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Geek Out Your Smoothie

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— July 15, 2017

Geek Out Your Smoothie

  • Your own concoction is not only less expensive over the long run, but it’s also your own masterpiece.
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SMOOTHIES AND SMOOTHIE BOWLS are a delicious and efficient way to pack in nutrients and eat on the go. Still, they’re a pricey habit. At your local juice bar, the average superfood smoothie bowl can cost you anywhere from $8.50 to $11.00. A better bet? Make it yourself.

Your own concoction is not only less expensive over the long run, but it’s also your own masterpiece. “You can add ingredients that can create a powerhouse of energy and offer medicinal properties,” says Lindsey Bro, a nutritionist, and consultant to the food industry. Bro’s philosophy: “Use your smoothie not just as fuel, but as a tool.” We asked diet pros like Bro for their favorite smoothie recipes with amped-up ingredients that can help you do everything better, from staying healthy when you’re traveling to looking your best. Grab. Blend. Drink. They’re smoothies with a mission. (All serve one except as noted.)

Best Travel Smoothie
Purpose: To help you stay healthy when you’re on the go
Geeky ingredient: Açai berry puree
Grown on the banks of the Amazon, açai berries are packed with antioxidants, healthy omega-3 fats, potassium, fiber and vitamin A. “It’s a great smoothie base. It’s going to make the other ingredients you add so much brighter,” Bro says. She downs one pre-flight. “If I’m going to be traveling, I know my immune system will be taxed, so I focus on making a smoothie with ingredients that will maximize circulation and vitality.” Chia seeds, rolled oats and figs add nutrients to the mix along with fiber to help you feel full longer.
1 Sambazon unsweetened pure açai berry superfruit pack, thawed slightly
1/2 banana, frozen
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup mixed berries, frozen
2 to 3 fresh figs (or rehydrated dried figs)
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tbsp chia seeds
Toss everything in a blender and blend until smooth (about a minute). If you want a thicker smoothie, add ice. Top with coconut shavings, ground flax seeds, and drizzles of honey.
Best Breakfast Smoothie
Purpose: To give yourself an a.m. advantage
Geeky ingredient: Collagen protein
“It’s having a moment right now,” says Kate Kordsmeier, founder of the wellness site RootandRevel.com, who drinks this smoothie daily. “Collagen protein helps reduce joint pain, is good for digestion and strengthens your teeth, hair, and nails,” she notes. This classic green smoothie also gets a huge nutrient boost from superfoods like wheatgrass and chia seeds. “I always feel full of energy after drinking this green smoothie, but it’s the long-term effects of drinking it regularly that I notice the most,” Kordsmeier says. “You just feel so good the rest of the day.”
1 cup of frozen mango
1 1/2 cups coconut water
2 cups spinach
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp wheatgrass (Kordsmeier prefers Amazing Grass)
2 scoops collagen protein

Combine ingredients in a large, high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, and blend until smooth and creamy. Serves 2.
Açai by the Bowlful
It’s a hot, hot food trend made with an ingredient that’s both cool and cold: açai. In addition to helping travelers avoid illness, this Brazilian superfood is the basis of bowls that are flying over the counters of coffee shops and juice bars across the country. To make your own, throw a slightly thawed açai pack into a blender along with ingredients such as bananas, other berries and the milk (dairy, soy or almond) of your choice, pour into a bowl and top with your favorite stuff. (Always add the softest ingredients first.) Or you can simply go to the Morning Sunflower Smoothie Bowl recipe on page 35, which features Nature’s Plus Sunflower Protein and swap out the frozen berries for the açai. Breakfast is served!
Best Beauty Smoothie
Purpose: To help you look your best
Geeky ingredient: Silken tofu
The vegetable protein it provides promotes healing and the growth of new and healthy skin cells. “What you eat is going to show up on your face,” says the smoothie’s creator, Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, a nutritionist in New York City and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Rumsey’s creation is also filled with pumpkin seeds, walnuts, blueberries, and avocado, which provide collagen-boosting antioxidants, vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids. Protein and fiber from quinoa keep insulin from spiking, which can otherwise trigger acne. Added bonus: “These ingredients are great for heart health, weight management, and diabetes prevention too,” says Rumsey.

