Let me start by saying there are very few foods (Paleo or otherwise), that I would prefer over a well-made smoothie. Smoothies are the perfect combination of unbelievable taste, silky-smooth texture, and healthy refreshment! When you come home after a tough workout, there is nothing better than relaxing with an ice cold fruity concoction. Over the years, I have perfected my smoothie-making abilities to the point where I now rarely create anything less than spectacular.
That wasn’t always the case though.
In my smoothie development, I made plenty of smoothies that never made it past the second sip and went straight down the drain. They tasted so bad that they weren’t even worth trying to save by adding more ingredients. It was just better to start over and remember to never make that same combination again.
I have also made smoothies on the other end of the spectrum as well. They tasted unbelievable! So much so, that I couldn’t stop drinking them and wanted to have more and more! But a lot of those smoothies were LOADED with sugar! The nutritional breakdown looked more like an Extra Large Blizzard then a healthy meal replacement.
So I am faced with a slight dilemma.
What is the perfect smoothie combination of healthy ingredients and unbelievable flavor?
And that’s where the blueprint comes in. The blueprint is a system that allows just enough freedom to create an endless amount of flavors, but is strict enough where the final product is almost always amazing! (and healthy!)
Here is what it looks like:
1) 1 – 1½ cups of Liquid
Some personal favorites include unsweetened or canned coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk, grass fed whole or reduced fat milk, or even just water. Sometimes I will even combine two or three different liquids for the perfect smoothie base.
2) 25-40 grams of Whey Protein Powder
I have always been a fan of the flavor and nutritional breakdown of Optimum Nutrition’s 100% Whey Protein Double Rich Chocolate Flavor. It’s fairly inexpensive and it adds just enough chocolaty taste, without overpowering the flavor of whatever fruit or other ingredients you decide to use. There may be better protein powders out there, but I have yet to find one that is more versatile.
3) Up to 1 cup of Frozen Fruit
Frozen fruit is what makes the texture of a smoothie so perfect. Sometimes ice can stay chunky if you add too much, but frozen fruit almost always seems to give you a nice thick texture. My favorite is frozen blueberries (by far), but you really can’t go wrong with any fruit. Just be weary of the quantity of fruit that you use, this is where the carbs and sugars can add up real fast! Going heavy on the fruit is probably the biggest mistake that most beginners make.
4) 1 or 2 Raw Cage Free Omega 3 Eggs
This may seem crazy to some people, but it is the single greatest ingredient in the smoothies that I make! The eggs and frozen fruit combine for the perfect texture. The fat from the yolks elevate the flavor to a level you would never imagine, and there is not even a hint of a raw or overpowering egg flavor. This will transform your protein smoothie into an amazing milkshake! Not to mention that eggs are a nutritional powerhouse!
Those 4 ingredients make up the blueprint that I now use for 97% of the smoothies I make. In fact, many of the smoothies that I make will ONLY consist of those 4 ingredients. They are that perfect together! If I am feeling a little frisky though, some of my other favorites include shredded coconut, almond butter, macadamia nuts, cooked sweet potato chunks, and ice for added texture. I try to never use too much of any of these other ingredients at one time, but it can be fun to play around with some additional flavors.
If you want to see the blueprint in action, here’s an example of a smoothie that I make on a regular basis:
½ cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk
½ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk
¾ cup Frozen Blueberries
1 heaping scoop ON Whey Protein Powder
2 Raw Cage Free Eggs
I’m curious to hear what everyone else considers to be the perfect smoothie. What are your go-to ingredients? Is there an ingredient you use that most people wouldn’t dare think of but tastes amazing?