Smoothie! It’s what’s for breakfast

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life35 Comments | best smoothie recipe ever | best smoothie recipe ever
When I am focused on taking care of myself there is one thing you can bet on every day: for breakfast, I have a smoothie. Further, anytime I post a smoothie photo to Instagram, I get asked for the recipe. Ergo, the point of today’s post.

Some people I know are very much against drinking their calories. I wouldn’t go as far as saying they’re anti-smoothie, but they just aren’t down with drinking their meals.

I’ve shared this smoothie before here on my blog, but it’s evolved over the years to a nearly dairy-free state. I say nearly, because it does use a whey protein powder. First the recipe, then my smoothie building secrets.

1 heaping cup of frozen fruit (I use raspberries—no added sugar—almost exclusively, because of their awesome tart-ness)
1 scoop of Dynamic Greens (I get the Strawberry- Kiwi)
1 scoop whey protein powder (I use a vanilla-flavored one)
1/3 cup of coconut milk (or whole milk Greek or plain yogurt)
4 to 6 oz water
6 ice cubes

Layer ingredients in order in your blender (the order is important so you’re ingredients don’t gum up on you!), leaving the ice cubes out for the first run. I have a Blendtec blender and I run it on the whole fruit smoothie cycle once, then I add 6 ice cubes and run it a second time. When I am done, a smoothie miracle has occurred.

1. Coconut milk is awesome. Everyone is all over coconut milk right now and the best part is that if you add this healthy fat to your smoothie, you’ll feel fuller longer. I have used organic Thai Kitchen coconut milk because that’s what they carry at my local grocery store. I take a whole can and dump it into my blender, then I add a half cup of water to thin it out a bit and blend. Then I store that mixture in the fridge and use it for my smoothie. It makes for a creamy non-dairy additive and stretches it out a bit more. Plus it’s freaking delicious. And the best part? It’s not milk, if you are a lactose intolerant kind of girl. If you’re not a fan of the coconut flavor, try whole milk Greek yogurt for a tart, zippy taste! I am currently all over the Greek yogurt. Just choose a healthy fat you like!

2. Dynamic Greens are the shizz, people. Imagine 10 pounds of every super fruit and vegetable distilled down into one powder, and you’ll have Dynamic Greens. I buy mine locally from Nutritional Weight and Wellness, and they come in a handful of flavors. I only like the Strawberry-Kiwi, because I’m all about the tart smoothie. Dynamic Greens provide a serious antioxidant punch and I feel like the fact that I have this smoothie almost every day is one of the reasons I don’t get sick very often. I can’t back that up scientifically, but I feel like there’s something to it. This stuff isn’t cheap but it adds a lot of nutrition to your drink.

3. Don’t add extra sugary stuff to your smoothie. This smoothie already has all that fruit and that’s enough sugar. You could also toss in a handful of spinach or kale and it wouldn’t change the taste.

4. Protein also keeps you satiated. Protein powder is key to this drink. In addition to the healthy fat, protein burns in our metabolism differently. It’s a slow burner and we feel fuller longer. Listen, I’m no expert, but if you’re eating cereal or toast or baked goods for breakfast and wonder why you start to crave stuff mid morning? I have your answer: lack of protein in your breakfast. Trust me. I’m middle aged and I speak from experience.

5. Invest in a good blender. I love my Blendtec. I got it in a work trade for a friend of mine who owns a restaurant supply company. I did about $500 work on a catalog for him a number of years ago. He paid me with a blender. It was totally a fair trade. Part of me always yearned for a Vitamix, but this bad boy has been a workhorse for me and I have no complaints.

6. Blend twice. I do everything except the ice first and run one full cycle. Then I add the ice, and run the cycle again. Perfectly smooth smoothie.

I don’t require much variety so I have this every single day. I buy raspberries from a local restaurant supply company using my hubby’s membership card. I bring home 10 pounds for $25. And yes, that’s a steal. The supplements are pricey, but I figure this is how I start my day and it really does start me out on a healthy note.

There are so many ways you can smoothie for breakfast. The key is to have good ingredients and pack in as much nutrition as possible.

Of course, there are all sorts of opinions on nutrition and I am not an expert. I have a book on smoothies that rails against the use of whey protein powder. I know people who can’t fathom using coconut milk because of the high calorie count it brings. But this one? It’s working for me.

Plus, I’m down 6 pounds from the new year and hells bells, I’ll take it.

Do you smoothie? And if you have a recipe you love, by all means, share.




Cathy ZielskeSmoothie! It’s what’s for breakfast

35 Comments on “Smoothie! It’s what’s for breakfast”

  1. #1

    Thank you soo much for this post Cathy! I am going to share this with my husband who has been trying so hard to find a smoothie recipe that he can get down (and he already uses some of what is in yours – bonus!). Hopefully this will work for him or at least be something he can experiment with and come to a good one that works for him! Dieting is hard and I am trying to support his efforts in any way that I can. So Thank you again for sharing this one!!

