Smooth Operator

Nope, I’m not referring to the colon cleanse again.  This post is all about smoothies.  One smoothie, really.  The one I invented!  It actually tastes really good and is a great vessel for supplements.  Erin and I have had it for breakfast almost every weekday for nearly a year and somehow we don’t get sick of it.  It makes a nice breakfast because it’s quick to prepare and you can take it to go.  So enough with the hype, here it is:

Blueberry Smoothie Recipe

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (or about 20 grams of protein)
  • 2 handfuls frozen blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp flaxseed oil (Udo’s oil blend is my favorite)
  • 2 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.  Simple, right?

[UPDATE: We now add a few tablespoons ground flaxseed powder (for whole-food goodness), a half teaspoon ground cinnamon (for antioxidants and digestion), and Udo’s Wholesome Fast Food (for greens, fiber, and digestive aids).]

[Smoothie photo]But not so fast; there are countless possible variations.  Although the original recipe uses all blueberries, you really can substitute any frozen fruit.  We’ve tried raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, and even mangos.  You can find these bags of frozen fruit in the “pie filling” part of the frozen section of the grocery store.  Our favorite blend is blueberries, blackberries, and cherries.  The great thing about all these berries is that they are loaded with antioxidants (and who doesn’t want more of that hot nutritional buzzword?), and for whatever reason we just never eat fresh berries.  Some other changes we’ve tried:  Adding 1 oz acai juice or goji juice (more antioxidants but a little pricey), mixing in some fresh fruit, and adding additional supplements like glutamine (for workout recovery).

Trop 50

Tropicana has come out with a new orange juice called Trop 50 which has half of the sugar of regular orange juice but no artificial sweeteners.  The secret is not more water but rather the extract of the stevia plant, which is natural and sweeter than sugar.  So we’ve been using that and it tastes the same.

Soy vs. Dairy

Regular yogurt and whey protein don’t exactly jive with the 10-Day Challenge’s no-dairy restriction, so I’ve had to make some easy soy-substitutions.  Soy yogurt is a little runnier than regular yogurt but makes almost no difference in the smoothie other than not having the good sour taste that regular yogurt does.  You can get it at a natural foods store; most supermarkets don’t seem to have it.  We had been using Vitamin Shoppe-brand whey protein, the one sweetened with Splenda, not Aminogen (the Aminogen one is wretched in the smoothie).  I’ve had to switch to Vitamin Shoppe soy protein, which in addition to not being a milk product contains many fewer unnatural ingredients than what we had been using.  It doesn’t taste quite as good since it’s unsweetened, and it’s a little grittier in the smoothie.  Stick with the vanilla whey if you aren’t concerned about milk products or artificial ingredients.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Finally, the flaxseed oil is included solely for nutritional purposes, primarily the Omega-3 fatty acids.  The optimal ratio of dietary Omega-6’s to Omega-3’s is around 2:1, while the ratio in the normal Western diet is something like 15:1.  So getting lots of Omega-3’s is crucial.  One other easy way to do this is to substitute canola oil for olive oil in your cooking (olive oil is great in comparison to butter and many other oils, but its EFA ratio is relatively high).  If you already consume a lot of Omega-3’s (by eating a lot of fish, for example) and don’t need much more, you may want to halve the amount of oil in the smoothie or not use it at all, since there is an upper limit to how much is healthy.  If you’re going to use and it haven’t before, just keep it refrigerated and don’t use it for cooking.  Heat ruins it.

By the way, just in case you have visions of cashing in on my lack of a disclaimer, here it is:  I’m not a doctor so talk to yours before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise program!

I hope you try this smoothie and let me know what you think.  And I have last night’s dinner to post so check back soon.  And to all who have taken the time to check out this new blog, thanks!



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  1. Christine Frazier says:

    wow I had no idea that heat ruined flaxseed oil- I often throw some in when I bake blueberry muffins. Thanks, I’ll stop wasting it!

    also, I take a triple omega supplement: 3, 6, & 9. The average intake ratio you said makes me think I should switch to just omega-3. Do you think it’s likely I’m exceeding the beneficial amount of 6 and 9?

    I’ll def try out your smoothie- we have some strawberry flavored whey protein ready to go!

  2. Are you still drinking these every morning? I am completely bored of breakfast foods and have stopped eating it so I’m going to give your smoothie a shot. Is the protein powder a necessity(especially for a someone who doesnt exercise a whole lot)?

    • Yeah I drink this every morning. Protein powder is not necessary. But it accounts for about 100 calories, so you might want to add something in its place (more yogurt, more fruit, more juice, etc) to make it more filling. I’m not really sure how the texture will be without the protein powder so you might need to vary the quantities some to get it the way you like it.

      Also, we started using ground flaxseed instead of flaxseed oil (also not a necessary ingredient, but healthy), and we’ve been putting 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in for the antioxidants and digestion benefits.

  3. Looks good – exactly what i was looking for. I’ve just started up with smoothies and wanted a solid thick (and sporty like) veg smoothie recipe. I usually do blueberries and blackberries.

    P.S. Nice photo! I took some last time i made a smoothie, but didn’t quite come out they way i wanted it to. Even after several shots – prolly just need a better camera. LoL.

    Thanxs for the recipe, Chris. (Will bookmark it)

    Missy’s last blog post..NEW! Vegetarian Hair Coloring By ACT

  4. Really loved this smoothie this morning! Yum. Wouldn’t have thought to put these flavors together. (I added the cinnamon).

  5. I make a simular smoothie. Try chia seeds or chia flour. It adds no flavor and is packed with omega 3 and many other great things. Check it out.

