Today I’d like to share with you the recipe for a vegan breakfast smoothie that’s been a lifesaver for me 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. Okay, I’ll admit that it may look like the most appetizing thing ever, but hey, some great things in life sometimes come in less than perfectly looking packages 🙂
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, frozen berries), and then adding enough liquid to get things moving in the blender. 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.
[bctt tweet=”The healthiest #plantbased breakfast smoothie #recipe that’s ideal during #pregnancy!” username=”alinazavatsky”]
This green smoothie is ideal for pregnancy thanks to its combination of plant-based ingredients high in iron, protein and fiber, plus healthy fats to maximize nutrient absorption. A great way to load up on nutrition first thing in the morning!
- 2-3 large kale leaves
- 1/2 banana, fresh or frozen
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 Tbsp natural peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1/2 Tbsp cacao powder
- 1/4 cup frozen peas (or canned white beans)
- 1/2 - 1 cup assorted frozen berries (I use a mix of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries)
- 1/2 c almond milk
- 1/2 - 1 c water (feel free to use more to get thinner consistency)
- 1/2 - 1 scoop protein powder (I love this vanilla-flavored protein powder by PlantFusion)
- small handful of cilantro
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fresh or grated dried ginger
- Add all of the ingredients into a high speed blender and blend until smooth. If the smoothie appears too thick, add more water or almond milk. Enjoy!
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 smoothie, swish it around in your mouth for a few seconds, and proceed as usual.
Question for you: What’s your favorite smoothie recipe? Please share below!
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