As I mention in my morning routine post, a green smoothie is one of my favorite healthy ways to start the day. I love this one particularly because you can sneak in a couple servings of greens and it still tastes delicious. Also, because I usually exercise in the morning, this gives me a nice dose of healthy carbs to fuel my workout.
This smoothie is super nutritious as well with tons of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Potassium, Calcium and Iron. It also gives you a nice distribution of macros with 47% carbs (60g), 30% fat (17 g) and 23% (29g) protein. Macros are a topic for another day but needless to say, if you are on the Keto diet (which btw, I don’t recommend), this smoothie isn’t for you. With that said, I do give you some ideas of how you can lower the carb count below, if low-carb is your thing.
The other wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is easily modifiable if you are missing a certain ingredient or you want to adjust the calories or macros, you can eliminate or reduce many of the ingredients and still get a delicious and nutritious result (Whisk gives this recipe a 9.8 out of 10 on the health score).
Breaking Down the Ingredients and Their Benefits
As part of my health and wellness journey, one of the biggest changes I made is looking at food as fuel, and really considering what it was that I was putting into my body and why—of course, while still considering taste. Because I think this is a crucial component of any health or “glow up” journey, I want to encourage you to change the way you think about food—consider each ingredient or item that you eat for its benefits (or adverse effects) and start to find ways to incorporate the highly beneficial items in your day.
Before we dive into the recipe, I want to further elaborate on why this smoothie is one of the best things you can put into your body to start the day. So to do that, I will quickly go over each ingredient and the benefits they provide.
Spinach (and most other leafy greens) is often referred to as a “superfood” and for good reason. Keto friends, rejoice—this low carb vegetable is packed with antioxidants, fiber and vitamins that will do everything from help keep you healthy, to improve your skin. Some of the key benefits of spinach consumption are listed here:
- Prevents diseases such as caner
- Prevents signs of aging
- Reduces blood sugar
- Boosts immunity
- Helps improve appearance of skin
- Prevents hypertension and heart attacks
- Improves bone health.
To read more about the science behind these benefits, check out this article by pharmeasy.
We’ve all heard the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” well, whoever said it first may have been onto something. Apples (particularly the skin) are high in fiber and antioxidant which can help with weight loss, heart health and cholesterol. Here is a summary of apple benefits:
- Helps with weight loss
- Boost immunity
- Can improve blood sugar
- Can prevent disease development
- May help prevent Alzheimer’s disease
If you’re curious, you can read more about the benefits of apples here.
Similar to the other ingredients above bananas offer many health benefits beyond their potassium-rich reputation. Bananas can:
- Lower blood pressure
- Regulate detoxification and waste
- Prevent asthma in children
- Prevent diseases such as cancer
- Lower blood sugar
- Improve digestion
- Improve heart health
- Improve memory function
If you’d like to read more about banana benefits, check out this article.
Other than a delicious and healthy fat that can be added to just about anything, Avocados also provide a variety of benefits from detoxifying the body to reducing the risk of depression. Other benefits are listed below:
- Preventing disease such as cancer
- Preventing osteoporosis
- Improving vision
- Improving cholesterol
- Reducing risk of depression
- Improving digestion
Read more about the benefits of avocado consumption on Medical News Today.
- Increased muscle mass
- Aids in weight loss
- Boost metabolic function
- Helps with injury recovery
Because this adds an additional 80 calories to the smoothie, sometimes I will choose to forego this if I know I will be eating sufficient protein later in the evening. But my favorite protein power is this vegan unflavored one.
Personally, I love the flavor of Ginger, so I find myself adding it to many things—from my tea to this smoothie. I find that especially in the morning, it tends to give me some extra pep to my step. But on top of this, it offers many health benefits as well:
- Fights germs and bacteria
- Helps with muscle soreness
- Lowers cholesterol
- Improves digestive function
- Improves arthritis symptoms
- Fights against cancer
- Improves blood sugar
Something about Turmeric also gives me a little jolt of life when I eat it. I personally love the flavor but this lovely spice can do wonders for your health as well.
- Prevents heart disease
- Prevents cancer
- Prevents Alzheimer’s disease
- Fights degenerative aging
- Relieves symptoms of arthritis
- Wards off depression
Read more about the benefits of Turmeric here.
While almond milk is the least nutritious ingredient on this list (I include it mostly for taste and texture than nutritional value) but that’s not to say it doesn’t bring anything to the table. Here are some of the benefits of almond milk
- Great source of calcium
- Dairy free (non-inflammatory and easily digestible)
- Low in calories
Healthy Plant Based Superfood Green SmoothieCourse: BreakfastCuisine: SmoothieDifficulty: Easy
This healthy green smoothie is the perfect way to start your day with a healthy balance of protein, healthy carbs, and fat. The smoothie is packed with fruits, vegetables, and nutrients such as fiber, potassium, calcium, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. The recipe is also easy to modify. I have listed it the way I like it—plant based and in my opinion, the best tasting, but I have included ways to shift the macros and reduce the calories in the notes section.
1/2 a banana
1 gala apple
2 cups spinach
1 scoop of unflavored protein powder*
1/2 an avocado*
2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ginger root
1 cup unsweetened unflavored almond milk
1 cup of ice
- Cut apple in chunks avoiding the core
- Cut Avocado in half, leaving the core to preserve the other half*
- Cut banana in half
- Peel and cut ginger root (or use a powder)
- Combine all ingredients in a blender
- Blend until smooth (about 1 minute)
- You can use any unflavored protein powder you like, I use Garden of Life
- I drizzle the remaining avocado in lemon juice and wrap tightly in saran wrap then put in the fridge
- If you use the 0% greek yogurt instead of an avocado to reduce the fat content and calories. Because of its high protein content, you can also get rid of the protein powder with this substitution which will bring the calories down to 340
- You can use half an apple instead of a whole to bring the carbs down to 49 grams and the total calories down to 400
- Skip the avocado all together and bring the fat content down to only 4 grams and the total calories down to 340
- I will sometimes add flax seeds for additional fiber and omega 3s
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