Hello again! A couple of the common responses I get after I tell people I’m vegan is “Isn’t it expensive/hard? What do you even eat?”, especially after they realize that I’m not the greatest cook. This has recently inspired me to start another category under Grab Bag Tuesdays (Or Wednesdays…) called Simply Delicious; where I’ll be adding some delicious vegan recipes that even I can make.
For a couple weeks now, I’ve really been getting into breakfast smoothies. Now that I have long work shifts during which I can’t snack, I realized I needed a big enough breakfast to hold me over until my lunch break. Since I don’t have a lot of time in the morning to get ready and make a big breakfast, I thought whipping up a smoothie in the morning might be an efficient way to get everything I need in the morning. That’s when my laziness kicked in and I didn’t want to go out and buy all this new food just for breakfast smoothies. So, in turn, I came up with an “Around the House Smoothie”, where you can turn what you have at home into your own yummy and nutritious smoothie.
First step: Gather all your ingredients! Look around your house for key things that you should add to your smoothie to get what you need:
I always make sure I got some fruit in my house; especially bananas. Bananas are always a great energy source and they have many valuable attributes to them. So when making your smoothie, try to see if you got any fruit at home. Frozen or fresh both work well. I recommend berries, bananas, or even apples are a great addition to your smoothie.
Leafy greens contain many vitamins, including protein and even iron. They add a valuable component to your smoothie, so check around your house to see what you got lying around. I always have some spinach for sandwiches and salads, and more recently I’ve been keeping some kale around. Spinach is great for iron and kale is excellent to get some vitamin C in your body, among other great aspects. Add a handful or two of your leafy greens into your smoothie. What might seem like a lot actually crushes down into nothing, so keep this in mind when you are trying to figure out how much you should add.
Protein is important to keep your energy up during the day. Being vegan, I’m constantly told by people that I will never get enough protein, but here’s a secret; you can get protein from other things than just meat, eggs, and dairy. When searching my house for protein ingredients, I found some oats leftover from Christmas baking. High in protein and fiber, oats are actually a great ingredient for a smoothie. I originally thought it’d make my smoothie taste chalky, but was surprised to find it added a creamy texture. I usually add about a tablespoon and a half to mine. Another thing you can look for is any nuts. This is a great way to get some use of your leftover holiday snacks (make sure there’s no added salt or anything to them, you definitely don’t want a salty smoothie!) I had some leftover almond slices from baking as well, so I throw in about a handful. Cashews or peanuts can also be a great idea to add.
Be it from previous smoothie attempts or leftovers from baking, you might be able to find some random extras to put in your smoothies that can help out. Seeds, protein powders, etc, can all add value to your smoothie and if you happen to have some around your house, you might as well throw it in! I happened to have a flax and hemp seed blend (both which are great for Omega 3’s and protein) from when my mom attempted morning smoothies, so I figured it was worth a shot. And since I had other flavorful things in my smoothie, I couldn’t even taste them. Obviously, you might not have any of these things so don’t fret if you don’t, they are just added extras. You definitely don’t need to go out and spend a small fortune on vegan protein powder or random blends for you to get a great smoothie.
An important part of a smoothie that goes without saying is liquid. Add your choice dairy alternative to your smoothie to get some protein and any vitamins that come with it. I always go for almond milk, but coconut milk, soy milk, hazelnut milk, cashew milk, etc all work just as well. I just personally like the taste of almond milk the best. I don’t really put a specific amount in, I just eyeball it and maybe fill it around half way. If you don’t have any vegan milk around, you can always go for juice. I’ve been recently adding orange juice to my smoothie to get an extra kick of vitamin C to help ward off any colds. If you want to add any ice to make it slushy, go for it! I usually don’t just because I don’t want to wake anyone up with the extra noise of it chopping down the ice. Not everyone appreciates the sound of blended ice at 4am.
Next step: Blend and enjoy!
What are some things you like to add to your smoothies? Comment down below!