A creamy, healthy smoothie packed with protein, fiber, and complex carbs. This mocha banana protein smoothie tastes like a decadent coffee milkshake (minus the added sugar or dairy). Healthy and energizing, it’s the perfect refuel after a workout. It’s also a filling, delicious breakfast.
how to make a healthy smoothie
The key to making a healthy smoothie is all about balancing blood sugar. Ideally, you’re using ingredients that are minimally processed and high in macro / micronutrients (think: protein, fat, complex carbs, fiber, antioxidants, etc.).
Healthy smoothie formula:
1 cup frozen veggies / greens + 1 serving fruit + 2 tablespoons nut butter + 1 tablespoon SEeds + 1 Scoop protein powder + 1 1/2 cups non-dairy liquid
Frozen veggies / greens — riced cauliflower, chopped zucchini, sweet potato, cucumber, spinach, etc.
Frozen fruit — banana, berries, mango, orange, etc.
Nut butter / healthy fat — tahini, almond butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, avocado, etc.
Seeds — pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, etc.
Protein powder — whey, collagen, pea protein, etc.
Non-dairy liquid — unsweetened almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, pea milk, etc.
Without fail, this is satiating and nutritious. That said, the sky’s the limit. You can add various powders, like cacao powder and maca, or adaptogens, like ashwagandha. Otherwise, yogurt (plain Greek yogurt or coconut-based yogurt) or non-GMO tofu add protein and / or creaminess. Last but not least, don’t forget fresh herbs and seasonings, like mint and cinnamon.
A few tips and tricks for making an efficient smoothie with minimal clean-up:
Add your liquid, first. This helps the blade evenly blend. Add your greens / veggies, next. The closer these are to the blade, the finer they’ll blend. Pre-make your smoothie. Into a reusable bag, add your frozen fruit, greens, protein powder, and seeds. When it’s time to make your smoothie, quickly toss your prepped ingredients into the blender, then add nut butter and liquid. Rinse, immediately. As soon as your smoothie is done, wash out your blender. The longer the ingredients stick to the sides, the harder it will be to get them off. Add a couple drops of dish soap, hot water, and re-blend.
The best protein powders
Ultimately, this comes down to preference, dietary restrictions, and digestion. Some protein powders taste more chalky than others, so you’ll want to experiment — start with half a scoop and work your way up. Ideally, your smoothie has upwards of 20 grams of protein (10-15 grams from protein powder and the rest from the nuts / seeds you add).
A few of my favorite protein powders are Vega (vegan / plant-based), Primal Kitchen (whey), Vital Proteins (collagen peptides), Be Well By Kelly (grass-fed beef protein), and Ancient Nutrition (multi-collagen peptides). For a very clean, tasteless protein powder, I would suggest collagen peptides. For this particular smoothie recipe, I’m using Vega One® Organic All-in-One Shake Mocha.
ingredients in a mocha protein smoothie
Frozen banana: A frozen banana adds creaminess, complex carbs, and natural sugars. If you don’t like bananas, omit and add 1/2 cup of yogurt or 2 pitted dates.
Frozen cauliflower: While it may seem odd to add cauliflower to your smoothie, it’s mostly tasteless and adds more fiber and a thicker texture. I like to buy frozen bagged cauliflower for smoothies. You can read all about why you should be adding cauliflower to your smoothies, here.
Protein powder: The star of the show is Vega One® Organic All-in-One Shake Mocha. It is full of real, organic plant-based ingredients. Vega One® Organic All-in-One Shake harnesses the power of plants to help you supercharge your day. This protein powder is an excellent source of Antioxidant Vitamins A, C, and D to help support the immune system.
Unsweetened cacao powder: Cacao powder is packed with flavonoids. These nutrients that have been shown to help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow to the brain and heart, and more. The flavonoids in cacao powder may help increase insulin sensitivity, meaning this ingredient is linked to blood sugar regulation.
Tahini: Tahini (or tahina) is a Middle Eastern condiment made from toasted ground hulled sesame. It is a staple in our house — sauces and dips, like hummus, along with salad dressings. For those with nut allergies, it is a great swap in smoothies or on toast. It has an earthy taste (which can be eliminated by adding a dash of maple syrup or honey). Furthermore, tahini is an excellent source of lignans. Lignans are polyphenols that can help support the immune system and balance hormone levels. Lastly, it is also high in vitamin E, which functions as an antioxidant.
Healthy Mocha Banana Protein Smoothie
- 1 medium frozen banana
- 1 cup frozen cauliflower
- 1 scoop Vega One® Organic All-In-One Shake Mocha
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cacao powder
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
- ice (optional)
- Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend for 1-2 minutes, or until it reaches your desired consistency.