Read an Excerpt
Why Vegan Smoothies?
Every smoothie recipe in this book is one hundred percent plant-based, vegan. Nutritional information and all. No thinking required. Vegan smoothies are free of the animal products that you often find in smoothie recipes, such as dairy milk, dairy yogurt, and honey. Dairy from animals can contain saturated fat, hormones, chemicals, and more. And for some people, digesting dairy is a taxing process.
Not only can animal products be harsh on your body, they are definitely harsh on the animals they come from. By choosing vegan plant-based smoothies, you are making a compassionate choice for animals—and a smart choice for our planet.
Not vegan? Totally OK. You don’t have to be vegan to love these recipes. And blending up plant-based smoothies is an excellent way to experiment with vegan cuisine. You may be pleasantly surprised at what you don’t miss—and how vibrant, energized, light, and satisfled you feel.
Vegan Substitutions for Dairy
I’m making it easy for smoothie lovers. There is no reason why you would need dairy products to build a delicious smoothie, and here is how I do it with common substitutions:
dairy yogurt —› non-dairy yogurt (such as soy, almond, or coconut yogurt)
dairy milk —› non-dairy milk (such as almond, rice, cashew, soy, coconut, grain, or flax milk)
whey protein powder —› dairy- and casein-free protein
powders (soy, hemp, pea, or other vegan protein
whipped cream —› soy, rice, or coconut whipped topping
Smoothie Recipe FAQs
1. Q: What do you mean by “healthy fats”? And aren’t all fats bad for me?
A: First, when talking about fat, it is a good idea to evaluate your cognitive relationship with consuming foods that are rich in fats. If you are the type of eater who gravitates toward foods labeled “fat-free,” you may need to readjust your thinking. The truth is, you should be including fat in your diet. And even though, calorie-wise, all fats contain 9 calories per gram, health-wise, not all fats are created equal. Some are healthier than others; thus the term “healthy fats.”
Eating 10 grams of fat from butter is much less healthy than eating 10 grams of fat from walnuts. Walnuts are much higher in “healthy fats” than butter.
Healthy fats can include monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3 essential fatty acids, aka EFAs.
Healthy fat intake plays a significant role in wellness. Everything from appetite control, brain function, mood regulation, and even weight loss may be influenced by whether or not you are consuming enough healthy fats.
Healthy fats for your smoothies include avocado, nuts, nut butters, seeds, and healthy nut and seed oils like flax, chia, walnut, pumpkin seed, and hemp.
Another important point is that some vitamins, like vitamin A (from beta-carotene), vitamin K, vitamin E, and vitamin D, are fat-soluble. This means that your body needs some fat present to properly absorb these nutrients. So adding a drizzle of flax oil, a handful of nuts, or a teaspoon of nut butter to your smoothies may actually help with total nutrient absorption.
On the flip side, should you be limiting “unhealthy” fats? Most experts agree that you should pay attention to hydrogenated fats, with their trans-fatty acids, and saturated fats in your diet. For example, the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee strongly advises that “healthy Americans over age two limit their intake of trans fat to less than one percent of total calories.”
2. Q: What’s with all the coconut water ice cubes?
A: You will find lots of smoothies using coconut water ice cubes instead of ice. The reason for this is that coconut water cubes add nutrients and a subtle sweetness yet serve the same purpose as plain water ice cubes—to add frostiness to the texture and chill the smoothie. Substitute regular ice for the coconut water cubes if you like or if you don’t have coconut water in the house.
3. Q: What are the different types of smoothies?
A: Not all smoothies are created equal! The term “smoothie” refers to a broad umbrella of recipes.
THE 10 TYPES OF SMOOTHIES IN THIS BOOK
4. Q: Is there a basic smoothie formula?
A: I would say yes if there were only one variety of smoothie. But as you will learn from my recipes, smoothies come in a wide variety of textures, colors, flavors, and temperatures. But for a “classic” frosty-creamy smoothie I like to stick close to this ratio:
1 cup liquid 1½ cups frozen fruit optional ½ cup softer fruit or veggie or liquid (such as room-temperature banana, kiwi, kale, or soy yogurt) ¼ to ½ cup ice
When adding leafy greens to a smoothie, I use roughly ½ cup of liquid for every 2 cups of greens to help blend the smoothie.
5. Q: How long do I blend my smoothie for a smooth texture?
A: You never want your smoothie to be lumpy—thus the term “smoothie.” When the smoothie is a uniform color and is blending in a smooth swirl, it is done. Try not to overblend, as your smoothie will start to “melt” from the heat of the blender
- Green Smoothie. A green smoothie is green in color, as it contains green ingredients. Green smoothies vary in texture and flavor but are usually a blend of fruits and veggies to optimize flavor. Contrary to what you may think about foods that are green, green smoothies are usually quite sweet in flavor from the blended fruits and veggies.
- Frosty. A frosty is very similar to a smoothie; however, instead of being silky and creamy, it has a notably icy and “frosty” texture. A frosty, because of its iciness, is usually a bit colder than a smoothie and melts more slowly. However, just a like a smoothie, a frosty is vibrant in flavor and rich in whole foods, and it does not have a watered-down taste. A watermelon frosty is a good example.
- Frozen. Seeking a super-light and refreshing blend? Try a frozen. Frozens are a refreshing option for hydration, as they are mostly a frozen version of a liquid drink. Think of frozen lemonade. Lots of sweet clear liquid, blended with a large amount of ice and maybe some frozen fruit to accent. Frozens are generally lower in fiber and whole foods than frosties.
- Whole Food Smoothie. This type of smoothie simply contains mostly whole food ingredients. For example, instead of adding orange juice, you might add a whole peeled orange plus a splash of water to help with blending. Most green smoothies—rich in leafy greens—are also whole food smoothies.
- Grain, Nut, or Seed Shake. Creamy, delicious, and packed with diverse nutrients like protein, fiber, complex carbs, and vitamins, grain, nut, and seed shakes offer your body a break from the traditional fruit-and-veggie-style blend.
- Protein Smoothie. A protein smoothie is any blend that is particularly rich in protein. Maybe it contains a scoop of hemp seeds, nut butter, or protein powder. Protein smoothies usually use a non-dairy milk or water base.
- Shake. A shake is a broad term for smoothies that resemble thick, creamy milkshakes—they are less icy and usually do not need any ice at all. Frozen bananas are often used in shakes, which often feature “dessert” flavors like cacao, maple, nut butter, and vanilla.
- Cooler or Tonic. Coolers and tonics are the thinnest of all the smoothie varieties. They blend up to be cool, light, thin, and hydrating. Plenty of liquid and fresh chilled produce (as opposed to frozen) is often used.
- Cruncher. A cruncher is any smoothie that contains an added element of crunch—vegan granola, chopped nuts, crunchy sprouted grains (such as buckwheat), pufled grains, crushed vegan cookies, and more. Cruncher smoothies are usually thick in texture so that the topping blends nicely—like a smoothie parfait. Use a spoon instead of a straw when eating a cruncher! Though you will not see many recipes for crunchers, you can alter many of my thick-textured smoothie recipes to make them crunchers. You just need to add the crunch!
- Basic Smoothie. Last, if a recipe in this book does not fit one of the descriptions above, it probably falls under the wide and colorful umbrella term “smoothie.” Smoothies are a blend of fresh and/or frozen fruit, maybe some veggies and add-ins, and varying liquids and ice.