Today I’d like to share with you the recipe for a vegan green smoothie with berries and chocolate that’s been a lifesaver for meas a breakfast option during the past few weeks of my pregnancy.
You certainly don’t have to be pregnant to drink it, but it makes a lot of sense to have it every now and then if/when you’re pregnant because of all the nutrition packed in it.
For almost all of my pregnancy, my go-to breakfast during the week has been oatmeal of some sort – overnight oats, steel-cut oatmeal, or these microwaveable packets of oats in maple-brown sugar flavor that I had a craving for early on.
However, around 7 months into my pregnancy oatmeal started giving me heartburn, and I knew that I had to find a different everyday breakfast option.
Cue in this green smoothie (okay, more like brown because of cocoa powder and berries) – as soon as I switched to drinking it 4-5 times a week, I started feeling much better!
The key to making this smoothie taste good while packing in lots of nutrients is balancing the green components (kale, green peas, optional cilantro if you’re not averse to it) with just enough sweetness derived from plant-based sources.
Blackstrap molasses, bananas, and frozen berries work great as plant-based sweet components.
Once everything is in the blender, we need to add enough liquid (non-dairy milk or water) to get things moving.
I find the combination of cocoa powder and raspberries from my frozen berry mix especially delicious here.
Adding a little bit of healthy fat ensures better nutrient absorption – however, I don’t recommend using more than 1-2 tablespoons of any fat sources at once as you may end up with a fat bomb first thing in the morning.
This works for just about any smoothie you may decide to experiment with at home without ending up with a dud that you’d want to pour down the drain.
So what makes this smoothie so great during pregnancy? All the nutrients packed in its ingredients, of course!
– Lots of iron in blackstrap molasses, pumpkin seeds and kale (a lot of pregnant women struggle from low iron levels, and vegans may be even more susceptible to pregnancy-related anemia);
– Magnesium in cocoa powder, kale and cilantro;
– Potassium in bananas, cocoa powder and berries;
– Folate in kale and cilantro;
– A variety of vitamins in frozen berries, such as vitamins C, K and B6;
– Protein in frozen peas, pumpkin seeds and peanut butter (and even more if you add some plant-based protein powder);
– Healthy fats in pumpkin seeds and peanut butter to help us absorb all of the nutrients in this smoothie even better;
– Fiber! Fiber in everything! Fiber as far as the eye can see! (Quite a lifesaver in the last months of pregnancy 🙂 )
If you have a high-powered blender like Vitamix, this smoothie comes to a luscious, creamy consistency in about 30 seconds. A regular blender may take longer, and the resulting smoothie may come out a bit grittier, but it’s still going to be just as nutritious.
A little tip on how to make sure you absorb as much nutrients from this smoothie as possible: don’t drink it too fast. There’s a reason why our bodies are designed to chew our food before swallowing.
As we chew, the food gets mixed with saliva, which in turn introduces a lot of enzymes that help our stomach to break it down more efficiently later on.
So take a sip of this smoothie, swish it around in your mouth for a few seconds, and proceed as usual.
If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to hear how it turned out! Give it a star rating below, pin it to Pinterest, tag @vegan_runner_eats on Instagram, or leave a comment.
Question for you: What’s your favorite vegan green smoothie recipe? Please share below!
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