I opt for smoothies a few times a week, usually when I'm in more of a morning rush and need to drink my breakfast while I simultaneously get ready for work (not as easy to do with eggs and avocado, my usual go-to). I love that I can toss everything in the blender, pour the mixture into a glass and start my day with a ton of energy-giving nutrients, and playing around with flavor combinations is always fun. What I love about this one is the subtle earthy flavor, hint of sweetness, and... that color. Seriously, if you don't add kale (I usually do) the color is out of this world. Read on for the recipe and to learn about its benefits:
Berry Beet Smoothie
Makes 1 smoothie
Makes 1 smoothie
1 cup frozen red berries (I used strawberries and raspberries)
1/4 cup thinly sliced raw beet
1/2 - 1 banana
1 tbs flax seed
1 tbs almond butter
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
8 oz. unsweetened almond milk
Optional: 2 tbs hemp protein powder (I always add this), a handful of washed kale with stems removed, 1/2 tsp coconut oil (can be used in place of almond butter), unsweetened toasted coconut for topping, honey for sweetness (though I don't think it needs it).
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds, or until well-incorporated. If it's too thick, add more almond milk or some water. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy!
Beets: High in vitamins and minerals, beets are incredibly nutritious, with high levels of vitamins A, B, and C, and potent levels of potassium, magnesium, fiber and iron (to name just a few). Beets also work to purify the blood and cleanse the liver, making them an excellent detox food. Because they're low in calories, but high in naturally-occurring sugars, beets are a great source of energy in the morning since their sugars are released slowly (as opposed to processed sugar, which hits your bloodstream fast and furious).
Banana: Bananas boast high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin in the brain, helping to keep you calm, relaxed, and feeling happy. Like beets, bananas are also high in potassium and help to prevent and relieve leg cramps before and after exercise.
Ground flax seed: Flax seeds are packed with Omega-3's (the good fats), lignans (antioxidants), and fiber, but to get those powerful nutrients into your system, you've gotta grind them up. Ground flax is also a great source of protein.
Red berries: Raspberries are packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, are lower in sugar, and are one of the highest fiber-containing foods -- 20% fiber per total weight. Strawberries are also an incredible source of vitamin C and antioxidants, however they are at the top of the 'Dirty Dozen', so be sure to purchase organic if you can.
Almond butter: Almond butter offers some nutritional advantages over peanut butter, with high vitamin E content, an essential antioxidant which protects your DNA from harmful free radicals, magnesium, and iron. Added to a smoothie, almond butter provides your body with essential fat to go with the protein provided by the flax seeds.
This recipe and a portion of this post was originally published on the BLDG 25 blog as a part of my full time work with Free People