2 cups of spinach, fresh
3/4 cup blueberries, frozen or fresh
1/4 avocado
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp walnuts
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup silken tofu
8-10 ounces water or unsweetened nondairy milk or soy milk (depending on thickness preference)
1/2 cup ice Blend until smooth, add water or soy milk as needed for consistency.
Best A-Game Smoothie (or Bowl)
Purpose: To help you power through a big presentation or long meeting
Geeky ingredient: Wild blueberries
Compared to regular blues, these gems provide 72% more fiber and 32% less sugar while providing twice the level of antioxidants, says Jessica Cording, a New York City-based registered dietitian. Blueberries are a component of the MIND diet, which is a combination of the Mediterranean and Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diets. According to a recent study in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the MIND diet may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by as much as 53% in those who follow the diet rigorously. This brainiac smoothie is packed with protein powder too, “to help stabilize your blood sugar so you can stay focused, whether you’re giving a presentation or sitting through an important meeting,” says Cording.

3/4 to 1 cup water or unsweetened coconut water
1 scoop Original Vanilla Simply Natural SPIRU-TEIN Shake Powder from Nature’s Plus
1/2 tsp xanthan gum (Cording prefers Bob’s, Red Mill)
1/2 medium or 1 small frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
1/2 cup frozen riced cauliflower
1 cup frozen chopped spinach (or 2 cups raw)
1 cup ice (or more if needed)
Pile ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass or bowl. Garnish a tablespoon of chia seeds or other toppings, such as nuts, granola, cacao nibs, and coconut flakes, and drizzle with coconut oil.
Texture trick: Two additional geeky ingredients—cauliflower, cooked and chopped to the size of rice grains, and xanthan gum—lend a rich texture, especially if you like your smoothies thick. To the rice, your own cauliflower, cook a head of cauliflower, then pulse the florets into rice-size pieces in the food processor. Place extra in baggies and store them in the freezer for later.
Best Recovery Smoothie (or Bowl)
Purpose: To help you feel better faster after a big night out
Geeky ingredient: Pumpkin puree
“Whenever you’re hungover, you’re dehydrated and your electrolytes are out of whack,” Cording says. This smoothie, packed with pumpkin puree and banana, offers potassium, magnesium, and sodium to help replenish them. “A smoothie is a good first meal if you need to hit the reset button after a night out.”

1 cup water or unsweetened milk of your choice, such as almond milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 medium frozen banana
1 large handful of baby spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)*
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup ice
Layer ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You can pour into a bowl and top with chia seeds, coconut flakes or nuts. *Try using Vanilla Ultra Energy Shake or Vanilla SPIRU-TEIN Whey Shake, both from Nature’s Plus.
Smart Smoothie Strategies
Watch portion sizes. Smoothies can provide more than one serving of produce in one sitting. But don’t go crazy on the fruit. Even though fruit contains natural sugar, it’s still sugar that can cause your blood sugar to spike, then drop, leaving you tired and hungrier than ever. The liquid calories can go down fast, too, without making you feel them. To keep calories and carbs from adding up, ask yourself: Would I eat all the fruit in one sitting? If you’re contemplating throwing a banana, a mango and a cup of berries into the blender, for example, you’re overdoing it. “Use one cup of fruit total,” says Jessica Cording. “The rest should be vegetables, unsweetened liquid, and ice.”
Decide: Is this a meal replacement or a snack? If it’s a snack, keep toppings, such as seeds, nuts, and fruit, to a minimum. If it’s a meal, make sure it’s filling enough to be satisfying.
Don’t eat on your feet. “I love the smoothie bowl trend because it’s getting people to sit down and eat their smoothie with a spoon,” Cording says. Plus, research shows that the simple act of chewing your calories is more satiating than drinking them.

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