Sunrise Smoothie

Sunrise Smoothie Drink | jessicagavin.com

Lately I’ve been looking for a healthier, more satisfying breakfast option to start my day. During the week my day begins around 5am, when most people are still counting sheep. So I was looking for something I could make at work that was quick, easy and not heavy (I love pancakes and eggs, but at 5 am, I need something that can get me energized!). Here is how I incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my day:

Enter the NINJA Blender

The perfect solution arrived this summer one Monday morning when I noticed a shiny new Ninja NJ600 Pro Blenderin my company’s kitchen. I had heard some good reviews about the NINJA from my wellness coach, and she said that she had been making some super smoothies with her NINJA, incorporating tons of her favorite fruits and veggies.

ninja blender

the ingredients for a delicious smoothie

The Ninja NJ600 Pro Blenderis not your ordinary blender it’s got six massive blades running from the top to the bottom of the blender, a culinary katana of sorts. These blades allow any fruit or vegetable to be pulverized in seconds with no problem.

The blender has multiple speed settings in case you have more fibrous or frozen ingredients that need a good chopping. The only major difference between more conventional blenders is that you don’t get that nice vortex affect at the bottom, giving you a creamier textured smoothie like at Jamba Juice. I also noticed that the NINJA wasn’t able to break down the vegetables ingredients into more fine particles. However the NINJA does get the job done with little struggle to break down even the most resistant of ingredients, and the smoothies are still delicious!

Ingredient Benefits

  • Antioxidants: I chose raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and strawberries for an antioxidant packed drink. The green tea not only gives me energy, it’s also contains catechins, a free radical scavenger. Spinach also contains numerous flavonoid compounds that function as a team of cancer-fighting antioxidants. The antioxidants found in plants help to prevent or slow the damage by free radicals, the molecules that cause aging and some diseases. Nothing better than protecting healthy cells in a delicious way!
  • Nutrients and Fiber: Banana’s not only give a nice creaminess to this smoothie, but more importantly fiber and potassium found naturally in bananas. The berries and vegetables have soluble and insoluble fibers to aid in healthy digestion. The berries contain phytonutrients that provide potassium, folate and vitamin C . Spinach and kale are very nutrient dense, providing vitamin A,K, C, folate, calcium, magnesium, and iron. There are many other nutrient benefits contained in these fruits and vegetables, but these are just a few that I wanted to highlight.
  • Rehydration: I like to add coconut water instead of a fruit juice because it’s lower in calories and provides great replenishing and hydration benefits. Coconut water contains key electrolytes; potassium, magnesium, sodium, calcium and phosphorus. You can easily become dehydration after hours of sleep, so incorporating some electrolyte rich food into your day will give you the replenishment your body needs.

Tips:

  • I like thicker smoothies, so this recipe can almost be eaten like a frozen yogurt. You can add more liquid to thin out the smoothie if you want something more drinkable.
  • More fruit ideas: Apples, pears, oranges, pineapples, cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew, the possibilities are endless! Just choose your favorite combinations and experiment!
  • More vegetable ideas: Cucumber, carrots, maybe even beets for added energy!
  • Toppers: Flaxseed, granola, high fiber cereal, bananas, berries are all great ways to add some extra flavor to your smoothie!
  • If you’re looking for a protein boost, try some whey of vegetable protein to your smoothie.
  • If you want some dairy or more creaminess to your smoothie, try substituting some of the coconut water or green tea for yogurt (Greek or Dannon drinkable yogurt are my favorites).
  • Almond and rice milk are also great additions to the smoothie!
  • If you forget to freeze your berries, add some ice to the smoothie and you will get a similar texture and chill, but frozen berries will give you the best texture.
  • Depending on the types of fruit you choose, don’t be surprised if your smoothie may give a more brown color. You can always add more berries to adjust. If you want more of a green smoothie, add more neutral colored fruits like pineapple, apples or pears.

I would love to hear your favorite combinations!

My favorite blender for numerous culinary applications is the Vitamix 1723 Professional Series 200, Onyxwhich gives you variable speed options so you can better control the blending. This blender provides the creamiest product.

