Smoothies are a simple way to enjoy treats and still provide a wealth of value for your health. They are also a way to make even the pickiest child take his fruits and veggies without complaint.
But having smoothies as an addition to a meal can be scary because nobody wants too many calories.
The tendency is, you will end up taking in more calories than you bargained for.
Truth is, whatever stage you’re at (trying to lose some weight or maintain a certain weight), it’s not advisable to eat too much at a time.
The Beauty of smoothie is they come with all the beneficial fibers and roughages needed for proper digestion. You can choose to make them serve as a meal.
These smoothie recipes are packed full of energy-boosting fruits, vegetables and healthy fats that keep you full and active all day.
You may not like that there are vegetables in the recipes, don’t worry if you are not a vegetable lover.
I’m not either, but we need them, so there will be something to mask the taste.
You can also make your own tweaks to these recipes but be sure to add some veggies no matter how much you may hate the thought of taking them raw.
The reason being that, a smoothie is one of the ways you can enjoy taking vegetables, so you don’t want to pass off that chance.
Freezing coconut milk in ice cube trays and throwing some in your smoothie is another way to give your smoothies an awesome tropical feel.
These Banana based meal replacement Smoothies recipes will thrill you with different flavors, and the creaminess is perfection.
For these recipes, you may choose to freeze all fruits and possibly the juice to ensure the creaminess.
You may not need to add any sweeteners, some of the fruits will do the work of natural sweetener.
First, let’s see why you should consider taking a smoothie as a meal replacement.
Smoothies are great and easy to make treats you can always count on being healthy and they are budget-friendly too.
We get busy; life can be hectic and it may be very difficult to get your family to eat a healthy meal regularly.
So having healthy smoothies on hand can make it easier to deal with the stress of having to go through making a regular meal.
Waking up late; the early morning hours of the day is the time when the sleep is sweetest. I’m guilty of this, I almost always wait till a few minutes to being late to crawl out of bed.
So the tendency to pick up something unhealthy at such a time is high.
Except you have something healthy in place already or you could just whip an early morning breakfast smoothie with already frozen fruits and available veggies.
Suppresses hunger; smoothies can serve as a meal replacement because they are filling and as such can suppress hunger.
However, to ensure smoothies serve as a meal replacement you have to make sure it contains all essential nutrients like carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and minerals.
Controls appetite; having a smoothie as a meal will in most cases reduce portion naturally, this is because most smoothie recipes are lower in calories than regular meals.
Control waste; having little children in the house that don’t finish their fruits can be frustrating.
What my friend does is to cut out the fruits for the kids, like cut the apples or even bananas on a plate for them.
Whenever they don’t finish off (which is almost all the time) she just places the leftovers in ziplock bags and put in the freezer ready for smoothies.
That is only possible if you don’t mind eating your children’s leftovers though, (it grosses some persons out).
Reduces cravings; it is normal to feel less craving after eating healthy for the start of the day.
So this is a plus because you may find that you are better able to stay off junks until your next healthy meal.
To keep shape; with all the benefits of taking smoothie as a meal replacement in view, staying in shape will come naturally.
What qualifies smoothie as a meal replacement.
For a meal replacement smoothie, you have to consider including all essential food nutrients so you don’t miss out on a healthy diet.
High protein for strength; make sure to include at least one protein source (e.g. Greek yogurt, collagen, vanilla plant-based protein powder, tofu, chia seed, and nut butter)
Fiber for digestion; there need to be one or more fiber-based food to enhance digestion (rolled oats, dates, psyllium husk, flaxseed)
Healthy fat for feeling full; there are some healthy fats you need to consider adding to your meal replacement smoothies for nourishment and also to stay full for longer (avocado, nut butter, walnuts, hemp oil, sesame oil, coconut oil/milk, ground flax).
Herbs and spices; for the sake of additional health benefits, it’s recommended to add some beneficial spices to smoothies to reap extra goodies to your health. (These may include ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, fresh mint, cilantro, basil, parsley).
With all these factors in place, smoothies are a way to harness your creative abilities as to what you add or use.
Feel free to add to or replace the fruits or whatever is on the recipes below and feel free to make some tweaks and variations to suit your preferences.
Banana Strawberry Smoothie
- 2 Banana, (fresh or frozen depending on how creamy you want it)
- 2 Cups of frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup of water or milk (coconut milk, regular milk, or almond milk)
- 2 tablespoon peanut butter (almond butter or
- A handful of baby spinach or kale
- 2 Tablespoon of rolled oats
- 1/2 inch of raw ginger root
- 2 tablespoon honey (optional)
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for about two minutes.
Serve immediately or place in the freezer for a quick pick up for when you are too busy to make one.
Banana Mango Smoothie
- 2 Banana Frozen or fresh
- 1 cup of frozen mango
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 3 cubes of frozen coconut milk or regular milk
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon powder
- Hemp seed
- A handful of spinach
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend to a creamy consistency.
This recipe does not need any more sweetener because most of it’s ingredients add enough healthy sweetness to it.
You won’t even remember you added spinach to this mix because the mango will swallow whatever raw veggie taste with its tropical flavors.
Except for when you are obliging your sweet tooth, then you could add honey or a little pineapple juice.
Banana Pineapple Smoothie
- 2 Banana Frozen in chunks
- 1 cup of frozen pineapple
- 1/2 of a medium Cucumber
- 1/2 cup firm Tofu
- 1/4 Avocado
- 2 handful of rolled oats
- 1 Teaspoon ground turmeric powder
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend for about 3 minutes, if too thick, you could add a few ice cubes and blend again.
Serve cold or store in the freezer for when you need a quick fix for breakfast or lunch.
To get the best out of storing smoothies in the freezer for later, fill the airtight jar to the brim and take out for about 15 mins before consuming.
However, you may not like the texture of your smoothie when refrigerated, so it may be better you keep frozen fruits in portions.
You just pick up from the fridge and toss in the blender for a quick 5 mins smoothie fix.
Banana Blueberry Smoothie
- 1 Banana frozen chunks
- 1 Cup Blueberries
- A handful of rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup Pineapple juice
- 4 cubes of frozen coconut milk
- 1/2 fresh ginger root
Place all ingredients into the blender and blend on high until smooth and creamy.
You can enjoy smoothies as meal replacements at any time of the day.
Prepping smoothie ingredients packs for use later is an easy way to ensure you and your family eat healthy on busy weekdays.
One thing you must always ensure to do though is to wash your blender immediately for ease.
If you want to go green entirely these green smoothie recipes can also serve as meal replacements and you’ll love the taste and flavors.