Despite being a chef by trade and loving to cook, simple smoothies are actually the most frequent thing I make. For real: I’ve made thousands of smoothies for myself, and have created hundreds of smoothie recipes for others—including, of course, the ones found in my book Superfood Smoothies, as well as our Luminberry cooking course Low-Sugar Smoothies. And I practice what I preach, too: our family makes a smoothie (or two!) almost every single day, and the blender has a permanent pole position out on the countertop, ready for its next blend.
Like so many of us, I love superfood smoothies because they are fast, flexible, and functional. Made exclusively from real foods and best-of superfoods, smoothies are a great way enjoy a deep saturation of nutrients, while somehow feeling indulgent at the same time, too. And they can be formulated for all kinds of purposes: from meal replacements, to post-workout recovery, to cognition enhancement, and more.
Recently, I’ve started making smoothies for a new, very joyous purpose: we have a Luminberry baby on the way! Over the past months, between heeding pregnancy medical advice and navigating sudden food aversions (during my first trimester I could barely stomach any kind of green vegetables or protein—not fun!), I really needed some dietary help. And sure enough, it was smoothies that saved the day.
Thanks to their palatable flavor and creamy texture, smoothies are a perfect place to tuck in more of the foods we should be eating during pregnancy, while offering essential nutrients for both mom and baby! Although I certainly made variations in my daily blend, one green smoothie recipe in particular has become a borderline pregnancy ritual. I created it to help cover some of my most important nutritional needs into something easily digestible and delicious, and my body has responded amazingly to it—it’s now turned into something I crave.
This recipe for my “essential” pregnancy smoothie is excellent for those who are pregnant,* breastfeeding, trying to conceive … or anyone who wants an exceptionally balanced and health-giving blend (my husband now drinks it all the time too!) Because let's not forget: wherever you are in your wellness journey, sometimes superfood smoothies can truly make all the difference.
*This post is not intended as medical advice. Always ask your doctor before beginning a new dietary regimen while pregnant.
WATCH HOW I MAKE MY PREGNANCY SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIE:
PREGNANCY SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIE INGREDIENT BENEFITS:
Every ingredient in this smoothie has a purpose. Check out some of the beneficial nutrients you glean from this special recipe.
Bananas: 1 banana contains 25% DRI (Daily Recommended Intake) of vitamin B6, which can help relieve nausea and vomiting. Bananas are also a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.
Spinach: Spinach is an excellent source of folate (which helps to prevent birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine), iron (prevents anemia), and vitamin A (crucial for eye and organ health of the baby).
Hemp Protein Powder: Consuming slightly higher amounts of protein is very important during pregnancy to help the baby grow, as well as to build the uterine and breast tissue needed to support it. Hemp protein is a particularly rich plant-based source, full of all of the essential amino acids.
Almond Butter: Almonds are a great source of magnesium (important for helping form the baby’s central nervous system and support a healthy birthweight), folate, and calcium.
Chia Seeds: A single tablespoon of chia seeds contains almost a fifth of your daily fiber (relieves constipation), along with a good dose of calcium and iron.
Spirulina: A bit like nature’s multivitamin, spirulina offers a broad range of micronutrients, including calcium (key for forming a fetus’s bones and teeth), magnesium, and potassium. Spirulina should be only used with a doctor’s permission during pregnancy, although current research points toward its many benefits for use in pregnancy and breastfeeding.
PREGNANCY SUPERFOOD SMOOTHIE PREP TIPS:
Smoothies are simple to make, but sometimes it’s the details that can elevate a good smoothie into a great one.
Select ripe bananas. The riper the banana, the more flavorful your smoothie! If you want your smoothie more frosty, use frozen bananas instead of fresh.
Pack in the spinach. Take advantage of spinach’s mild flavor to get a few more leaves in, if you can.
Use roasted almond butter. Roasted almond butter will offer a much more decadent flavor over raw almond butter (which can err on the side of bland).
Pick the right protein powder. I use a pure hemp protein powder, without other types of protein or superfoods added (simple is best during pregnancy)! If you'd like to use another variety, look for single-ingredient or very simple blends to avoid unknowingly consuming ingredients that could be deleterious to the baby.
Choose alcohol-free. Most flavoring extracts and liquid stevia products (both great additions to smoothies!) are made with a very small amount of alcohol, which should be avoided during pregnancy. Always check the label of these ingredients to ensure your pick is listed as alcohol-free.
Ask your doctor. When in doubt about using any ingredients, superfoods or otherwise, ask your doctor first. Every person and even every pregnancy is a little different!
“Essential” Pregnancy Superfood Smoothie
With a creamy, vanilla-almond flavor, this green smoothie is rich in important pregnancy nutrients for both mom and baby, offering stores of protein, healthy fats, fiber, as well as naturally-occurring micronutrients like folate, calcium, and iron.
Prep Time: none | Cook Time: 5 mins | Total Time: 5 mins Servings: 1 Author: Julie Morris
1 banana, fresh or frozen
1 cup (packed) baby spinach
2 tablespoons hemp protein powder
1 tablespoon roasted almond butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds
½ teaspoon spirulina powder
1 teaspoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk (homemade or store-bought)
¾ cup ice
Alcohol-free liquid stevia, to taste (we use around 5-8 drops)
1. Add all the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
2. Taste, and add additional stevia for more sweetness, if desired.
Pregnancy Superfood Smoothie will keep for up to 1 day, refrigerated.