Sunrise Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 24 ounces

Sunrise Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kale
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ½ cup frozen mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc)
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup coconut water
  • ½ cup green tea (freshly brewed and chilled)
  • Sweetener (If desired; honey, agave, stevia)

Directions

  1. I like to buy all of my fruits and veggies, and portion them at home so I can quickly grab what I need to make one smoothie each morning. I like to measure out all of the berries and one banana into a resealable bag, and freeze the ingredients overnight. I also portion out the kale and spinach into one bag and store them in the refrigerator (you can freeze these as well in one bag with the fruit).
  2. I usually brew some tea in the morning, and cool it down with some ice cubes so I can use it in the smoothie that day, and any extra I keep in the refrigerator for the next day.
  3. The first trick is to add all of your spinach and kale into the blender. Add the ½ cup of coconut water and ½ cup of green tea. Blend the vegetables until the mixture is bright green and only smaller particles are visible. This ensures that your have break down the vegetables before you add the frozen berries, so your smoothie doesn’t lose it’s nice thickness.
  4. Add berries to the pureed vegetables and blend until you get the desired consistency.
  5. The smoothie will be as sweet as your berries, so if you like a sweeter drink, you can add some natural sweetneers such as a touch of honey, agave or stevia. If you’re a little hesitant about how spinach or kale may taste, you can adjust the amounts you to your liking, but I promise that you can barely taste the vegetables!
  6. This recipe yields approximately 24 ounces of smoothie.
http://www.jessicagavin.com/test-kitchen/breakfast/ninja-blender-super-sunrise-smoothie/

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Comments

  1. Ninjato says

    You have up’d the game in the smoothie world. Thanks for the tips – so many ingredients though – will have to be targeted shopping! Also, gave me an idea on how to save my fruit which is always going bad!!

    Questions:

    - Swapping almond milk for coconut milk – still a re-hydrater or no?
    - Any thoughts on almonds/cashews for protein versus powder? tips on this?

    Thanks!

    • Jessica says

      Great questions Ninjato!

      Water is always the best option for hydration. Since water is the major component in both coconut water and almond milk, you will get the fluids you need with added nutritional benefits! Just remember to also keep drinking water throughout the day!

      When comparing protein powders versus whole nuts, powders tend to be higher in protein content because they have been processed to concentrate the protein levels from their original source. Protein powders typically have a neutral flavor, making it easy to incorporate into beverages. As you add more powder, your drink will become thicker in consistency and you may begin to get an aftertaste. The best way is to start with the suggested serving size and go from there.

      Whole nuts are also good sources of natural protein, however will not necessarily be a one to one replacement for protein powders. If you would like to incorporate more protein to your smoothie, why not try adding some natural almond or cashew butter for protein, nutrients and creaminess?
      Better yet, how about making your own almond milk and save the almond meal for extra protein and thickness, or use in other recipes?

      I think you have inspired a new post, thanks Ninjato!

  2. michelle says

    I just bought the ninja and had my first smoothie today. I added fresh kale/spinach to frozen berries, fresh banana and Greek yogurt.
    The ninja i bought has 1500 watts and it pulverized everything in seconds. My boys hate to eat vegetables and they gave it the thumbs up. You can not taste the vegetables.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      That is so great to hear Michelle! It is difficult for anyone to get all of their fruits and vegetables in for the day, and a smoothie is an easy way to deliver nutrition! I’m so glad you found a recipe your boys like and a blender that works well!

  3. Cassie says

    just wondering if you have any tips about how to get the smoothie creamier. I just got a ninja and the green smoothie I made was disgusting, the kale I added was in chunks and I had to chew it. I used the recipe I always do, but I am used to the magic bullet. I never thought that the ninka wouldn’t blend as well as a magic bullet… your recipe has greens but in the picture it doesn’t look like there are kale chunks. Is there a certain order to add ingredients, etc.? Thanks!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Cassie- I usually blend the greens first with some of the liquid to help break down the more fibrous material, before I add the fruit. I have also been using baby kale which is a little more delicate and may break down easier. I have defintiely noticed with the nimja blender that I will still have a little bit of green particulates in the drink. I think it’s because you can never really acheived the “whirl” that you get from other blenders with the finer blades at the bottom, which helps with the creaminess and breaking down all of the ingredients. The ninja is amazing for breaking down ice and frozen berries in an instant, but not for extremely smooth beverages with no particulates like the bullet or vitamix. This may be more work, but maybe you can process the greens with some liquid in the bullet first so it gets really fine, then add that to the ninja with the other ingredients.

  4. Sydney Hoffman says

    Hi, this is Sydney. I’m looking into the idea of making delicious energy drinks and smoothie recipes that fills your stomach up. My blender is Osterizer and I don’t want to buy Ninja and other more expensive blenders yet. Can you please email me a few recipes? I’d appreciate it! Thank you! Sydney.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Sydney! I made a new smoothie recipe earlier this year, http://www.jessicagavin.com/test-kitchen/breakfast/super-healthy-fruit-smoothie/. You can always modify the base of the sunrise smoothie, just make sure to keep some greens like spinach and kale to give you some fiber to help make you feel full. Also, you can add some protein powder like milk or soy, that always helps me feel more full after drinking my smoothie, especially if it’s a meal replacement. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what you like, good luck!

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