the ingredients! We will start with yogurt. We suggest you pick a yogurt flavor based on the type of smoothie you are making. We prefer for the smoothie flavor to come from the fruit, so we suggest a plain or vanilla yogurt. Our favorite yogurt is FAGE All Natural Greek Strained Yogurt.
FAGE Classic Greek Yogurt uses all natural ingredients, contains no added sweeteners, thickeners or preservatives and no powdered milk, powdered cream or powdered protein. FAGE Yogurt is known for its high concentration of all-natural protein, raw ingredients, low calorie count and unsurpassed versatility. In fact, each serving has approximately 23 grams of protein, the perfect amount for anyone training regularly and monitoring daily protein intake. Did we mention it is all natural? FAGE Greek Yogurt uses only all natural whole milk and cream supplied from rBGH-free* cows. This means you get all the calcium-rich benefits of real dairy ingredients with nothing artificial. Lastly, FAGE Total Greek yogurt is an inherently low-calorie food. Because the yogurt doesn’t use any artificial sweeteners, there are no extra “sugary” calories. In fact, FAGE Greek yogurt has fewer calories than many other common dietary snacks and is more filling.
Bring on the fruit and Spinach! For this healthy smoothie recipe we chose to add frozen fruit that can be found at Costco: Wawona Festival Blend (Mango, Pineapple, Papaya, Strawberries), Kirkland’s Signature Rader Farms Nature’s Three Berries (Blueberries, Blackberries, Raspberries), and don’t forget the Spinach!
For this smoothie we also added one scoop of Gold Standard 100% WHEY powdered protein mix. This is a post workout protein powder meant to be eaten within 20-30 minutes after working out. One scoop provides 24 grams of protein, 1 gram Fat, and 110 calories. We highly recommend including this in your smoothie if you are maintaining a consistent workout routine.
*Tip: Freeze your Spinach; this will allow you to buy in bulk and make the leafy green last longer
Here are a few fun facts about spinach and these fruits:
Mango – High levels of fiber, pectin and vitamin C help to lower serum cholesterol levels, specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (the bad stuff). Mangos can be used both internally and externally for the skin, clearing clogged pores and eliminating pimples. One cup of sliced mangoes supplies 25 percent of the needed daily value of vitamin A, which promotes good eyesight and prevents night blindness and dry eyes. And, the tartaric acid, malic acid, and a trace of citric acid found in the fruit help to maintain the alkali reserve of the body.
Pineapple – A key benefit from pineapple juice for women is the prevention of nausea or morning sickness. This is highly recommended for pregnant women who experience nausea. It also helps people who are planning to go on airplane trips or who are sensitive to motion sickness. Pineapples are a rich source of antioxidants and are abundant in vitamin C and bromelain. Manganese is important for strengthening bones and connective tissues. A cup of pineapple juice gives you roughly 73% of the required manganese for a day. Pineapple fruit is anti-inflammatory and can help prevent inflammation in arthritis patients; in addition, eating pineapple can strengthen your gums, keeping your teeth healthy and strong.
Papaya – One medium sized papaya contains 120 calories. So, if you’re looking for low calorie meals or planning to lose weight, consider adding this fruit to your die. It is also packed with dietary fibre that aids weight loss by promoting a feeling of fullness and can control cravings. Papaya can also be beneficial for women who experience menstrual pain. Several servings of papaya contain enough papain – an enzyme found in papaya – to help regulate and ease flow during menstrual periods.
*For those that are currently pregnant or trying to get pregnant, it is recommended to avoid eating papaya. Unripe papaya, particularly, contains a substance that is known to sometimes cause uterus contractions.
Strawberry – One serving of strawberries contains 51.5 mg of vitamin C—about half of your daily requirement. Strawberries also contain a phytochemical called ellagic acid that can aid in cancer prevention. Researchers have shown ellagic acid in some cases to suppress cancer cell growth. Other antioxidants like lutein and zeathancins help neutralize the potentially negative effect of free-radicals in the body.
Blueberries – A new University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study suggests that blueberries may help reduce belly fat and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. Blueberries are also known to have some of the highest antioxidant levels of all fresh fruit. Prevention of urinary tract infection is another benefit found with Blueberries. This fine fruit is also known to have contain anthocyanin, selenium, vitamins A, B-complex, C and E, zinc, sodium, potassium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese that can aid in the prevention and healing of neurotic disorders.
Blackberries – Only 62 calories to a cup! Consumption of blackberries can help to promote the healthy tightening of tissue, a great natural way to make skin look young. The high tannin content of blackberries provides a number of benefits to reduce intestinal inflammation, alleviate hemorrhoids and soothe the effects of diarrhea. For women, the larger amount of Vitamin K found in blackberries aids in muscle relaxing. Some women have taken this so far as to alleviate labour pains.
Raspberries – 100 grams of raspberries contain 52 calories but provide 6.5 g of fiber (16% of daily recommended intake). Raspberries have significantly high levels of phenolic flavonoid phytochemicals that scientific studies have shown play a potential role against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. Raspberries have an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of about 4900 µmol TE per 100 grams. This puts the fine fruit among the top-ranked ORAC values.
Spinach – One important note is oxalic acid in spinach, which blocks the absorption of calcium and iron. The best way to solve this problem is to pair spinach with a food high in vitamin C. On the other hand, spinach is an excellent source of iron. The mineral iron is particularly important for menstruating women and is tied to energy levels since iron is a component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to all body cells. Among other things, spinach is packed full of flavonoids. Researchers have discovered at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that act as anti-cancer substances.
We are almost ready to blend! But, first some orange juice and Silks new Almond Milk Protein + Fiber. Orange juice is a great natural sweetener and Silk offers a variety of healthy alternatives to dairy. Some additional fun facts about Silk’s Almond Milk:
50% more calcium than dairy
Contains 5 grams of protein and fiber
Zero cholesterol or saturated fat
Free of dairy, lactose, gluten, soy, casein, egg, and MSG
Enrolled in the non-GMO project’s product verification program
No artificial flavors or colors
And with that you are ready to blend! Feel free to add a bit more orange juice or Silks new Almond Milk Protein + Fiber until the smoothie consistency is to your liking. We added a few tasty garnishes to top off our smoothie!
Reach out and share your recipes. We would love to hear from you!