Fruit smoothies are easy to make, delicious, and full of nutrients. A basic smoothie contains vegan milk (like soy or almond), plus some frozen fruit. While you could use fresh fruit, freezing it beforehand gives your smoothie a delightful milkshake-like consistency that’s remarkable coming from a drink that’s both low in fat and dairy-free.
You can of course jazz things up with sweetener, dates, protein powder, or various kinds of nuts. Frozen banana brings a distinctive extra flavor—always peel your bananas before freezing!
Since they’re made in a blender rather than a juicer, smoothies contain all the fiber of whichever fruits you select. This fiber helps to reduce fruit sugar’s tendency to spike your blood sugar, which likely the biggest health drawback to drinking fruit juice.
Maximizing the Nutrition of Your Smoothies
Since fruits contain a lot of sugar, it makes sense for your vegan milk choice to be unsweetened. Selecting soy or pea-based milks will add substantial protein to your smoothie. You can find unsweetened soy milk in any supermarket or natural food store.
An increasingly popular smoothie variation is a “green smoothie.” These smoothies usually include spinach or kale, and some people will boost the chlorophyll content even further by adding spirulina or chlorella. I must warn you that, prepared ineptly, no beverage tastes quite as vile as a green smoothie. But done right, it’s possible to get the slight bitterness of the greens to balance out the sweetness of the fruit, yielding an appealing flavor. In any event, you won’t find a more hardcore health food than a green smoothie.
Basic Vegan Fruit Smoothie Recipe
If you want to get more ambitious and fully explore the multitude of smoothie possibilities, get ahold of Kathy Patalsky’s book, 365 Vegan Smoothies.
Here is a super easy starting-point for your smoothie adventures.
- 2 cups unsweetened organic soy milk
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, or sliced peaches
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
Add the above ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. While a cheap blender is all you need to make most smoothies, fibrous kale-based green smoothies require a Blendtec or Vitamix for best results.