This has been my go-to smoothie lately. So many nutrients are packed in the most delicious, filling and refreshing smoothie I have had in awhile. I never would have thought citrus in a smoothie would do such a great job of masking the greens and matcha, but it really does. This green smoothie will hydrate you and fuel you for the day with good-for-you ingredients.
Every ingredient in this recipe has a purpose in terms of texture, flavor and/or nutrients. I’ll break it down for you…
- Dates naturally sweeten the smoothie (they are considered a fresh stone fruit) while also providing dietary fiber, zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron and vitamin K. Dates also contain 50% more potassium than a banana (weight for weight).
- Hemp hearts (hemp seeds) are a complete plant-based protein. They are also a substantial source of omega-3 fatty acids which reduce inflammation, lower the risk of heart disease and support brain health. They provide fiber for healthy digestion, calcium for strong bones, magnesium for heart health, zinc for immunity, B vitamins for energy and are loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, which fight tissue damage. They also contain omega-6 fatty acids, iron, potassium, thiamin, manganese, copper and phosphorus.
- Avocado makes the smoothie extra creamy while providing dietary fiber, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and nutrients that actually reduce your cholesterol levels, promote healthy vision and potentially protect against cancer. Avocados contain folate, vitamins E, C, and B6. And, avocados contain 60% more potassium per ounce than bananas!
- Brazil nuts offer more creaminess to the smoothie and are an excellent source of magnesium, copper, selenium and phosphorus. They are also a good source of manganese, vitamin E and thiamin.
- Matcha provides an added caffeine boost plus loads of antioxidants. Matcha is simply green tea leaves that have been crushed to form a fine powder. Because it is the whole green tea leaf it is extremely high in antioxidants. Matcha is said to provide a calming energy known as “zenergy” that is better than the caffeine buzz/jitters (and ultimate crash) from coffee. For the best quality matcha, go for organic matcha from Japan that is ceremonial grade.
- Almond milk is usually my go-to non-dairy milk but you could use any non-dairy milk in this recipe. Almond milk offers vitamin E and heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that won’t raise your cholesterol. The almond milk I use is only 30 calories per serving and is fortified with calcium and vitamin D.
- Spinach (or kale) provides plant-based iron and sneaks in some veggies into this recipe – you can use either in this recipe. You can store spinach and kale in your refrigerator or freezer. I like to store in my freezer for smoothies so it lasts longer. One serving of raw spinach (1/2 cup) has only 5 calories and contains calcium and iron plus 60% of your daily vitamin A and 15% of your daily vitamin C. Kale offers vitamin K for healthy blood and strong bones, iron, potassium, fiber and loads of antioxidants. 1 cup of kale contains well over 20% of the daily recommended amount of vitamins A and C.
- Orange offers a refreshing citrus flavor that masks the matcha and greens. It also provides loads of immune-boosting vitamin C which fights free radicals to prevent or delay certain cancers and heart disease. It is essential for the growth and repair of bodily tissues, helps heal wounds and repairs and maintains healthy cartilage, bones, teeth and skin. The raw spinach combined with the vitamin C-rich orange helps with the iron absorption. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spinach should be eaten with vitamin C-rich foods to improve iron absorption.
Altogether these ingredients pair so well and create an extremely satiating smoothie that will give you the perfect boost in the morning.
I hope you all enjoy this green protein smoothie. If you give it a try, please snap a pic and tag #eatingbyelaine and @eatingbyelaine so I can see your awesome creations.
- 4 pitted dates (soaked for best results)
- ¼ avocado
- 4 raw brazil nuts (or sub 2 tablespoons raw cashews)
- ½-1 teaspoon matcha (depending on how strong you want it)
- 3 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 2 large handfuls of spinach or kale
- 1 extra large frozen orange (or two small frozen oranges)*
- 1¼ cup unsweetened, plain non-dairy milk (I use almond milk)
- Add all ingredients to a high speed blender in the order listed above (dates in first at the bottom and non-dairy milk last). Puree until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into two glasses and serve immediately.
This recipe was inspired by Healthy Happy Life’s Green Fuel Protein Shake.