a. Nirvana Coconut Water – I like using Coconut water as my base for smoothies because it adds sweetness and plenty of electrolytes. Nirvana brand, in my opinion, is closest in flavor to raw coconut water and reasonably priced. You can sign up for monthly shipments from Amazon for $25 for a case of 12. One 16 oz. can makes me two smoothies.
b. Chia Seeds I make a big jar of chia pudding (recipe HERE) every week and add a tablespoon or two to each smoothie. Making the chia seed gelatinize first is more soothing to my digestive tract and flavored pudding adds a nice taste to smoothies as well. I don’t particularly think there is a big difference between where you get your chia seeds. Trader Joes has a small bag for a few bucks that I buy when I’m in a pinch. If trying to choose a source, try to buy organic, non-GMO. I typically buy my chia seeds from the Raw Food World because I know they are a trusted source but other brands that I like are Nutiva, The Chia Company, and Navita’s.
c. Sunwarrior Raw Vegan Protein Powder If you are looking for a pure, great tasting, non-chalky vegan powder, this is it. I love the taste, it is smooth on my digestive tract, very easily assimilated and it provides clean raw nutrients. The Chocolate flavor is great as well. Sunwarrior is a brand I really love and trust – check out all their other great products HERE!
d. Raw Carob Powder I am one of the rare few who doesn’t love raw cacao powder in my smoothies. The taste of raw cacao in smoothies can be great when paired with something sweet because it counteracts the bitterness that cacao tends to have. Some people really enjoy the taste but sometimes it’s just too stimulating for me and my system. Carob powder is a great alternative without the Theobromine which is the caffeine stimulant in cacao. Although carob isn’t as nutrient dense as cacao it is more alkalizing on the body and has more calcium – about 3x’s more then cacao. It has a slightly sweeter, fake-chocolate, nutty taste to it.
e. Hemp Hearts I put hemp seeds into all my smoothies! It is a great source of natural complete protein & essential fatty acids. You usually can’t taste them when blended up but if you are making hemp milk (water blended with hemp seeds + sweetener) then taste is important. I typically buy Nutiva Brand which is great too but I recently ordered this 5lb tub of Hemp Hearts due to all the good reviews they have gotten for taste. I go through so much that this tub is perfect for me and what a great price!
f. Artisana Raw Coconut Butter I have a tasted a few brands but this has by far the best taste. Coconut butter is made from the whole coconut flesh rather then just the oil. It is filled with essential amino acids, magnanese, fiber, protein, fatty acids and enzymes. I add a tablespoon to smoothies but it can also be spread on toast, fruit, mixed into raw desserts, eaten straight out of the jar, frozen into ice pops…definitely always a staple in my cabinet!
g. Vanilla Essence This is my new latest favorite thing to add to smoothies. It is a very potent vanilla extract made without alcohol. I add a few drops along with vanilla bean powder and I am transported to Vanilla bliss!!!
h. Raw Cacoa Nibs Although I’m not a fan of cacao powder in my smoothies, I do like an occasional cacoa nib smoothie. Throw a handful in and it almost gives it a “cookies & cream” texture that goes well with peanut butter smoothies or vanilla banana mint smoothies! The crunchy texture adds a nice element and a little bit of a bite.
i. Spirulina I absolutely love my Spirulina in smoothies and get so excited telling people about its dense nutrient profile! This blue green algae is chock full of minerals – 92 in all. It is loaded with beta-carotene, filled with antioxidants, iron, B-12 and a HUGE source of protein. About 60% of spirulina’s dry weight is protein. Spirulina contains twelve times more digestible protein than beef, ounce-for-ounce. Another health benefit of spirulina is that it stimulates beneficial flora like lactobacillus and bifidobacteria in your digestive tract to promote healthy digestion and proper bowel function. It acts as a natural cleanser by eliminating mercury and other deadly toxins commonly ingested by the body. I love this brand for its great taste – it has a mellow nutty flavor to it, not too powerful or unpleasant like other brands.
j. Amazing Grass Raw Reserve Green Powder Its always good to have a green powder in your kitchen. When you want an extra kick of nutrients in your diet, this is great to mix into smoothies juices. These powders pretty much cover it all, being loaded with everything and anything. If you are traveling, this is great to have at your side to quickly mix with some juice. I love Amazing Grass brand for its pleasant flavor. Let’s admit that green powders can taste pretty icky. This brand has other flavors like chocolate, berry, lemon lime and flavored powders for kids too that are pretty tasty in my opinion.
k. Vanilla Bean Powder This is my “powdered gold” and it goes into each and every one of my smoothies. I am in love with this stuff! Pure vanilla bean powder straight from the vanilla bean pod. I have had the same bag for over a year now so don’t let the price scare you. A little goes a long way & I use a lot. If I would suggest to buy one thing for flavor value for your smoothies, this is it. You won’t regret it.
l. Maca Powder Maca comes from a tuber root and has been used for centuries by people in Peru. It has a subtle caramel nutty taste to it. Maca has a long list of health benefits but its famous for being good for hormonal & adrenal balance. It increases libido, stamina and energy. Something I was unaware of, that I just learned today is that gelatinized maca is better on the stomach for those who are sensitive to starches. The concentrated powder, with more active ingredients per unit, is easier for the body to absorb. I’ve always used raw but I might try the gelatinized version next. They say it tastes better then raw maca as well.
I will be back next week with Series Two of My Favorite’s: Supplements, Probiotics, and Vitamins