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Breakfast is often said to be the most important meal of the day; unfortunately, it is frequently skipped or nutritionally sparse for most people. Breakfast smoothies are a great way to incorporate nutrition into your day.  Done right, they're easy to make, breakfast smoothies incredibly nutritious, and can give you the energy you need to start your day right.

Why a breakfast smoothie and not a breakfast juice? Though juicing is all the rage right now, the process removes fiber and most nutrients rendering the end product not so nutritionally sound. In some cases, juiced drinks are not much more than a quick dose of sugar. 

Whole blending, which as its name implies blends the edible parts of whole fruits and vegetables, and delivers drinks that are full of fiber, nutrients, and good carbs.  These nutritionally dense drinks can help devotees lose weight, stave off illnesses, and boost energy.  Blending does typically require that one own a good to high-end blender; Vitamix is a brand that most smoothie lovers swear by.

Check out the slideshow above for the health benefits of many special ingredients.

 

Power Breakfast Smoothie Recipes

 

GreenTastic – blend half a cup of kale, half a cup of spinach, one cup of pineapple, one and a half cups of water, and half a lemon for a nutritional blast

AlmondBlast – blend a cup of kefir, half a cup of non-fat milk, a frozen banana, one tbsp. of peanut butter, and some almonds for a fantastic breakfast treat.

BeetAround – blend a quarter of a medium sized raw beet (completely cut off the outside skin), a whole red apple, one cup of almond milk or non-fat milk, and half a cup of kefir for a unique take on beets...feel free to add honey if you like.

BONUS: KaleMeetKefir– blend a cup of kefir, a cup of kale, a banana, a quarter cup of pineapple,
and at least one cup of almond milk for a smooth green treat.

Enjoy these recipes, create your own favorites, and find new combinations online.  Cheers!

Tasneem Manjra (@tasneem_in_sf) is a marketer turned juice enthusiast.  She is the co-founder of Bushel Whole Blended Juices (www.bushelwholeblended.com), a relatively new juice company in the Bay Area that caters to Fortune 500s, VCs, and individuals.  She regularly shares healthy tips and recipes on her blog, FatConsciousFoodie (www.fatconsciousfoodie.com).

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Kefir - this low-calorie, low-lactose fermented milk and grain wonder is like a super-charged yogurt. It is packed with probiotics and nutrients, boosts immune function, balances the intestines, and delivers 9-11 grams of protein per cup. Stick with plain kefir, and blend fruits in if you crave sweetness.


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Kale - this leafy green superfood reduces inflammation in the body, prevents a slue of cancers, is high in fiber, and high in vitamin k, vitamin c and iron (say hello to luscious hair). It also detoxes the body. Dino kale, or Tuscan kale as it is also called, is probably the best tasting - skip baby kale or lacinato kale entirely if you are new to this leafy green.


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Almonds - these little miracle workers are high in potassium, reduce the risk of heart attack, boost brain activity, and lower bad cholesterol. Buy the raw variety. Use these in smoothies and also consider making homemade almond milk.


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Chia Seeds - Ch Ch Chia. These seeds don't only provide a tuft of green hair for your favorite clay animal, they are a great source of calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and healthy omega-3 fats. Unlike flax seeds, which must be ground in order to access their nutritional benefits, chia seeds can be consumed whole.


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Bananas - these nutritional wonders aren't just for monkeys. These yellow wonders are full of potassium, lower blood pressure, improve mood by boosting serotonin, maintain sugar levels, and help you lose weight


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Apple – an apple a day really does keep the doctor away. These red treats keep blood sugar regulated, provide a feeling of fullness, reduce bad bacteria in the gut, and have been shown to reduce caloric intake from meals by 15% when consumed 10-15 minutes prior to eating!


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Beets – Beets are a natural liver protector, can lower blood pressure, increase oxygen to the brain, heart, and muscles, and are a great source of vitamins and nutrients including folic acid and iron.


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Natural Peanut Butter – this classic all-American butter is full of protein, manganese, and lower your risk of coronary disease. Best of all, this butter keeps you feeling full and satiated. Stick with natural versions of this wonder butter; if the ingredients have anything more than peanuts and/or salt, you need to step away from the jar.



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