As fitness enthusiasts, it might seem we’re a divided lot when it comes to our choice of healthy eats. While some of us reach for our stash of protein and energy bars, there’s a growing tribe of fitness freaks who’re clamouring for a pick-me-up that’s heavier than a bar, yet lighter than a full-fledged meal.
Here are seven supercharged, power-packed and lip-smackingly delicious energy smoothies with the goodness of superfoods, from some of the foremost experts in the fields of Fitness and Nutrition Science, perfect to replenish and boost up your energy pre or post-workout.
Sattu, Dates & Walnut Smoothie
(From Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach – Integrative Medicine)
This smoothie is a fantastic source of energy because of the dates and sattu (roasted chana flour), which are basically quality plant proteins. It makes you feel fuller for longer, quite simply because it's balanced in terms of nutrients. Moreover, the good fats and fibre in sattu, almonds, pumpkin seeds and dates go a long way in slowing down the release of sugar and keeping it stabilized.
- Turmeric, nutmeg, ginger powder: Powerful immunity boosters and anti-inflammatory.
- Cardamom, fennel: Tackle acidity, indigestion, boost lung health and help decongesting them.
- Pumpkin Seeds: One of the richest sources of zinc, they are a powerful immunity-boosting mineral and also help with hormonal balance.
- Saffron strands: Rich source of antioxidants, calms the nervous system.
- Dates: A great source of magnesium and iron.
- Walnuts: Rich in Omega 3 — a good fat that benefits heart health, immunity, brain health, hormones, gut health and reduces inflammation. That’s thumbs-up for memory and cognition as well!
You can have this smoothie for breakfast or mid-meal or as a snack, says Luke speaking from personal experience.
“If I'm taking it pre-workout, I skip the sattu. If it’s post-workout, I reduce the dates and add sattu for protein.” He adds that you can pop in a banana if you’re looking to gain weight, with a friendly disclaimer that blending fruits breaks down the fibre, destroys nutrients and amounts to a fructose overload for your liver to process. He cautions that the smoothie is a great "add on" to a balanced diet, but definitely not a meal replacement. Since this is a wholesome smoothie, ensure you keep a gap of 1-1.5 hours before exercising.
Quick Tip: Soak the nuts and seeds well to make them easily digestible and increase nutrient bioavailability.
· Almond Milk: 500 ml (preferably homemade)
· Lightly roasted Sattu flour: 1 to 2 Tbsp
· Walnuts: 4 whole (soaked for 6-7 hours)
· Dry Ginger powder: ½ Tsp
· Fennel powder: ½ Tsp
· Saffron strands: 1-2
· Organic Turmeric powder: 1 Tsp
· Jaiphal or Nutmeg powder: a pinch
· Cardamom powder: ½ Tsp
· Dates: 2 (deseeded)
· Pumpkin Seeds: 1 Tbsp (soaked for 6-7 hours)
- Add almond milk, soaked walnuts, sattu, dates and all the spices into a blender.
- Blend until smooth.
- Transfer in a glass.
- Top with soaked pumpkin seeds (either whole, crushed or in a paste form).
Note: If you’re a diabetic, basil (sabja) seeds and a pinch of cinnamon powder are the fairy dust that’ll stabilize the effect on blood sugar. You can add a teaspoon of raw cocoa powder as well at the time of blending.
Green Tea Blueberry Smoothie
(From Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, Co-Founder, Fitness & Nutritional Scientist, Food Darzee)
A celebrity nutritionist whose clients include the likes of Alia Bhatt, Sara Ali Khan, Sonam Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, Dr. Sid, as he’s popularly known as, recommends a good carbohydrate source like an apple or banana for pre-workout, and for protein, a scoop of whey or greek yoghurt for muscle recovery post-workout. He says Greek yogurt has double the protein and half the carbs as compared to regular yoghurt.
- Green Tea – 1 Bag
- Water – 3 Tbsp
- Honey – 2 Tsp
- Blueberries (Fresh or frozen) – 1 ½ Cup
- Banana – ½ Medium
- Soymilk/ Almond Milk – ¾ Cup
- Brew the tea bag in steaming hot water for some time. After removing the tea bag, add honey to the tea and mix it in.
- Add mashed banana, berries and milk into a blender along with ice.
- Add the tea to the blender and blend until smooth.
