Recipe by Triad to Wellness Consulting – Photo Courtesy of Kristen Massad
Smoothies can be the ultimate way to pack as much nutrition into one easily digested meal, but only if your creation contains quality ingredients. Done right, smoothies are a nutrient-dense powerhouse of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. That’s why we love our Strawberry Banana Smoothie recipe, because it is teeming with plant-based nutrition and contains only wholesome, natural, and refined sugar-free ingredients. This smoothie is a delicious blend of dairy-free milk, whole grains, and fruit to help you meet your daily requirements of calcium, protein, fiber and other important vitamins and minerals. The combination of strawberries and frozen banana creates this thick, creamy, ice-cold, and delightfully satisfying smoothie that tastes like a pretty pink dessert, but is deceivingly healthy. And because we blend in whole grain sorghum and hemp seeds, we boost its nutritional value with an extra punch of protein and fiber to keep you feeling full for hours. While you may love a smoothie because it can be made in minutes, we love a meal with power nutrients that provide power fuel for the mind and the body.
Nutrient Booster: Strawberries + Banana
Strawberries are an excellent source of many vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds, many of which have powerful health benefits. This bright red fruit is high in vitamin C and manganese and also contains ample amounts of folate and potassium. Strawberries have particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, which help promote heart health, lower blood sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and guard against cancer. It is so easy to reap the health benefits of these berries–layer them on yogurt, top them over salads, puree them in jams, or blend them in smoothies.
Bananas are extremely nutritious and contain several essential vitamins and minerals that provide benefits for digestion and heart health. Bananas are rich in potassium and magnesium, minerals that help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease in addition to protecting and strengthening bones. They also contain impressive amounts of fiber which is important for gut health and for safeguarding against colon cancer. This popular fruit also provides excellent fuel for endurance exercise and may help relieve exercise-related muscle cramps. Eating a banana a day provides your body with powerful nutrients that do major good for the body and mind. Add sliced bananas to your morning oatmeal, take one with you as a portable snack, mash them in baked goods as an oil or butter replacement, or freeze them for a delicious and healthy addition to any smoothie.
Build A Better Smoothie
Your smoothie is only as good as the things you put in it; the possibilities for healthy meals-on-the-go are endless. Start with a splash–unsweetened almond, oat, coconut, flax, or hemp milks are great choices for a vegan liquid base. Fruits and vegetables are often the backbone of smoothies because they add antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals plus a natural sweetness that will enhance the taste. Any combination of fresh or frozen fruits and veggies will work (think mango, berries, and pineapple and leafy greens like spinach, kale, or Swiss chard). But if you stop there, you are missing out on additional protein and healthy fats to make your smoothie more filling and give you balanced energy throughout your morning. Try adding cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, or Icelandic Provisions Skyr for a boost of protein. Include fat sources like nut butters and avocado to speed the absorption of the vitamins in your fruits and vegetables. But before you hit blend, give your smoothie some extra nutrients by tossing in chia seeds, flax seeds, SuperSeedz pumpkin seeds or even our favorite PASCHA cacao chocolate chips. Once you know how to build a better smoothie, you can create a nutrient-dense powerhouse that is customizable to meet your daily desires.
Vegan Strawberry Banana Smoothie
- 1/2 cup whole grain sorghum, cooked
- 1 medium ripe banana, frozen
- 3/4 cup strawberries, frozen, unthawed
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 2 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1 tsp sorghum syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- coconut chips, optional for garnish
- Puree in a blender until smooth. Top with coconut chips and serve.
*Disclosure: Triad to Wellness is a nutrition consultant for The Sorghum Checkoff. However, we were not compensated for this post--all opinions are our own.