Smoothies are a great go-to practically any time and that’s because they have the benefit of pulling double, even triple, duty: blend one up for a refreshing snack or an easy meal replacement. They can even pass for dessert—with the right ingredients, of course.
Smoothies are also an excellent delivery device for extra fruits and vegetables. Remember, most Americans fall short on their daily produce requirements. So, what’s the difference between these two smoothies pictured?
If you think one is a chocolatey dessert and the other a strawberry smoothie, think again. In reality, they both use almost all the same ingredients. The only difference is the one on the right is made with traditional green hemp protein, which can often seem less desirable not only because of its dark green color, but also because of its pungent flavor. The smoothie on the left, however, is made with our new V-70™ Hemp Heart Protein, which is neutral in flavor and white in color. Using it in the smoothie lets that perfectly light pink color of a strawberry smoothie come through.
Protein is one of 4 key components for a delicious and satisfying vegan smoothie. What else should you pack your smoothie with? Read on for our ideal formula.
- Plant Protein. Protein adds staying power to a smoothie—aka what carries someone to their next meal. This is an ingredient not to be skipped, and there are a few ways you can add vegan protein to your smoothie: tofu (Silken is ideal), a nut butter, or plant-based protein powder such as V-70TM Hemp Heart Protein. A 1/4-cup serving of V-70TM delivers 20 grams protein, far more than what you’d find in silken tofu and most nut butters.
- Fruit. It’s the heart of the perfect vegan smoothie! And it lends more than just natural sweetness. Fruit delivers fiber, good-for-you phytochemicals, and is easy to pair with multiple fruits and that adds variety. Stick to frozen fruit as much as possible—not only will it last longer than fresh fruit, and is typically already skinned and sliced (read: less effort!), but also frozen fruit lends more thickness to a smoothie than fresh fruit will.
- Vegetables. A small fistful of greens gives the vegan smoothie an extra nutrition boost of fiber and key vitamins and minerals. Try stemmed kale, spinach, or arugula. For the mildest, “beginner-type” flavor, use baby spinach.
- Liquid. Last, but not least: liquid is a must to literally blend all of the ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Skip any cow’s milk or yogurt (or any other animal dairy for that matter) to keep it vegan and instead, look to plant-based milks or plant-based yogurts.
Now that we’ve outlined the four main ingredients for the perfect vegan smoothie, let’s look at the amount (approximately) of each ingredient group. Use these amounts as a guide and so if you err on the lesser quantity for fruit, follow suit with veggies, liquid, and plant protein. And, then, vice-a-versa if you aim for a larger serving and bigger quantity of ingredients:
- Fruit: 1 to 2 cups
- Vegetables: 1/2 cup to 1 cup
- Liquid: 1 to 2 cups
- Plant Protein: 2 Tbsp. to 1/4 cup