Do you know that the smoothie market was valued at USD 6.68 billion in 2021? And it is predicted to grow to 17.00 billion by 2027. That is how powerful smoothies are.
There are a lot of health benefits of smoothies, and they went a long way from being a niche product in the 1990s. My journey with smoothies started when I was looking for a better way to deliver nutrients to my body and have more physical and mental energy.
Regardless of if you are a smoothie newbie or a veteran, smoothies are great healthy breakfast ideas! Keep reading to learn why, if juicing is healthier than blending, and get inspired with 3 smoothie recipes!
But before we start, get your copy of my e-book The Wholehearted Diet. Discover the power of plant-based eating, stress less, and have more energy.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas
For a long time, I did not subscribe to Breakfast is the most important meal of the day club. I started drinking black coffee for breakfast when I was fifteen years old. That was it.
Coffee is known to suppress your appetite, so I wasn’t hungry. As I got older, I didn’t have the time to sit in the morning and eat. Of course, at that time, I didn’t pay much attention to my wellness or energy levels.
My breakthrough came when I was looking for a way out of my depression, overwhelm, and burnout. I stumbled upon a podcast with an Australian leading nutritionist who guided the diets of the top Australian Olympic athletes.
After listening for one hour, the message was clear: eat vegetables for breakfast. This was probably the biggest wellness breakthrough for me. Also, it was contrary to the most popular breakfast meal of yogurt and muesli (or a variation of your breakfast cereals and milk) which I didn’t subscribe to either.
The nutritionist suggested having cooked vegetables every day for breakfast. Of course, this is doable for those who have the time to cook in the morning or those who have somebody else to do the cooking for them.
The idea was very appealing to me, but I didn’t have the time to prepare the veggies, cook them, and then sit down to eat. So, the next best thing was the breakfast smoothie! Smoothies were gaining in popularity, so it was easy to get on the smoothie wagon.
I looked through thousands of smoothie recipes, but I couldn’t find one that did the job. Because your smoothie needs to follow a few key elements to act as your breakfast.
A healthy meal, or a healthy diet for that matter, consists of your main food groups. It means your breakfast smoothie needs to incorporate carbohydrates, healthy fats, and proteins. It needs to include an array of vitamins and minerals.
So, rule number one for a breakfast smoothie is a balance of all food groups. Unfortunately, most of the smoothie recipes are very heavy on carbohydrates. Fruit delivers the needed dietary fiber, but some fruit is also high in fructose (sugar), so it needs to be used in moderation.
Try to opt for more vegetables than fruit. And to have the mental and physical energy and stay fuller for longer, focus on adding healthy fats. Because the more healthy fats you add, the longer you feel full.
And rule number three is to keep the skins. You may feel the urge to peel a lemon, orange, or cucumber. Don’t. All the goodies are in the skin, so when you peel your fruit or veg you remove the vital nutrients.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Certain fruit or vegetables may need to be peeled, especially if the skin is toxic. The classic example is the banana. But if the skin is edible, keep it on.
I rarely have a fruit or vegetable that I peel. I don’t peel oranges, apples, zucchini, roots of ginger or turmeric, or beetroot. But I would remove the skin of the avocado, pineapple, banana, or passionfruit.
Juice vs Smoothie
You may be wondering if juicing is better than blending. There is so much hype around juicing that it makes sense to ask this question.
I’m a smoothie girl through and through. Why? Because I think about smoothies as a meal. And juice, well, is a drink. Smoothie has a much thicker consistency, so it resembles a meal to me.
That being said, I do juicing from time to time. Juicing is great when you do a cleansing diet. Either be it detox, liver, kidney, or skin cleansing.
The two main differences between juice and a smoothie are the extraction method and what products you can use.
You can literally blend anything. This means you can add whole grains, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices, and other goodies into your smoothie. As mentioned before, you don’t need to peel a lot of fruits or vegetables, so you keep the nutrients.
I add cinnamon, cocoa powder, maca, and chlorella into my smoothie. If you want to be more adventurous, you can add almond or peanut butter in. The sky is the limit, as they say.
In my opinion, you have a bigger choice of what to add to your smoothie.
Juicing extracts the liquids from the fruit and vegetables. Juicing is great, especially if you have a nutritional gap and need to bring your levels quickly. A small cup of juice contains a high concentration of nutrients, so you are bound to deliver.
Juicing extracts the nutrients but leaves out the dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is important because it makes us feel fuller for longer. Unfortunately, juices may give you a blood sugar spike because the products you usually juice are fruit or beets such as carrots or beetroot. Both contain high amounts of sugar.
3 Quick Smoothie Recipes
Now, that you know how beneficial smoothies are and why you need to start eating one for breakfast, let’s get down to business. I have my ultimate breakfast smoothie that is a go-to. But if you are new to smoothies, here are three quick and simple smoothie recipes that will give you mental and physical energy.
The Avocado Smoothie
My favourite smoothie ingredient is avocado. It is not only packed with nutrients, but it is a great source of healthy fats. My staple with an avocado smoothie is coconut water.
Coconut water is more nutritious than water and contains electrolytes to keep you hydrated. Coconut water contains sugar, so when buying make sure you read the label and buy only those brands that don’t add additional sugar.
My choice of ingredients is avocado, mango, celery, spinach, green apple, lemon, orange, golden kiwi, ginger, turmeric, almonds, and cinnamon. Avocado will give you that thick, smooth consistency. So, if you find your smoothie too thick, add more coconut water.
I then top it up with chai seeds and cocoa powder.
The Beetroot Smoothie
If you are fed up with green and green smoothies, go for red! To change the colour of your smoothie, simply, blend veggies that will give you the desired colour.
So, every time I want something different, I use beetroot. Beetroots are a great source of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C. What’s more, you don’t need to peel it, and the leaves are edible.
So, you not only add greens to your red smoothie but also the root.
Beetroot has a high concentration of sugar, so it is best to use it in moderation. However, it will satisfy your sugar cravings!
I like to blend coconut milk, cocoa powder, pepitas, green apple, ginger, citrus, almonds, and chai seeds. The Beetroot smoothie is a bit heavier because of the coconut milk content. It is also sweeter, so I don’t make it too often.
However, it is a great smoothie to keep you full for a long time.
The Kale Smoothie
I love kale. There are no two words about it. Kale is the most nutrient-dense vegetable that there is. So, it is like hitting a jackpot by eating kale.
Kale is packed with fiber, antioxidants, vitamins C, K, and B6, iron, calcium, potassium, copper, and manganese.
I add almond milk fortified with B12 to my kale smoothie. In addition, I add almonds, ginger, turmeric, kiwi, green apple, green cucumber, orange, and lime. And then I top it up with chai seeds and cocoa powder.
For many kale may taste a bit better, but trust me, it is worth eating. And remember to balance your diet. If you find your smoothie too bitter, add some sweeter fruit, like for example banana, or veg to balance the taste.
How to Make a Smoothie Your Breakfast
It is funny that when I think about it, one of my biggest wellness breakthroughs came in a form of a smoothie. I use a smoothie as my breakfast to make sure I have high mental and physical energy on top of delivering all the nutrients my body needs.
The best way to make your smoothie a healthy breakfast idea is to include all food groups. Try adding more vegetables than fruit, and get as creative as you want. And once you are ready, try one of my simple smoothie ideas today!
Ready to get started with a plant-based diet? Get your copy of my e-book The Wholehearted Diet. Discover the power of plant-based eating, stress less, and have more energy.