Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Superfood Smoothology

Since I’ve been getting tons of questions about smoothies, I thought I’d finally do a post on them. Smoothies are great on any occasion. Many people prefer to make a large smoothie for breakfast, others use them for a mid-day boost, but I love them as a way to help speed recover and restore energy levels after a hard workout.

Initially, I figured I would just blog the recipes of a few of my favorite combinations; but then I realized that most of my smoothies are made on the fly with whatever goodies I can get my paws onto. As such, instead of sharing a few rigid recipes, I thought I’d share the basic building blocks to the perfect superfood smoothie and leave it to your own imaginations to do the rest. And so here is my basic guide to creating the perfect blend.

Green Tea (excellent way to boost antioxidants) 
Almond Milk,
Sunflower Seed Milk (high in Omega 3s)
Rice Milk
Apple Juice
Orange Juice

Berries: (I often use frozen berries) (Antioxidants)
Goji Berries (dried) 
Mulberries  (dried)
Acai Berry Pulp (frozen)

Bananas (I often freeze bananas)  

Greens and Veggies:
Beet Greens

Wheatgrass powder (practically tasteless, navitas)

Nuts: (Proteins and Fats) 
Brazilian nuts
Pine nuts

Vega One and Vega Protein
Hemp Powder
Hemp Protein by Nutiva
Pomegranate Powder (made by navitas)  
Amal Powder (Dried Indian Goose Berries. Very, Very High in antioxidants and Vit C.)
Maca Powder (excellent post exercise, helps relax the body)
Raw Cacao (very high source of antioxidants and magnesium which helps relieve cramping)
Cloves (One of the highest sources of antioxidants)
Ginger (excellent for recovery)
Turmeric (Indian spice, helps fight cancer, helps blood circulation for recovery, must take with black pepper to metabolize) 

Oils: (I only use these on weeks were I've trained really hard and never more than half a teaspoon)
Coconut oil
Hemp Oil
Flax Oil
Olive Oil

Chia Seeds (Add a spoonful of chia to every smoothie to add Omega 3s and fiber to keep blood sugar from spiking from the fruit and sweetners)
Hemp Seeds/Powder (excellent source of protein)
Flax Seeds
Sunflower Seeds

Date Sugar
Dried Figs
Lucuma Powder (navitas)
Sweet Palm Coconut Sugar
maple syrup 
Stevia (use sparingly)
Agave (use sparingly)

You may have noticed that I didn't include any algae. I don't use spirulina (except for the small amount found in Vega). While many believe it is a superfood because it is 60% protein, it has recently been found to breakdown muscles rather than rebuild them, and is has also been linked to liver cancer. Instead, I use to take small amounts of Chlorela when I felt I need the extra push but the payoff didn't seem worth the price, as I replaced it with Kale, which is much cheaper and can be found local!
More on Spirulina can be found here:

Now go get out the Vitamix (or any other blender you may have) and mix and match to your hearts stomachs content.  


  1. Excellent breakdown, although I'm still partial to my own banana/soy milk/ice/cacao nibs/agave mixture.

    P.S. I've eaten the Raw Rev spirulina bars; I guess that explains where my muscles have gone?

  2. I'm not really one for an intense workout, but I do love smoothies. Nice tips and ideas!

  3. First time commenting. Really love the blog, especially the Doping post!

    I never thought to use tea as a base for smoothies. Seems like a good idea. I'll try it next time.

    Also do you have to soak the nuts before using?

  4. Green tea! Great idea. Also great info about the sugar spike. I have avoided smoothies for that very reason. Thanks!

  5. Dave, welcome!
    Yes Green and Black Tea's are excellent bases for smoothies. They have a small amount of natural caffeine but also offer a ton of antioxidants.

    Also I should mention there is a method to the madness when making smoothies. Start with the hardest ingredients and move up accordingly to the softest ingredients and finally liquids. This is particularly important if you don't have an immersion blender such as a vitamix or a blend tech.
    Ideal Build: 1) ice 2) frozen fruits and nuts (I like to put my dates on this layer) 3) dried fruits 4) fresh fruits 5) powders 6) liquid

    Nuts should be soaked whenever you have the time and the premeditation to do so. cashews need 2 hrs, almonds need 8. And the rest fall somewhere between. Just do your best.


  6. Do you discard the nut soaking water? I can never get myself to discard soaking water for beans. Seems like I would be discarding good stuff!

  7. Great Question GPVB! I always discard the soaking water! Yes you are discarding some nutrients, however the major reason we are soaking the nuts (or beans) in the first place is to remove the inhibitors which prevent our digestive systems from absorbing the nutrients. They get removed in the soaking process, which is why we don't want to use the soaked water.

    If you are steaming veggies, that is different. Some nutrients gets lost in the process and then gets collected in the water in the bottom of the pan. I always try and save this water to use in a smoothie later that day, or sometimes I just drink it straight.

    Hope this helps.