We’ve all been there — schedules filled from the time you wake up to the time you lay your head down to sleep. Between family, work, socializing, and taking care of your home, it’s striking how few hours there really are in the day when there’s so much to get done. Self-care can fall to the wayside, especially self-care in the form of nourishing your body.
Skipping meals during a busy work day is neither helpful nor conducive to a high-functioning version of you. Reaching for something quick (yet likely unhealthy) is not the best way to care for yourself on busy days.
Smoothies — whether green, fruit-based, or nutty — offer you an opportunity to prep beforehand or simply blend a quick meal packed with proteins, nutrients, and energy. Keep reading for seven easy smoothie recipes for when you’re busy.
What Are the Benefits of Smoothies?
While every smoothie has its own distinct benefits, smoothies generally include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and oats. These ingredients can offer protein-rich alternatives to meals, midday snacks, or post-gym nourishment. Not all smoothie recipes are created equal, so we’ve highlighted some of our favorites below.
What Healthy Smoothie Recipes Are Good for a Busy Schedule?
While you can’t go wrong with the flavor palette of your choosing, some smoothie recipes are better than others for a busy schedule. If you are looking to incorporate a breakfast smoothie as a meal replacement (as opposed to a midday snack), protein-rich recipes are the way to go.
1. Banana Chocolate Smoothie
There are a lot of classic combinations in the world of smoothies, but nothing holds it down more than a banana chocolate smoothie. And yet, pumping chocolate into your system isn’t exactly the best way to nourish your body after a workout or before a busy day.
Enter our Cacao Banana Smoothie, a protein-rich boost that is bursting with functional ingredients like reishi, maca, and ginger. We included a plant-based protein, an Ecuadorian seed called chocho, which is easier for your body to digest than processed plant proteins.
There’s really nothing better than a smoothie that is as good for you as it tastes, and this is it. Antioxidant-rich, energizing, and mood-boosting? We may have created the perfect smoothie.
2. Cinnamon Spice Smoothie
Another winning flavor, cinnamon spice has functional benefits in addition to tasting great. Our Vanilla Cinnamon Plant Protein smoothie brings chocho to the forefront with its lecithin-free protein, allowing your body to process it more easily than other plant proteins.
Aside from the protein benefits, vanilla and cinnamon merge to create a warm and flavorful combination that is sure to bring you a smile upon awakening. Try combining our Vanilla Cinnamon Plant Protein with coconut milk, some dates, and even a pinch of fresh Ceylon cinnamon to really highlight cinnamon’s flavor — and functional benefits — in this smoothie.
3. Mixed Berry
Berries are critical to smoothies, and sometimes having all the berries at once is exactly what a smoothie calls for. The winning secret to berries? That these small fruits are packed with antioxidants and good sugars. Our Blueberry Acai Smoothie levels up the berry smoothie by introducing the superfood acai and its anti-aging and immune-boosting properties.
Not only that, but we brought even more immunity-boosting properties into this smoothie with goji berries and camu camu to help support your body as it fights off free radicals and toxins.
4. Matcha Banana Smoothie
What may seem like an unlikely combination — matcha and banana — turns out to be a nutritious and energizing duo. Start with banana and your choice of smoothie base, whether that be a milk alternative or coconut water, for a lighter option.
Where does the matcha come in? Adding our Majik Matcha Latte to your banana smoothie offers an energizing boost to your smoothie without added carbohydrates, fats, or sugars.
Particularly if you’re looking for alternatives to coffee, or are interested in incorporating more calm energy into your life, then matcha might make sense for your lifestyle. Since caffeine can increase anxiety, it can be difficult to find that boost you’re looking for without the jitters, crash, or stress-inducing effects.
5. Strawberry Banana Smoothie
Strawberry banana smoothie? We can’t think of a more classic combination. In a smoothie, strawberries and bananas combine to create a subtly sweet experience that can be combined with innumerable fruits and vegetables to create a delicious afternoon snack.
Begin with frozen strawberries and frozen bananas — this will eliminate the need for ice cubes and help the fruits incorporate more easily into the smoothie. Add almond milk or another plant milk of choice, chia seeds and a tablespoon of nut butter for healthy fats, one cup of spinach or another leafy green, and top with hemp seeds for a protein boost.
6. Peanut Butter and Oat Smoothie
Whether you’re a crunchy or creamy nut butter person, this PB and oat smoothie will have you satisfied and filled with sustainable energy throughout the day. This smoothie is for those of us looking for protein and fiber, and you can incorporate any fruit you’d like.
A classic combination — peanut butter and banana — goes well in this smoothie, with blended oats, some cinnamon, and a hint of agave. You could add your favorite protein powder for an extra boost.
With just the right amount of sweetness, a peanut butter and oat smoothie is a great option for a midday snack or a protein-rich breakfast. You can also opt for almond butter instead of peanut butter if you prefer.
7. Green Smoothie
You really can’t go wrong with a green smoothie, and the greens you choose to highlight in your smoothie are really up to you! Green smoothies come in all flavors and colors, but some more popular green smoothies include kale, spinach, and avocado.
Kale, for example, provides important nutrients such as potassium, fiber, and calcium. Bananas and fresh apples are often included in green smoothies alongside the “green” ingredients to provide sweetness without added sugar. With a base of almond or coconut milk and some of your favorite fresh fruit, you’ll have a creamy and protein-rich smoothie to keep you nourished throughout your day.
Using frozen or pre-washed greens as opposed to fresh greens will help you save time. Additionally, frozen greens are more easily incorporated (than fresh greens) into a smoothie when chopped up.
How Can I Make Smoothies Faster on Busy Days?
Smoothies already require a relatively low prep time, but there are ways to make your life even easier on the busiest of days. How can you make smoothies faster? It’s all about the prep.
The majority of what makes smoothie-making take longer is the time it takes to prepare the ingredients that go into the smoothie. For example, purchasing pre-cut fruit or cutting up fruit beforehand will save time in the morning if you’re feeling pressed.
Another great way to save time on busy days is to prepare your smoothie beforehand entirely. Leaving out the liquid, you can prepare all the ingredients for a smoothie beforehand and store them in the freezer. Just grab your pre-made pack of fruits, veggies, spices, and nuts, and blend.
Pro tip: using frozen fruits and vegetables eliminates the need for ice cubes to keep your smoothie nice and chilled. If you’re bringing veggies into your smoothies, using frozen leafy greens will allow for easier incorporation into your smoothie.
What Kind of Liquid Should I Use for a Smoothie?
You can use a myriad of liquids for smoothie-making, and it depends on what you’re looking for in your life. As a rule, you generally don’t want to use juice, like orange juice, as a base, since processed fruit juice has much higher sugar contents than its whole-fruit form.
If you’re looking for a lighter liquid, try using coconut water as a base. If you’re looking to add protein and fiber to your delicious smoothie, try dairy milk alternatives like almond or hemp milk.
The Bottom Line
Busy schedules can sometimes feel overwhelming at the beginning of the day. Preparing meals for yourself shouldn’t add additional stress to your already busy work week, but it should rather offer an opportunity for you to look forward to a nourishing reprieve amidst your day. Kroma’s 5-Day Reset can be a delicious, simple way to nourish your body when your schedule leaves little time for meal prep.
Smoothies are a simple, high-impact way to bring much-needed nutrients and protein into your daily routine without expending significant energy that you need for other aspects of your day. Next time you reach for something quick and unhealthy or consider skipping a meal, you can instead reach for that smoothie you prepared earlier.
A little extra effort goes a long way when it comes to keeping your body and brain taken care of throughout the day.
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