The benefits of eating breakfast in the morning include potential weight management, blood sugar control for the day, and filling in recommended daily nutrients that can't be obtained in just two meals.
For those who want to incorporate breakfast into their daily routine, but don't feel hungry in the morning, instead of eating breakfast, drink it! Below are two breakfast smoothie recipes packed with the nutrients needed to provide energy, manage blood sugars, and maintain a strong immune system.
After reading my smoothie ideas, I'd love to hear yours. Please leave a comment with smoothie combos you love or would like to try!
The first nutrient-packed smoothie is:
Citrus Spinach Hemp Smoothie
This first smoothie combines spinach, hemp seeds, and orange juice. Between the spinach and hemp seeds, they provide plant-based protein and iron, which is great for vegetarians and vegans.
However, humans don’t absorb iron well from plant sources, but vitamin C helps. One cup of OJ provides the daily recommended needs of vitamin C, as well as one third of the daily calcium recommendation (if fortified) and 2 grams of protein.
Other fruits I would consider adding to this combo are:
Apples - They have a natural “pick me up” property stronger than a cup of coffee! They also contribute calcium, vitamin A, and fiber.
Cucumbers- The water content in cucumbers also has a "wake-up" effect, but cukes are surprisingly packed with calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin A, as well.
Blueberries- Their blue color comes from anthocyanins which are antioxidants that appear to have cardiovascular benefits and aid in memory improvement.
Citrus Spinach Hemp Smoothie Recipe
1 cup of fresh spinach
1 cup of fortified orange juice
3 Tbsp of hemp seeds
Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy.
Calories: 282 Fat: 15g Saturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Protein: 12g Total Carbs: 30g Total Sugars: 23g Fiber: 2g Added Sugar: 0g Sodium: 37mg Vit C: 75% Potassium: 20% Iron: 15% Calcium: 6%
Here's a second smoothie idea:
Peanut Butter Banana Cocoa Smoothie
Why is this a great combo for breakfast?
This Peanut Butter Banana Cocoa smoothie provides enough calories to act as a complete meal, along with all of the macronutrients- protein, carbs, and fat.
Research recommends getting 30g of protein at breakfast, about half of the recommended protein needs for the day. This shake comes just under at 28g of protein. High protein breakfasts jumpstart our metabolism in the morning while helping to manage blood sugar spikes that can occur when we only eat carbohydrates in a sitting. High protein meals also require more energy to digest, so you're burning calories to metabolize the protein.
High in Fiber
For those watching their carb portions, such as people with diabetes, this smoothie counts as 2 carb servings- perfect for breakfast. Additionally, it’s balanced with a lot of fiber- 11g. This is 44% of the recommended fiber for the day! Fiber helps not only control blood sugars, but is also a heart healthy nutrient and aids in digestion.
This delicious smoothie provides healthy fats (monounsaturated) from the peanut butter, almond milk, and yogurt.
Meanwhile, the peanut butter also contains niacin, a B vitamin that helps metabolize protein, carbs, and fat.
Vitamins & Minerals
Finally, this smoothie is packed full of vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin E, calcium, and magnesium. These contribute towards bone, muscle, nerve, and heart health.
Almost dessert-like, this healthful drink can be a welcoming way to ease into the day. Here’s the recipe:
PB-Banana-Cocoa Smoothie Recipe
2 Tbsp peanut butter (or any nut butter)
2/3 cup Greek, low-fat plain yogurt*
1 cup almond (or any) milk or fill until smoothie reaches desired thickness*
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
(*Note: If you're used to sweeter tastes, you may want to use sweetened vanilla almond milk or chocolate or vanilla yogurt)
1. Blend all ingredients and enjoy!
475 Calories 28g Protein 24g Fat 5g Saturated Fat 49g Total Carbohydrates 11g Fiber 0g Added Sugar
*Note: This nutritional analysis is based on using sugarless peanut butter. I recommend a brand like Adams 100% Peanut Butter.