I'm not a fan of traditional protein powders containing whey and soy but know that protein, along with carbohydrates, can be invaluable in a post-workout smoothie. So to ensure my body can recover quickly after a workout I make my own version of protein powder, and incorporate lots of greens and some healthy fats to help my body fully absorb all the vital nutrients.
I will warn that this combo is indeed not for the faint of heart. My personal challenge is to avoid eating sugar and this means trying to make a reasonable tasting smoothie with ONLY veggies. After looking around online, I found there are really no reasonable green smoothie recipes which do not incorporate fruits. After much experimenting I've settled on this recipe!
Since I have made green smoothies for a few years now, 'veggies-only' is a reasonably easy transition. However, if you haven't had a green smoothie before, or, if you like your smoothies to be on the sweeter side, you can always modify this recipe. The addition of a banana and apple will work fantastically for a bit of a gentler introduction to green smoothies.
Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Tools
- 2-3 stalks of kale (high in vitamins A, C, K and minerals)
- 1/2 avocado (high in healthy fats, potassium and folate)
- 2 celery stalks (good for inflammation)
- 1/2 cup cabbage (rich in antioxidants)
- 1/4 cucumber (rich in antioxidants)
- 1/4 cup almonds (high in protein)
- 1 TBSP chia seeds (high in fibre and calcium)
- 2-3 TBSP hemp hearts/seeds (contain all amino acids - a complete protein)
- Water (or ice if you like it cold!)
- Banana or apple (for some sweetness) *recommended if this is your first green smoothie
Nutribullet, Magic Bullet or blender
Step 2: Make Your Protein Powder (Almonds, Chia, & Hemp Seeds)
If you have a Nutribullet or Magic Bullet, put the almonds, chia and hemp hearts in the large bullet cup with the flat blade and blend for about 20-30 seconds until a powder forms. This is your protein powder!
No bullet blender?
If you don't have a Nutribullet or Magic Bullet type blender, or something which will grind your almonds, I would suggest you break down the almonds into smaller pieces in order to ensure they don't end up floating around your smoothie partially intact. The easiest way to do this is put them in a ziploc bag and just crush them with something hard like a pan or rolling pin. Once the pieces are slightly broken just add them to your blender with the hemp hearts and chia and follow with the next step.
Note: You may still end up with some small almond chunks.
Step 3: Put Your Smoothie Together & Enjoy
Once your powder is made you can add your avocado, celery, cucumber, cauliflower, and cabbage to your Nutribullet cup or blender. Be sure to add about 1/2 cup of water and turn on the blender until all the ingredients are incorporated.
I suggest leaving the kale and avocado out until last since you may not be able to fit them all in the first blend. I also like to do this because the kale is bulky, and the putting the avocado in last acts to smooth out the texture of blended kale (a banana, if used, would have a similar effect).
Once you have more room in your cup, add in the other optional ingredients like cinnamon and vanilla, plus your kale and avocado. Blend until smooth.
Now you have an incredibly nutrient dense, protein-packed, nourishing post-workout smoothie. Watch out for others trying to sneak a sip!