I started making smoothies at the beginning of the year to get some more whole foods, hydration and variety in my diet and have been making them at least 2-3 times a week. At first I was making them just for breakfast, but I have really upped my running training and have now added them as a great post-workout snack.
I used to be pretty anti-protein powder for added supplements. Even though I am eating mostly vegan these days, it is still pretty easy to get all your protein (and vitamins) from nuts, veggies, and whole grains. I add in the occasional piece of fish to boost my protein as well. But I noticed with my more intense weeks of training, I was starting to be pretty tired and sluggish. I have been reading about vegan athletes' diets and they all seem to use a lot of protein powders.I decided to put aside my prejudices of protein powders and start adding them to my smoothies just to be on the safe side. I also added more water during the day and more rest between long runs. It seems to be paying off.
Protein powders are nefarious creatures, with no regulation regarding health claims or additives and many of them contain a lot of added sugars. I have tried the Vega line through some free samples and thought they tasted disgusting on their own, but okay mixed into smoothies. But Vega is pretty expensive so I decided to see what I could find at Fred Meyers. After reading many many labels, I found one that is rice based with no added sugars or weird unpronounceable words: always a good thing.
I never make the exact same smoothie twice because I always use whatever is on hand. Today's smoothie might have been my most delicious yet so I may just have to make it again.
Chocolate Ginger Smoothie
makes 2 smoothies
1/2 bag frozen blueberries
1 cup loosely packed chopped swiss chard or other leafy green
1 small zucchini ( I use the zucchini leftovers from my spiralizer)
1 Tablespoon almond butter
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1 heaping Tablespoon raw cacao
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
2 Tablespoons your preferred protein powder (optional)
1 pint almond milk (unsweetened)
Blend thoroughly in your high speed blender. For more of a chilled smoothie, use a frozen banana and throw in a couple of ice cubes.
Yum! I might need to make this again for after my long run this week!