  2. #2

    Blenders are awesome. I also have one and got a spare blade as a present. Love mine!
    I have a bit of a different need than others, I use my smoothie for healing and because I have a problem eating. You would too if you look at the amount of medication and mostly herbal, naturopathic and supplements I’m suppose to take before a meal. I swear if I would walk you can hear me rattle, those are the pills in my stomach. They easily run between the 40 and 50 per time. Who is I terested in food after that eh? So I skipped meals and meals and that wasn’t a good idea. In the smoothies came.

    I hate grittiness in my smoothies so I dissolve the chia seeds which turn into a jelly and the protein powder first before I add them to the blender because protein powder in contact with ice = grittiness. I use a 4 different organic sources protein powder. It is freaking hard to find a powder that isn’t like sand in the Oregon beach and without a sweetener! So, chia seeds, protein powder, whatever frozen fruits we have left from summer harvest, and now for the healing properties, 4 large frozen cubes if raw cannabis and for liquid coconut water because I need the electrolytes etc. for cardiac related stuff. Buzzzzzzzzzzz done.

    To answer the question yes I am a medical marijuana card holder and no raw cannabis does not have you a high. The high properties THC only gets released whe the material is heated. Besides that, the plant has awesome healing properties that does not involve heating. The best way would be when the plant is cut to juice it in a short amount of time but because I don’t grow them myself is that impossible. In Oregon we need to appoint a grower, if you do not grow them, the grower provides you with your medicine a certain amount per month, free, and certain strains that help you with pain or whatever your needs are. My grower juices the plant, flash freezes them in cubes and off to me they go and into my smoothie. I love the taste, it is sweet and earthie, depending on the fruit used but with strawberries it reminds me of fresh cut spring grass.:-) together with our Oregon Blueberries they are also delish.

    They slowly improving my skin, I have a bit more energy and can be up now for an hour in the early afternoon and in hour in the evening. And with up I mean sitting in my wheelchair and doing something that makes me happy. Sometimes we need to use that up time for a hair wash or a shower which I can not do by myself. That time is also precious because of the quality time with his hubness who loves taking care of me and nothing beats the feeling if lying in a freshly clean bed with a freshly clean body.:-) you priorities shift from things that I used to take for granted like showering to finding joy and happiness in these mundane things. I’m enormously grateful my raw cannabis smoothie has made that possible for me.

    1. #2.1
      Cathy Zielske

      TInk, yeah, the chia would bug if I has issues with the grit. I hear you!

      I am a supporter of medical marijuana. I have seen it do some amazing things for people who are dealing with things, especially cancer. I didn’t realize that it didn’t automatically get you high. You learn something new every day! Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. #3

    Ahhhhh stupid autocorrect on iPad. Not Blenders but Blendtec! I also have a Blendtec! Silly iPad! You hear I have a Blendtec, that’s right a Blendtec. There that will teach you!

  4. #4

    I love smoothies for breakfast; my vegan daughter has one nearly every day. Since I’m not vegan, I make mine with greek yogurt, whey protein powder, powdered peanut butter, a banana, almond milk and spinach. I think I’ll whip one up this morning, as a matter of fact!

    I’m going to look for chia seeds and the Dynamic Greens today while I’m out and about. Thanks for the tip.

  5. #5

    Thanks for this post Cathy, especially for explaining each ingredient and where you bought it. I often see smoothie recipes and think, “where do they find this stuff?”. And then I do nothing about it. I like smoothies but the ones I make don’t pack a huge nutritional punch. Still better than my usual piece of toast with butter though. Going to take your ideas with me— to the grocery store!

  6. #6
    Julie G

    I believe this will be my first CZ Design Pinterest Pin. Smoothies are the best! I like to replace dinner with a smoothie because I can convince myself it’s dessert – for dinner. And also because then I have a great excuse to make my husband fend for himself. 😉

    1. #6.1

      I make mine for dinner too! I was always against drinking my food (calories) until I heard about green smoothies. Currently I have a smoothie every night for dinner. I live alone due to work commitments, work 12 hour days and don’t enjoy cooking so the thought of cooking dinner is not a happy one. I blend 2 cups of green leaves (spinach, kale, beetroot leaves – what ever is available ready to go at the supermarket) and a cut up kiwifruit (with skin) with a cup of water then add a scoop of whey protein powder, a tblspn of chia seeds, same of coconut oil, a cup of frozen berries, half a dozen cubes of frozen avocado and blend again, adding more water if it’s a bit thick. It makes the best, slightly tart smoothie which is super satisfying meal thanks to the veges and coconut oil. Afterwards I fill the blender about one third with hot water and squirt of dishwashing liquid, run it for a minute and that is the washing up done!

