It can be a tough choice in the morning, deciding whether to load up on one nutrient-packed beverage — the smoothie — or your energy-jolting best friend, coffee.
But with a blender by your side and the fixings of both beverages patiently waiting in your cabinet, the choice is a false one. With the right recipe in hand (and, yes, a powerful blender), you can start your day with the best of both worlds in one cup.
How to Make a Coffee Smoothie
What’s most pleasurable about coffee smoothies is their versatility and compatibility with some of the most desirable breakfast standards: nut butters, bananas, milk, and chocolate. Many of which are flavors that can be found in coffee itself. Here, five iced coffee smoothies to experiment with.
- Coffee Protein Smoothie. For a simple and clean healthy coffee smoothie experience, select a nutty coffee and brew half a cup. Let it chill in the refrigerator (ideally, prepare this before bed) and then mix these ingredients: a banana, a quarter-cup almond milk (spruce things up by using the unsweetened vanilla, or swap out for a creamy cashew milk), add a tablespoon of your favorite nut butter, and then measure out a quarter-teaspoon of cinnamon. Add protein powder if desired, but the nut butter should provide your morning protein. Blend until smooth and enjoy.
- Dairy-Free Iced Coffee Smoothie. For a delicious and dairy-free option, brew and chill a cup of coffee, and combine it in a blender with a handful of dates, a cup of baby spinach leaves, two tablespoons of hemp hearts and two tablespoons of cashew butter—or any other preferred nut butter. Blend until thick and then add three cups of ice. Blend but be sure to not over-blend, to maintain a milkshake-like consistency. The dates will provide a natural sweetness, plus some fiber.
- Vanilla Coconut Cashew Smoothie. This is a thick, creamy, milkshake-like experience without all the added sugar. Use banana and a cup of brewed coffee as a base, adding in vanilla protein powder, at least two tablespoons of shredded coconut, a splash of vanilla extract, a pinch of sea salt, and a quarter-cup of raw cashews. Then add a quarter-cup light coconut milk and add ice to your preference. If you want something even creamier, add extra banana. For a chocolate kick, add a few high-cocoa dark chocolate nibs that add richness while not adding much sugar—and even supplementing with some healthy fats.
- Morning Cinnamon Coffee Smoothie. What happens when you add oatmeal, banana, and vanilla yogurt to your coffee smoothie? You have what is akin to overnight oats in a coffee smoothie form. Start with the cup of coffee, then add, in a blender, a tablespoon of agave nectar, a banana, a half-cup of oats, a half-cup of vanilla yogurt, a cup of cashew milk, and a teaspoon of cinnamon—or more, to taste. Blend and then add two cups of ice, blending for just a few seconds.
- Cauliflower Coffee Smoothie. Don’t worry—you won’t taste the cauliflower. The vegetable will blend nicely with the other ingredients and add a thickness without having to add ice. Finish by adding—and blending—a banana, cacao powder, a tablespoon of your preferred nut butter, about a cup of unsweetened almond milk, and a tablespoon of flaxseeds.
Pro tip for making coffee smoothies? Try freezing coffee ice cubes in place of taking the time to brew coffee for every smoothie. It’s also worth it to prepare a big batch of cold brew to store in the fridge for smoothies for the entire week. Also use frozen fruits, when possible.
There’s no reason why even the most discriminating coffee lover has to forsake their favorite morning beverage, even if you’re on a health kick. There are plenty of ways to incorporate low-calorie, caffeinated brews with delicious fruits, vegetables, and nut butters and milks to fuel you throughout your day.