Youthful Glow Green Smoothie:
(Dr. Siddhant Bhargava)
- Kale: Low in calories, has powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, hence acts as an immuno-booster and is helpful for managing autoimmune diseases
- Spinach: Packed with fibre, vitamins, minerals, has anti–cancerous properties
- Blueberries: It’s a fruit with the highest antioxidant capacity, helps combat free radical damage in your body
- Banana: Apart from giving the smoothie a creamy texture, it’s rich in potassium and fibre. Provides natural energy and sweetness
- Ginger: Aids digestion and supports the immune system
- Chia Seeds: Packed with fibre and Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Turmeric: Has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties
- Cucumber: It’s 95% water, acts as a detoxifier, helps in cleansing the kidney and liver
- Lemon: Rich in Vitamin C, has antioxidant properties, very good cleansing agent
- Kale – 2 Cups
- Spinach – 2 Cups
- Apple Juice – 2 Cups (preferably fresh and cold-pressed)
- Cucumber – ½
- Lemon – ½
- Banana – 1
- Grated Ginger – 1 Tsp
- Turmeric – 1 pinch
- Place all the ingredients in the blender and blend till smooth.
- Pour into a tall glass and serve.
Healthy Avocado Smoothie
(Dr. Siddhant Bhargava)
- Avocado: ½ Medium
- Banana: 1
- Spinach : 1 Cup
- Almond Milk: 1 Cup
- Dates: 2 to 3
- Chia Seeds: 1 Tbsp (Soaked for 1 – 2 hours)
- Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
- Add soaked chia seeds and it’s ready to serve.
- You can also keep this smoothie in an airtight container and refrigerate for 1-2 days.
Chunky Fruit Berry Spirulina Smoothie
(From Kavita Devgan, Nutritionist, Weight Management Consultant and Author)
This is how Kavita makes her very own ‘perfect smoothie’ and you’ll see how it packs in quite a punch. Nutritional information:
- Flaxseeds: For Omega 3
- Spirulina: For protein and EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids)
- Wheat Grass: For Vitamins A, C, E and to detoxify the body
- Wheat Bran: For fibre and Vitamin B Complex
- Sesame Seeds: For calcium and trace minerals like copper, zinc and selenium
- Almonds and Peanuts: For iron and vitamin E
- Coconut Flakes: For medium-chain triglycerides that provide a stable source of fuel for your brain and boost memory
- Any Fruit (Any berry, banana; you can even take two fruits and take half of each)
- Curd/ Greek Yoghurt/ Soy or Almond Milk: 1 Cup
- Add 1 Tbsp each of any two of these add-ons: flax eeds, spirulina, wheat grass, wheat bran, sesame seeds, almonds and peanuts, coconut flakes
- Blend together
Fig and Banana Smoothie
(From Ranveer Brar, Celebrity Chef)
Chef Ranveer says his ideal smoothie should have balanced nutrition from fruits, nuts, seeds and grains and should typically be fortified with milk or yogurt (dairy or vegan). He explains that bananas, with their good content of potassium, help regulate blood pressure, are excellent for a quick energy boost — especially after a workout, and help improve digestion as well. Here, he shares his personal favourite recipe.
- Figs: 5 – 6
- Banana: 1
- Honey: 1 Tbsp
- Vanilla essence (optional): ½ Tsp
- Yoghurt: ½ Cup
- Ice Cubes: 4 – 5
- Fig (for garnish): 1
- Remove the pulp from the fig and put it in a mixer jar.
- Add in banana pieces, honey, yoghurt and ice cubes. Blend well.
- Pour into a tall glass, garnish with a fig slice and serve chilled.
Protein Power Smoothie
(From Vinata Shetty, Reebok Master Trainer)
Bada-bing Bada-boom, that’s what this recipe is! You get healthy fat from chia seeds; the almond and soy milk make it lower in calories; mango/banana gives you carbs and you get your protein fix from the isolate or hydrolysate whey protein powder.
- Isolate or Hydrolysate Whey Protein Powder: 1 Scoop
- Mango: 1 (chopped) or Banana: 1 ½ Medium (chopped)
- Milk/ Almond or Soy Milk: 100 ml
- Chia Seeds: ½ Tsp (soaked for 15 – 30 mins)
Blend and gulp!
(Aruna Ramesh Balaji is a freelance writer, fitness instructor and former television journalist. She firmly believes that one of the gateways to a happy life is good health made possible by significant lifestyle changes. It’s her most cherished goal to make available the collective wisdom, both ancient and contemporary, of masters and experts in the fields of health and fitness, so readers such as yourself can lead healthier and more fulfilling lives.)
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