  7. #7

    We make a smoothie with our breakfast about 3 times a week. We drink it like our juice for the day and still have a meal with it. But, I think I want to look into getting protein and basically just having the smoothie for my meal. Here’s what we make in case someone is looking for a different recipe-
    Frozen Fruit

    No dairy, no fatty stuff. Just fruit, spinach, and water. In the blender. It’s good and we love it. Thanks for sharing yours Cathy.

  8. #8

    I am starting to love making smoothies. I use a Nutra Bullet because it is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to store. I need easy to keep this up. I generally use frozen fruits, one banana, Whey protein powder, chia seeds and orange juice (to water it down). I flip between Almond Milk and yogurt. I found on Pinterest a lunch one, which I think would be great to try on those days I don’t have the time to bring something from home but yet don’t want to go out and eat either. Any suggestions there? Thanks Cathy – you rock.

  9. #9

    We have almost the same smoothie for breakfast… Sub out for blueberries and add some spinach. I use the greens powder from Trader Joes and I agree…in the years I’ve been using it I’ve contracted far fewer seasonal bugs! Also I went Blendtec and will never go back..

  10. #10

    Thanks Cathy, I am a smoothie gal too…love starting my mornings off with one and find that it really helps restore my energy levels after a long power walk as well. I think (for me anyway) that a great blender really helps, we bought a Vitamix a couple of months ago and man has it made such a huge difference! Talk about putting the smooth in smoothie! I use chia seeds, flax seeds, cocoa nibs, and fruits with seeds like blackberries and it all comes out with velvety smoothness! Thank you for sharing!

  11. #11
    Kirsten J

    I used to think I was a weirdo because smoothies make me retch. I’ve just never been a fan. Milkshakes either. Ugh. But there was one thread on TwoPeas and I guess there are others like me. We have a pretty ordinary blender….and my family uses frozen fruit and they like yogurt in there, too. I gag when I smell them – give me a bowl of fruit and a glass of milk.

  12. #12
    Glenda Thorne

    I am a smoothie junkie as well. I have been using unsweetened vanilla almond milk and love it in my smoothies. Frozen fruit of any kind is delicious, but lately I’ve been loving mangos and dark cherries, mmmmmm good. No special recipes, I use whatever I have at the moment, blend it all up and enjoy. Thanks for sharing your recipe and all the nutritional info. Drink up!

  13. #13

    Love this recipe. I have a lot of food restrictions due to autoimmune issues, and I do really believe in j.e.r.f. (just eat real food). BUT sometimes, I *want* a frosty creamy smoothie. And sometimes I don’t want a chewy meal. And sometimes I’m just not that hungry. And sometimes, convenience is a smoothie, not cooking a meal. So…I love good smoothie recipes. There is always a place for them. Thanks again!

  14. #14

    If you have a blentec, why not make your own coconut milk? I use unsweetened shredded coconut from Costco. I combine 1 part coconut with 2 parts water in my vitamix. Blend for 2 minutes, pour through a nut milk bag and voila! Deliciousness.

      1. #14.1.1

        Did you get the booklet with recipes with the Blendtec? She had also some recipes in there for making almond milk this way too, which was yum and also making cheese like spreads with the almond that is left. It looks and taste like goat cheese with garlic and spring onions and was delish on a cracker and a glass of wine. We were so proud that we pulled it off. Could not believe it was that easy.:-) I just found a recipe to make coconut yogurt. Thanks for the tip to make your own coconut milk, now going to try the yogurt!

  15. #15
    christi in ma

    My smoothies are almost always: big glug of milk, a huge scoop of greek yogurt, 1-2 scoops of Syntha 6 protein powder (usually chocolate peanut butter), 2-3 big handfuls of baby spinach, a big dash of cinnamon, some frozen berries.

    The Syntha 6 protein powder is the only one I found that isn’t chalky, musty, and gritty.
    It comes in a wide variety of flavors too.

    I stopped using almond or coconut milk since they don’t have a lot of protein or calcium.

  16. #16

    We LOVE smoothies for breakfast…or sometimes an afternoon snack. Here’s what I toss in mine:

    1 cup water
    1 banana…buy when cheap, peel, and freeze!
    a handful of frozen strawberries
    a handful of frozen mixed berries (blueberry, blackberry, and raspberry)
    a handful of frozen kale…wash & freeze in a ziploc bag, then tear off chunks as needed
    a handful of frozen carrots
    a handful of frozen broccoli
    Makes three 12 ounce servings.

    I don’t add any protein mixes, as this keeps me full from breakfast to lunch.

    I have not tried it yet, but coconut oil is supposed to be good in a smoothie.

  17. #17

    I have at least one smoothie every day, not for breakfast. I still love toast and sunflower butter for that, but every day at 11:00 AM smoothie time for me. I am a big kale girl! So we use lots of baby kale in our smoothies. Basically it is banana or mango or something with some creaminess. Then whatever fruit I have sitting around that needs to be used then I stuff my Ninja with as many baby kale leaves as possible. Then I add some frozen blueberries and either water or cherry juice or something. Blend away and we are drinking some delicious goodness!!! Way to go smoothies.

  18. #18
    amy o'

    Hi Cathy – we do smoothies pretty much 5-6 days a week and I am in love with my Vitamix. The only thing is I am having 750 envy (I have a red 5200). Sometimes my ingredients change, but my basic is this (in the following order):

    1 orange
    1/2 cucumber
    1 carrot
    1/2 avocado
    3/4-1 cup greek yogurt
    1 can coconut water (I get the cases of 365 from Whole Foods)
    1 handful of frozen greens – spinach, kale, mustard or the Leafy Green Mix (also from Whole Foods)
    1 tbsp flax seeds

    And this is where it changes – I usually add another fruit – some frozen peaches, a banana, frozen berries – but only one other fruit to it. I will sub out some things if I happen to run out – or just add them if I have them in the fridge: green cabbage, fresh/frozen cranberries, peanut butter or for some extra protein.

    The hubby and I split one of these (and sometimes I am nice and share some for him to take to his trainer) – when I have a full pint glass of this at home, I don’t get hungry until lunchtime at work. We love them at our house, but they are rarely not green. 🙂

    1. #18.1
      Amy O

      And yes, my recipe is pretty much the same today, but sometimes I add fennel, pear, apple – no ice, not needed when you have avocado!

  19. #19

    I do smoothie, and have been doing it for about three years now! I think one reason people have problems drinking a smoothie is because they aren’t pretty like yours, Cathy…at least mine aren’t. 🙂 Mine are a very ugly green color because I’m heavy on the greens. I also have a Blendtec and a Vitamix. I like them both, but the Vitamix is easier to clean. As far as a recipe goes, I just dump in whatever we have…protein powder, apples, carrots, avocados, kale, romaine lettuce, walnuts, (and other nuts), seeds (ground up first), frozen fruit…really just about anything. The one thing that is a must is a banana to add some sweetness. I don’t use any liquid except water and lots of ice. For those of you who don’t like to look at it, try to find something that you can’t see through to drink it out of. I also tell myself that I’m drinking a milk shake!

  20. #20

    My favourite smoothie recipe is 1 cup almond milk, 1 tbspn peanut butter, 2 tbspns protein powder, pinch of coconut and a teaspoon of maca powder. Sometimes I add fruit, sometimes I add cacao. All ladies should check out the benefits of Maca.

  21. #21

    How long do the containers of Dynamic Greens and the whey powder last you? I’ve been wanting to do something similar for a while. Would appreciate the info or even just an estimate. Thanks so much! 🙂

    1. #21.1
      Cathy Zielske

      I would guess about a month. It seems. I usually buy two at a time, to save me the trips around town. 🙂

  22. #22

    That is pretty close to my Shake. I like to add fresh ginger root, and a tiny bit of turmeric and cardamon. All three are great detoxifiers.
    Great job Cathy.

  23. #23

    I use all sorts of things it varies each time but frozen berries, almond/coconut blend milk, banana, chia flax seeds feature heavily. Another one I love is date, banana, yogurt and almond/coconut milk.

  24. #24

    I typically made smoothies based on whatever fruit I had handy (fresh or frozen), but lately have been making this one (I don’t measure, except for the protein powder):
    1 scoop vanilla protein powder
    almond or coconut milk
    unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 banana
    1/2-1 T peanut butter
    flax seed

    I have not tried tons of protein powder, but the Complete Nutrition vanilla is good all by itself and I don’t find it to be gritty.

  25. #27

    I have always wanted a Blendtec! My son and I always loved the videos “Will it blend?” and yes an iPod and iPhone will blend 🙂 Not that I wanted one for tech gadget blending of course..

  26. #28

    le sigh. I’ve always been one of those “I don’t like to drink my calories” people. But listening to all y’all, you might nearly have me convinced to give it a try. I am, after all, the #1 fan of a good milkshake.

    (Apparently I was ahead AND behind the game…I loved coconut milk and had it daily for a couple years in my granola. Now I’ve switched over to almond milk. So apparently I reversed most folks’ trend. 🙂 (I switched primarily because a) I hated how the coconut milk would separate and b) the almond milk seems to keep me full longer.))

  27. #29

    Since my garden is producing massive amounts of Zucchini I use a cup or it (raw, diced) in my smoothies instead of spinach or kale lately. So creamy like a milkshake!

    For “pretty” color I dice and freeze beets (raw) and add about 6 small pieces to make the bright pink color to counteract the brown that can happen with certain combinations.

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