Breakfast smoothies are super handy for people who don’t have time in the morning for a leisurely sit-down breakfast. This is particularly true for those of us who do high intensity exercise before work, where breakfast nutrition is crucial but time is of the essence. For this very reason I’ve been fine-tuning a breakfast smoothie that takes just a few minutes to make, contains all the best nutrients, and will keep you going until lunchtime without any sugar crashes.
Here are the essentials…
One of the best slow burning carbohydrates known to man! Oats contain beta-glucans, a type of soluble fibre that slows down the absorption of carbohydrates into the bloodstream. This slower digestion prevents dramatic spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels that would otherwise encourage our bodies to produce and store fat. Yay oats!
How many oats? Add 40-80g depending on your size.
After a workout your body needs protein to repair damaged muscles, so I like to amp mine up with a bit of high quality whey protein powder. The MaxiNutrition Gen-P Protein Powder is a whey protein blend specifically designed for after high-intensity training.
How much protein powder? Add 20-30 grams, about a scoop of protein powder.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds provide slow burning, nutrient-dense fats to help keep you going throughout the day. I almost always add flax seeds plus cashews, pecans, or walnuts. Other options include chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts… really any nut or seed so pick your favourite!
How many nuts and seeds? And a handful of nuts and a heaped tablespoon of seeds.
Go easy on the fruit folks! Too much fruit means lots of sugar and calories that will cause you to crash and burn shortly after you’ve finished your smoothie. Stick to ONE FRUIIT PORTION. For example:
- 1 large apple
- 1 small apple + 1/2 banana
- 1/2 banana + a handful of berries
How much fruit? One portion size of fruit as outlined above.
You can just use water but the addition of whole milk or nut milk adds extra nutrients and makes for a richer yummier flavour. Avoid using fruit juices. If you have a cold-press juicer, juiced vegetables such as beetroot, carrots, cucumber, and celery are great in smoothies.
The above ingredients are enough to make a pretty tasty smoothie, but you might also want to add…
How much liquid? Enough to blend to get your desired consistency. I like my smoothies pretty thick, so usually about 100-200ml of liquid depending on how juicy the other ingredients are.
For a delicious green smoothie, add a couple handfuls of spinach or curly kale. But don’t stop there. If you have a power blender, try
- Avocado (makes for a super thick and creamy smoothie!)
How much veg? About a handful of cut up vegetables.
Herbs and Spices
Here are a few of my favourites:
- Fresh mint
- Fresh ginger
How many herbs and spices? A small 1cm piece of fresh ginger, a handful of fresh mint leaves, or a good pinch of spices.
Putting it all together
To summarise, your ultimate healthy breakfast smoothie formula is:
- 40-80g oats depending on your size
- 20-30g protein powder
- a handful of nuts and seeds
- 1 portion of fruit
- about 200ml liquid, enough to blend to your desired consistency
- a handful of veg such a spinach or kale (optional)
- a handful of herbs such as mint (optional)
- a pinch of spices like cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)
All that’s really left to do is to put everything in your blender and blitz away!
If you’re after more specifics, check out these top tips and recipes:
- Green Apple Smoothie with Avocado and Lime
- Yoghurt and Berry Protein Smoothie
- Autumn Blackberry and Apple Breakfast Smoothie
- Favourite Smoothie and Juicing Products
- My awesome smoothie book 😇
Any other breakfast smoothie fans out there? What other ingredients do you like to add? What is your ultimate recipe? Please share in the comments!