Get the family excited for back-to-school with this vegan strawberry shortcake smoothie. Though it tastes exactly like the delicious dessert, this healthy breakfast smoothie is dairy-free (no yogurt), low-fat and high in protein!
We're back with another healthy green smoothie recipe, and this time, it tastes EXACTLY like everybody's favorite summertime dessert, Strawberry Shortcake. Only in this strawberry shortcake smoothie, everything is vegan and gluten-free, so you can indulge without any of the guilt!
I figure it's the perfect way to close out summer and get everyone excited about Back to School! When those busy mornings come around and your house looks more like a chaotic fire drill gone wrong, with everyone is scrambling to get dressed, finish their homework, pack their lunches and make it to school/the office on time, this smoothie will save the day.
It's quick and easy to make–just 5 ingredients and 2 minutes–full of fiber and nutrients from the flaxseed and fruit (strawberries and bananas for the win!) and bursting with plant-based protein thanks to the almond milk and vegan protein powder.
Finding a Clean Protein Powder
I'm not usually a big fan of protein powders, which are often filled with artificial additives and tons of sugar, plus many aren't certified Organic and often contain GMOs. In fact, if I use protein powder at all, I usually opt for collagen peptides from Vital Proteins, which are totally flavorless but incredibly nourishing to your skin, digestive tract and joints.
However, sometimes I like the vanilla flavor a protein powder provides, particularly when I'm trying to replicate a dessert in my smoothies, like I've done here with strawberry shortcake. The best protein powder I've found for this is from my favorite workout duo, Tone it Up!
Their Perfect Fit vanilla protein powder is delicious and super clean–the only ingredients are vegan, plant-based protein from pumpkin seeds and peas, plus organic vanilla, monkfruit extract, sea salt and guar gum. Plus it's certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and freaking delicious!
Is Guar Gum Bad For You?
Admittedly, guar gum is a controversial ingredient. The thickener is actually made from real food (guar beans), but when it's processed into a gum, the amount of soluble fiber drastically increases, making it difficult for some people to digest (think gas and abdominal discomfort (source).
On the flipside, it's been proven to lower blood glucose levels and reduce cholesterol.
So here's how I see it: these kinds of additives have a cumulative effect in the body and so long as you don't eat it every day and instead focus your diet on real, whole foods that are anti-inflammatory, a little guar gum every now and then won't hurt you (unless you have an allergy, notice negative side effects immediately after eating and/or suffer from digestive disorders already, like SIBO or IBS).
Of course, make sure you're reading your labels as you may be unknowingly ingesting guar gum on a regular basis, which I wouldn't recommend for anyone.
If you want to up the nutrient content of this smoothie, I love adding spinach and wheatgrass powder. I swear it does not change the flavor profile AT ALL, but it does change the color from a perfect pink to a grayed out pink (see below photos). It may not look as cute, but it tastes identical AND you're getting tons more nutrition!
Health Benefits of Wheatgrass
My favorite brand of Wheatgrass Powder is Amazing Grass, which is also Organic, non-GMO and gluten-free.
I throw a teaspoon of this into almost every smoothie I make because it ups the nutrition ante BIG TIME, without affecting the flavor too heavily.
It will make your smoothies slightly less sweet, but I honestly prefer that to a cloyingly sweet drink.
If you've never tried wheatgrass before, you're missing out. Not only does wheatgrass contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, plant-based protein and phyto-nutrients (it's one of the best sources of living chlorophyll, which is antibacterial and a natural healer), it's also extremely alkalizing (meaning it naturally balances and increases alkalinity), and it supports your immune system and your body's detoxification process.
Chlorophyll neutralizes toxins in the body, helps purify the liver, improves blood sugar problems, increases the function of the heart and positively affects the vascular system, the intestines, the uterus, and the lungs (source).
Superfood doesn't even begin to describe it.
But honestly, even though this strawberry shortcake smoothie is a nutritional powerhouse, we're drinking it because it's just so damn delicious.
It's a dessert you can eat for breakfast, a breakfast you can make in less than 2 minutes flat, a meal that feels like a total indulgence but is actually 100% guilt-free.
It may be one of my favorite smoothies yet, and that's saying a lot considering how many smoothies we drink over here.
It's a smoothie that adults and kids alike will gulp down and ask for seconds. One of the best and easiest (and let's be honest, most painless) ways to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
The Green Version of this smoothie is below.
If you try this recipe, let us know what you think! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag the recipe #rootandrevel/@rootandrevel on Instagram.
Vegan Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie
- Combine all ingredients into a large, high-powered blender (I recommend Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy.
- Serve and enjoy!
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser