I never was a big fan of smoothies. It just felt like a lot of work to blend stuff together that I could just eat whole. I’m also not a fan of gimmicky nutrition and smoothies always seemed like the thing that pretentious fitness-obsessed people did simply because it was what pretentious fitness-obsessed people were supposed to do. A few months back, however, I decided to give the smoothie another shot and try to create the ultimate smoothie. I started out with two primary goals: I wanted my smoothie to actually be useful for fuelling my training –rather than just a blend of kale, wheat grass, and whatever happened to be the super fruit of the month. And I also wanted it to taste delicious. I wanted to actually enjoy it.
This was going to be my go-to breakfast smoothie so I wanted it to be primarily carbohydrates, some simple sugars, a little bit of fat, and a little bit of protein. I also made sure to include foods that were rich in micro-nutrients that I don’t always get with a bland athlete’s diet. I also like to preload my day with a big helping of carbs so I have the fuel to go out and ride for hours at a time. I’m not a fan of fasted training. When I go out, I want to be at full capacity so I can make sure that I’m able to hit all my targets during a workout and not feel sluggish after just a few intervals. Carbs are the key.
The primary base of my smoothie is sweet potato. It’s a great carb that is in rich in all sorts of nutrients but probably not something that most people consider a breakfast option. Sweet potato and oats are two of my favourite sources of good carbohydrate fuel, so it seemed only natural to fuel up first thing with a sweet potato (on days with monstrous workouts, I eat this smoothie and make a bowl of oats).
1/2 Cup of diced boiled sweet potato – Dice up your sweet potato first then throw into the pot. You’re not trying to cook the sweet potato, just soften it up a little. Make sure to give it a bath in cold water otherwise you’ll end up with a warm smoothie.
1/2 cup of mixed frozen berries – I like a mix blueberries, raspberries and blackberries.
5-6 Frozen cherries – Not too many; they take up a lot of space. Cherries are good natural anti-inflammatories. But really I just like the flavour.
1/4 cup of Orange Juice – I like OJ with pulp. To me it’s not really OJ without the pulp. Pulp also contains enzymes that help break down sugar in the stomach so you don’t get a huge sugar spike.
1/4 cup of Almond Milk.
Tablespoon of ground flax seed
Tablespoon of hemp hearts
One single serving cup (100g) of greek yogurt
Tablespoon of Maple Syrup
A few cashews
A small glob of peanut butter
Finally, either a chopped up banana or a scoop of protein powder. Sometimes I go with the banana, sometimes I go with the protein. It depends. The banana tastes better.
If you have a magic bullet, this recipe will pretty much fill a large size smoothie cup.
That’s pretty much it. If you’re sugar adverse, you might not want to add the maple syrup. I am of the opinion that life is too short not to eat maple syrup. And if, like me, you love the little pleasures in life, use your big spoon to scoop out the yogurt and without rinsing the spoon use it next to measure out and pour the maple syrup. You’re left with a spoon coated in greek yogurt and maple syrup. It’s a delicious combination.