Lately I’ve been on this huge smoothie kick. My go-to smoothie is pears and frozen bananas, maybe with a dollop of pumpkin puree (as it is in season), with a little vanilla extract. This week, however, I opted for something simple but still packed with protein. I decided I would use some of my Vega One French Vanilla Nutritional Shake protein in my smoothie and combine it with berries. When I think of blueberry and strawberry smoothies I think back to the days when I first began drinking smoothies around my sophomore year of high school. I would drink them with flax seeds, water and whey protein when flax seeds weren’t even popular yet. The taste was alright and grew on me but had no “WOW!” factor. Kinda bland and what your typical basic health smoothie would taste like.
Ever since then, when I make a berry smoothie I always need a chocolate protein powder, some superfood or nut included into the blender so I am satisfied. Or maybe a date for some added sweetness. As I thought of what to add and what nut butters I had on hand, my eyes led me to my Maranatha sunflower seed butter. A jar is only $6 at Whole Foods and probably the best $6 you could spend. Also a great choice for those of you who aren’t nut butter fans but need some form of protein.
When I first tried the sunflower seed butter, one of my best friends came into my room wanting to sample some peanut butter packets I had that I wasn’t into. Turns out I gave her my peanut butter and she gave me a whole jar of the sunflower seed butter because she thought it was gross. Thanks to her, I continuously purchase it. It has 9 whopping grams of protein in two tablespoons which is more than most almond and peanut butters I’ve tried. Another bonus? It has two ingredients: roasted sunflower seed kernels and salt. Not a huge fan of salty nut and seed butters BUT it is so fresh that within a few days, it gets stiff in the fridge. A downside if you want to use it on toast or waffles but a total bonus for smoothies such as this one.
Since I only have a few packets of the Vega One on hand, I usually use half of one for a smoothie at a time. I would recommend a whole packet if you had no other form of protein in the smoothie or were drinking this as a post-workout snack. I was on my way to english class so I just used the supplement for a little flavor. The French Vanilla has a strong, distinct taste that makes the smoothies taste very bold so the fruit helps balance out the flavor.
- 1 tbsp Maranatha sunflower seed butter
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- ½ cup frozen blueberries
- ½ cup frozen strawberries
- 1 scoop or ½ packet of Vega One French Vanilla Nutritional Shake
- Ice (adjust amount for desired consistency)
- ¼ cup Engine2 Rip's Big Bowl cereal
- ¼ cup blueberries
- Blend all ingredients (up until ice) together.
- Add ice for desired thickness.
- Pour into glass and top with cereal/granola and extra blueberries, enjoy! 🙂
Once everything was blended up and scooped out into my cup, I obviously had to put some sort of topping on it. Toppings not only add an extra bit of flavor but make your smoothie more appealing to the eye, obviously. After obsessing over granola recently, I love something crunchy in the morning and when I have a smoothie, I need something in it to bite into. Hemp seeds, chia seeds, nuts. Excellent toppings always adding nutrients to your beverage.
Instead of using my usual handful of Purely Elizabeth granola, I opened my cupboard to Engine2 Rip’s Big Bowl Banana Walnut cereal. If you’ve never heard of Engine2 products, I highly recommend researching them ASAP. This product contains a mixture of four different whole grains: rolled oats, shredded wheat, wheat berries and sprouted grains.
To the average person granted that sounds pretty disgusting and bland but Engine2 amps it up with walnuts and freeze dried bananas. As a topping in a smoothie, I love the different flavors that come through in this cereal. A bite of a freeze dried banana floating around in the icy blend of berries… my mouth is watering just thinking of it.
A bright and berry-filled morning to say the least, bananas are a thing of last week and berries are the new obsession.
For just $3.99 you can buy Vega One Nutritional Shake packs at Whole Foods or online. A great option for a dairy-free and plant-based protein powder and if you’re too lazy to buy some good for you protein powder, vanilla extract and stevia can give you a slightly similar taste.
(because how could you not?)