    • After the smoothie is done I add the chia seeds and just stir them in instead of letting them expand from the start.

      • Mary, that’s a good idea to only put them in at the end. I’ve tried them before and love the supposed benefits, but I hate how they get all gelled. Putting them in last minute might fix this.

  6. Hi Matt – I happened across your website “by luck” and found it very interesting. I’ve already passed it along to several friends. I totally agree with your idea of a fruit smoothie in the morning. Mine consists of the following: 1/4 – 1/2 cup of oj and / or Silk Plain Soy Milk, 1 clementine, 1 apple, a handful of berries (this morning was blackberries but I use frozen blueberries many times too), a scoop of NatraBurst (a phenomenal product that can be seen at my website – full of herbs, grasses, fruits, veggies, NO yeast, corn, wheat, sugar, NO GMO anything, NO gluten, etc.), a packet of Sunrider International’s Body System Balancing product called Quinary – addresses the needs of the body’s 5 critical systems – endocrine, circulation, digestive, immune and respiratory, and perhaps a packet of Sunrider International’s Strawberry VitaShake or serving of Mixed Berry NuPlus, and if you have any left over veggies like celery, carrots, etc. and finally a few ice cubes if you like your drinks really cold. I put it all into a VitaMix for a couple of minutes. Both Sunrider’s Whole Foods and NatraBurst do not have any isolates which the body finds harder to assimilate. It often makes more than 1 serving which I continue to drink through the day or take it with me in a large container for drinking on the road!! PS – will be adding flax seeds and want to try cinnamon as I like the taste of it too.

  7. Heather says:

    If you choose NOT to include yogurt in your smoothie, but use ALOT of spinach, are you still going to get the amount of calcium you need?
    A common smoothie at our house:
    2 bananas
    1/2 pineapple
    1 apple
    2 cups spinach.
    This makes enough for all six of us, I started serving it at dinner to help with the veggie intake. What do you think?

    • Heather, I actually don’t use yogurt anymore now that I’m vegan (this post is like the second one ever on my blog, back when I was a brand new vegetarian).

      Anyway, I think adding spinach to a smoothie is great for increasing your family’s vegetable intake. But as for calcium, apparently there’s something else in spinach that interferes with calcium absorption, so it’s really hard to compare amounts and say whether or not that replaces the calcium in yogurt. So instead of worry about that, I’d say just eat a lot of leafy greens (soy actually has a lot, too) in your diet and you’ll get enough. Here’s a good article about it:

      Also, I have a much more current and better smoothie post. It’s here:

      • Heather says:

        Awesome! Thanks!

        • Also if you are worried about calcium,you can add almond milk or just drink almond milk. It’s not high in protein at all (when it’s made most of the protein stays behind in the pulp), but just one serving of almond milk has like, 50% DV of calcium, compared to cows milk’s 25%-30%. Plus it is YUMMAAAAAAYYYY!!!

          So yeah,try that!

  8. To those asking about flax seeds in baking. I have been using ground flaxseeds for quite some time in my vegan baking. Flax seeds are often used as a substitute for eggs in baked goods when blended with water as they assimilate the texture and binding qualities as eggs. I’ve read that it also helps to create a lighter baked good than many of the other egg substitutes do. Many vegan baked goods can be a bit heavier and have a denser teture than their omnivorous counterparts so using flax seeds helps to aleaviate that issue while adding the extra healthy qualities of flax to your recipes. To create flax egg sustitute blend 1/3 cup of flax seeds in a blender or food processor until it is an even meal. Slowly add 1 cup of water and continue blending until the mixture has a thick milkshake texture. 3 T of this mixture equals one egg in your recipes. It will keep if refridgerated for about 3-6 days.

  9. Great posts!! What other vegetable protein powders do you like?
    I don’t like to consume soy…and I’ve found so many protein powders are high in sodium. I like Hemp Protein Powder, but would like a variety. Thanks again for your posts!

  10. p.s.
    I LOVE adding spinach to all my smoothies!

  11. Please do not supplement your Omega 3’s using Canola oil. Canola oil is one of the least healthy oils on the market. Here’s an excerpt of an article that tells why:

    “Take for instance, the common Canola oil, the beauty queen of the vegetable oil industry. It was developed by making a hybrid version of the rapeseed, and it was given its name in the 1980s as part of a marketing effort organized by a conference on mono-saturates.

    Rapeseed oil contains high amounts of the toxic erucic acid, which is poisonous to the body. Canola oil is an altered version, also called Low Erucic Acid Rapeseed (LEAR) and it is commonly genetically modified and treated with high levels of pesticides.

    Canola (modified rapeseed oil) is produced by heating the rapeseed and processing with a petroleum solvent to extract the oil. Then another process of heat and addition of acid is used to remove nasty solids (wax) that occur during the first processing.

    At this point, the newly created canola oil must be treated with more chemicals to improve color and separate the different parts of the oil. Finally, since the chemical process has created a harsh smelling oil, it must be chemically deodorized to be palatable.” Source:

  12. Your smoothie sounds delicious. However, to stay in the Paleo realm, I will use coconut milk instead if youghurt.

  13. Just a note, if you want a little creamier smoothie, instead of soy, try a coconut based yogurt, very thick and creamy, I normally use plain but some times add a flavored one to the smoothie.

  14. Narissa trigg says:

    how many ounces is this

  15. I am not a fan of eating blueberries and thus this smoothie is perfect for my post workouts drink. Thanks a lot guys, love it and people throwing in a small piece of banana is not only adds to the nutritional value but makes it even better, must try 🙂

  16. I had previously tried a blueberry smoothie and liked it. This new recipe is a must try.

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