Good morning guys!
How was your weekend? Mine flew past in the blink of an eye, and I can’t quite believe it’s Monday already! I know many of you in the US have a short week ahead due to American Thanksgiving, and if that’s the case, I hope you’ve got some fun (and tasty) celebrations ahead!
Today I want to geek out on post-workout recovery. If you’re a nutrition nerd like me who likes to work up a good sweat on the regular, gather round – there’s some exciting news to be shared! As many of you know, I’m a big fan of Vega, especially the Sport line of products which I’ve used for several years to fuel my running and triathlon endeavours. Vegan, gluten-free, soy free, and constantly being improved in order to improve effectiveness and taste – what’s not to love?
Very recently, Vega Sport Performance Protein got an amazing makeover, and now it’s got even MORE wonderful ingredients that are key to proper recovery.
You’ve probably already heard that cherries are very nutrient-dense, but tart cherry juice is really where it’s at. It’s rich in flavonoids called anthocyanins which have super strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties – even more anti-oxidant superpowers than dark chocolate!
Not just for curry! This vibrant-yellow root is another amazing food for post-workout recovery, thanks to the active ingredient curcumin which gives it such a bright colour. Not only is turmeric an anti-inflammatory like tart cherry, but when eaten its compounds go on a search mission throughout your body for damaging free radicals and destroys them. Pretty cool, right?
You might recognize this as the enzyme in pineapple, and if so, you’re right! Bromelain is a perfect add-in to a post-workout meal because it helps us to digest protein.
So with all that said, and given my sky-high level of excitement about these changes, you can bet I’ve been working Vega Sport into as many smoothies as possible lately. On the weekend I made a vegan Egg Nog Smoothie, and oooooooohhhhhh-emmmmm-GEEEEEE… GUYS. You’ve gotta try this one. If you’re not yet in the festive mood, this will most certainly push you over the edge.
Egg Nog Smoothie
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Ingredients (1 serving)
- 1 scoop vanilla Vega Performance Protein
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 frozen peeled banana
- 2 tsp natural almond butter
- 1 pitted Medjool date
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- dash of ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp each almond and vanilla extract (optional)
- 5-6 ice cubes
Place all ingredients except ice in a blender and blend until smooth.
Add ice as needed to thicken, and continue blending until no chunks remain.
Pour into a glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and cinnamon stick.
While we’re on the topic of festive bevvies, I figured I’d round up 15 seasonal healthy holiday smoothies for you to feast your eyes on. The usual blender ingredients (think berries, pineapple etc) are totally out of season right now – at least in this part of the world – but have no fear because there is SO much in-season whole food goodness to be devoured instead. Let’s start with…
Walnut Caramel Apple Smoothie Bowl – Just like a gooey, juicy caramel apple coated in walnut bits, minus the struggle to eat off a stick. I like a nice tart Honeycrisp apple in this recipe, but feel free to use your favourite kind.
Caramel Pear Oatmeal Crisp Smoothie – via Cotter Crunch. Pears have got to be one of the most underrated, forgotten-about, but totally juicy and delicious cool-weather fruits in the grocery store these days. I love Lindsay’s take on this decadent dessert alternative.
Banana Bread Smoothie – Another nutty dessert in smoothie form, this one can be dressed up with your favourite granola or a handful of nuts – or both!
Butternut Squash Pomegranate Smoothie – via Turnip the Oven. Have you tried squash in your smoothies yet? If not, you’ve gotta get on it stat. I love the festive look of this smoothie and knowing it’s loaded with vitamins A B, and much0s-antioxidants makes me even more excited to slurp it back.
After Eight Smoothie – or peppermint patty, or whatever you prefer to call mint chocolate! After Eights are a post-dinner treat I remember from my childhood, and this smoothie delivers the same taste in healthy liquid form.
Holiday Juice Recipes from the North Pole – via Lunch Box Bunch. Ok, how cute are these!? Kathy’s created Santa’s Energy Green Juice, Rudolph’s Red Juice, and Elf Juice, and for those of you who like a bit of a boozy bevvy, there’s Mrs. Claus’ Cinnamon Swirler. 😉
Cranberry Smoothie – via Veggie Inspired Journey. Got leftover cranberry sauce to use up? This smoothie is the perfect way to do it. Jenn’s super simple smoothie needs only 4 ingredients – that’s it!
Gingerbread Man Smoothie – I probably don’t need to persuade you to eat something that tastes like a warm spiced gingerbread man cookie, but if you’re iron-deficient, here’s just one reason: This recipe is naturally sweetened with blackstrap molasses, and just 2 tbsp of the stuff provides about 13% of the average daily recommended intake – plus a bunch of trace minerals like copper, calcium and magnesium.
Vegan Chai Spiced Smoothie Bowls – via Cotter Crunch. To me, cinnamon and all the other spices in a good chai blend are a must-have during the winter. Lindsay’s smoothie bowls contain turmeric (see, I told you it was great stuff!) as well as some great healthy fat sources like coconut milk, chia seeds and almond butter to keep you full for hours.
Chocolate Maca Hazelnut Smoothie – The chocolate hazelnut combo in this recipe reminds me a bit of Nutella or Ferrero Rocher chocolates, and stress-busting maca takes the nutty flavour up another notch.
And finally, for those of you still riding the pumpkin train…
(and why the heck not?!)
Pumpkin Spice Protein Shake – via Go Dairy Free. Alisa is a kitchen goddess and SUCH a great resource for anyone looking to transition to or maintain a dairy-free diet. She’s got some great things going on in this recipe, and also provides a few suggestions if you prefer not to use bananas.
Pumpkin Apple Smoothie – Jennifer Meyering. There’s half a can of pumpkin sitting in my fridge right now and a whole lot of apples. Coincidence? I think not. 😉
Autumn Spice Smoothie – Vanilla and Bean. I was sold the second I saw those little anise stars in Traci’s shot below. This smoothie has a really unique cider and rooibos tea base going on, and that’s great news if you’re tired of using milk or nut milks all the time!
Pumpkin Pie Smoothie – Veggie Inspired Journey. You can never have too many pumpkin pie smoothies. This one from Jenn is super simple and includes pecans which are currently having a moment in my kitchen. Sign me up for pecan in ALL the things!
[Tweet “Tis the season for a great big healthy holiday smoothie roundup!”]
Alright, now that you’re all set for breakfast for the next couple of weeks, tell me…
- Do you have any healthy holiday smoothie blends to share? Feel free to link up below!
- Have you tried the new Vega Sport Performance Protein yet? What did you think?