This is the smoothie recipe that my family and I start our days with approximately 350 times per year. (And sometimes drink throughout the day also.) There is some variation from time to time, often based on available equipment (when traveling) and what fruit and veggies may be in season.
Most of the ingredients may be varied for taste, texture and availability, but what is important is that you get the right amount of protein, carbs, fats, and of course vitamins and minerals.
Some of these products can be purchased through my store, some on Amazon (with link provided) and others at your local grocery store. Whenever adding fruits and vegetables, we always recommend using organic whenever possible. If organic is not available, at least try for non-GMO. (Note: Prices may vary as we do not control them and can't keep up with all the changes, but you will know the current price once you go to their websites.)
Step 1. Choose Your Equipment used to Blend
There are many Vitamix models to choose from but this is the one that is most common for individual use and typically the least costly. It typically retails for $329.99.
Advantage: Makes 1-3 shakes and liquifies greens (& everything else)
Disadvantage: Larger investment (but will last an extremely long time)
I have used so many different types of blenders in the past, including the Magic Bullet (which is also a very good blender), but I found this to by my favorite and it lasts a long time.
Advantage: Easy to make single shakes, costs less and easy to travel
Disadvantage: Doesn't liquify greens
Step 2. Choose Your Protein
There are tons of different types of protein powders on the market as you know. I typically recommend plant based proteins over the other options in most situations. Many of these brands provide flavor options, but for breakfast smoothies, I typically like to stay with chocolate or vanilla. Of course you can choose other options if you prefer. Aside from the priority being a healthy shake with as little sugar as possible (without artificial sweeteners), it must be enjoyable or else you just won't drink it!
All of the protein powders I am suggesting taste great, especially when blended properly and mixed with the right combination of fruit and vegetables. Do not just compare prices between the protein options, also look at the ingredients and see which would compliment your current diet the most. Also, each manufacturer has a different amount of servings per container. For example, one product may cost half as much as another, but that may because there are half as many servings per container.
My favorite protein powder with the best value is Sunwarrior. You can choose from a bunch of flavors and sizes and their products are organic. Visit their website and get 10% by clicking one of the images below. (If the discount is not applied when the product is added to your cart, add DREAM where it asks for a discount code).
Step 3. Choose Your Fruit & Veggies
One of the keys to keeping your breakfast shake healthy is to keep it very low in sugar (without artificial sweeteners). That means, more veggies than fruit! I like to add a 1/2 banana in my shake, but sometimes I will use a half green apple or some fresh/frozen mango for extra Vitamin A. You can add a handful of frozen blueberries and cherries as well; those are not as sugary and offer a lot of antioxidants and other health benefits. As for the veggies, if you are not using a Vitamix (or similar) blender, it may be difficult to properly blend vegetables and make it smooth. If that is the case, you should add some form of powdered greens.
Using Vitamix (or similar)
Many stores sell a bag of green veggies called "Power Greens" or similar name. Many Costco locations have a large sized bag if you're near one of their stores and they are organic. Included in the mix you will find spinach, chard and kale; all excellent vegetables. If you can't find a Power Greens bag at your local store, try to find something similar. Spinach and Kale are great vegetables to blend in your shake and taste great.
Using Traditional Blender
If you are not able to liquify your veggies because of a limitation with your blending device, I recommend you use a non-flavored greens product. You don't want to over power the chocolate or vanilla taste, unless you prefer the taste of a particular greens product. However, I don't like adding powdered greens to my shake so I would instead use a tablet supplement instead, such as Green Food from Standard Process.
Hedge Your Bet... get more good stuff
With most shakes I make, I like to add a couple of scoops of SP Complete from Standard Process. SP Complete has been shown to support intestinal, muscular, and immune health; provide ingredients with antioxidant activity; support healthy liver function and support the body's normal toxin-elimination function.
I recommend the non-flavored when adding it to smoothie; and the dairy free version.
Also, consider adding a good, organic source of whole food fiber, which is also available through Standard Process.
Add Some Good Fats
All breakfast shakes should have some good fats added (see chapter 5-14 in the book). I typically like to use hemp seeds when using a traditional blender and chia seeds when using a Vitamix (only because chia doesn't blend as well in a regular blender). Some also like to add coconut oil or avocado oil to their smoothies. I don't, but I think a little will be just fine. Below are my favorite hemp and chia seeds.
Add some liquid and maybe top it off...
As far a liquid goes, I recommend just using pure water. If you decide you want to use a non-dairy milk (such as almond, oat, coconut, hemp, etc.), that is fine, but I say less is more. Also, many of those non-dairy milks have other ingredients which will make your shake less pure. If you do use them, be sure to use the unsweetened type.
My wife likes her shakes with a crunchy texture so she likes to pop in a scoop of cacao nibs, which is also a good source of Omega-3 fats like the chia and hemp above. After you have already blended the other ingredients, add them in for a quick half-second blend so you don't lose the crunchiness.