Today: Take the dairy out of your smoothie, and add in some green.
Smoothies are a no-brainer breakfast for vegans: many recipes are vegan as written, and if they aren’t, it’s easy to veganize them using plant-based milks and yogurts in place of regular dairy.
More: Make homemade almond milk that tastes infinitely better than any carton from the store.
Most of us are familiar with some basic smoothie combinations: strawberry-banana, mixed berry, pineapple-mango, and so on. But the wide world of smoothies extends far beyond these tried-and-true flavor combinations. Once you’ve experienced the fun of adding fresh leafy greens, avocado, or other unusual ingredients to your smoothies, it’ll be hard to go back to fruit as usual.
My perfect green smoothie formula goes something like this:
1 cup fruit (bananas, berries, etc.)
1 cup leafy greens
Liquid base (almond milk, coconut water, juice)
Something for creaminess: almond butter, cashews, avocado, etc.
Your smoothies will be much better off if you freeze your fruit beforehand. I always have a giant bag of peeled, frozen bananas in my freezer; they make it easy to whip up perfectly cool, thick smoothies at a moment’s notice, and they're essential to achieve the creaminess you would expect from a yogurt-based smoothie. As you’ll see from this recipe, I’m also partial to avocado -- it gives smoothies a silky, almost fluffy texture.
But don’t take my word for it. Get blending, and you’ll see what I mean!
1 banana, peeled and then frozen
1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) mango
1/2 small or medium avocado
1 cup spinach
1 1/4 cups almond milk (soy, oat, rice, or hemp milk are also fine)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Photos by James Ransom