Yeehaw! It’s that time of the month were I include a guest blogger to be featured here on Cowgirls & Collard Greens. This month I welcome Christine Allen from RunPlantBased.com. I learned of Christine’s work after meeting her in person at a local Vegan Meetup that I organized last fall. Christine and I live less than an hour from each other and share the same love of both a vegan diet and vegan blogging. I have become a quick fan of her blog, which I diligently follow every week, and her many yummy recipes. Today Christine shares one of her favorite yummy smoothie recipes. Take it away Christine!
Thank you for this opportunity, Kayle, it’s nice to get a change of scenery. I transitioned to a vegan diet after going to a raw vegan demonstration by a nurse/trained chef about five years ago and had my eyes opened on processed foods and how easy it is to get all the protein and nutrients I need while skipping animal products. Since then my diet has evolved and changed from mostly raw to a balance of cooked and raw vegan whole foods as I discover what works best with my active lifestyle. But the breakfast smoothie has been a consistent staple in my life no matter what I eat the rest of the day. It’s a great way to get a nutrient-dense jump on the day that works well with a busy schedule. I’ll admit it was not an easy habit to get into and my traditional mother still thinks I’m crazy for considering it a satisfying breakfast compared to cereal. But it can be very satisfying with plenty of fruits, veggies, and protein.
There are a lot of smoothie recipes out there and some of them are great for starting out and getting an idea of what flavors work well together, but my smoothies are more of a perfected formula that uses whatever ingredients I have. A typical breakfast smoothie for me consists of 1-3 servings of fruit, 2-3 servings of vegetables, 1 serving of vegan protein powder, 1 serving of Vitamineral Green powder, and some sort of flavoring and/or sweetener I may toss in and I mix and match depending on what I have and what mood I’m in.
Frozen ingredients are great to have on hand for smoothies when you’re out of fresh or want a refreshing summer treat, I typically buy bananas in bulk and let them all get ripe. Then peel them, chop them, and freeze in freezer bags for smoothies.
Other ingredients you can freeze for smoothies include chopped kale, strawberries, berries, oranges (peeled and separated into sections), spinach, juicer pulp, peaches, grapes, watermelon chunks, etc.
Protein powder is an important addition to my smoothies to make it a satisfying meal that will hold me over until lunch and there are a lot of vegan protein powder options on the market now that range in prices and nutritional value. If I were a rich girl, Vega One would be my go to for it’s nutritional profile and blend of plant based proteins. But it’s more of an occasional splurge while I’m training for a race or traveling. Vega Performance Protein is another great option because it’s a blend of plant-based proteins, but also pricy. My current every day protein powder is Garden of Life’s Raw Protein powder because it’s about half the cost, raw vegan, and has probiotics blended into the powder. I also like to keep Nutiva Hemp Protein in the rotation because it’s a minimally processed whole food protein powder, but the grittier, earthy texture takes a little getting used to and blends best with frozen bananas to counter the texture and stevia to add sweetness.
Adding flavoring can be a fun adventure for experimenting with combos and discovering what works well for you. Some options are small chunks of raw ginger, 1/2 teaspoon of chai tea, vanilla extract, cacao powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie seasoning, peppermint extract, drops of NuNaturals flavored liquid stevia, etc. I’m a fan of pairing raw ginger with chai tea for a kicky, but sweet spice. Or vanilla and cacao powder with frozen bananas for a chocolate shake.
My typical smoothie is something like this:
- 1 banana (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 cup of frozen berries
- 1 cup kale leaves
- 2-3 carrots
- 1 serving of protein powder
- 1 serving of Vitamineral Green powder
- 1/2″ chunk of fresh ginger
- 1/2 tsp. chai tea
- 1/2 to 1 cup of water, as needed
It seems like a lot, but it takes minutes to throw all the ingredients into a blender in the morning and becomes a habit.
Smoothies are a positive ritual for me, something I can do for myself and cherish the nutritional boast to start the day while experimenting with new flavor combos.
Hello, I’m Christine and I blog over at RunPlantBased.com about being a high raw vegan, running, and life while creating healthy recipes. I’m an IT professional that’s been vegan for almost 5 years, somewhat of a runner and fitness nut, animal lover with 5 rescued pets, into photography, and slightly obsessed with vegan purses.