Two recipes for adaptogenic protein smoothies to sip on throughout your busy workweek. These healthful smoothies serve as a great snack or light meal replacement and are teaming with nutrients and health benefits.
Smoothies have been making an epic comeback in my life over the last 3 months with the changing tide of my gut health. If you’ve been following along a while, you I took a bit of smoothie hiatus when my gut health was at its worst because bananas were causing my IBS to flair.
I continued making smoothies with steamed zucchini or cauliflower as a replacement here and there, but let’s face it: it’s just not the same. Drinkable, but IMO not delicious.
This to say, I’ve been whipping up protein smoothies on the daily including adaptogens for some added health benefits. I still keep my smoothies relatively low in fructose (I don’t go crazy with high-sugar fruit), resulting in a healthful drink that is super tasty but doesn’t cause a big surge in blood sugar.
Are you new to adaptogens? I’ll give you the 101.
What are adaptogens?
Adaptogens are plants or herbs that help support your adrenals, balance your hormones, and help your body adapt to stressful or anxiety-ridden situations. Adaptogens are ideal for people who are undergoing physical, mental or emotional stress to help calm nerves and ensure the body doesn’t burn out (or go into adrenal fatigue). In today’s society of chronic stress and over-stimulation, I think most of us could benefit from a little stress-reducing assistance.
Adaptogenic herbs have been used for thousands of years as natural remedies and have exploded in popularity over the last couple of years in the health and wellness community. Many of them help increase your energy level naturally (and are caffeine-free), and some of them even boost your libido (bow chicka bow wow).
Some commonly used adaptogens are ashwagandha, maca, ginseng, reishi, astragalus, holy basil, bacopa monnieri, Chaga mushrooms, Cordyceps, and more.
Like many great things in life, adaptogens take a great deal of time to work, which is one of the reasons I add them to smoothies daily. This isn’t like taking a puff on the peace pipe and feeling the effects immediately, so you’ll need to slow your roll when it comes to adding them and changing them.
For best results, start by adding one adaptogen to your diet, and after 2 – 4 weeks, add one more if you would like. Or stick with one! If you’re using the powder form of an adaptogen, start with ½ a teaspoon, then increase to 1 teaspoon over time.
Interested in learning more about some of the most popular adaptogens? Check out Bulletproof’s article, 12 Best Adaptogens to Feel Less Stressed, Laser Focused, and More .
My Favorite Adaptogens:
As you will see in the two smoothie recipes here, I am a big fan of maca and ashwagandha. I’ve been using maca for over 4 years – in fact, you can read my article, 9 Reasons Why Maca Powder is Awesome and have a sip on my Aphrodisiac Smoothie.
While I’ve been a consumer of maca for many moons, I picked up ashwagandha as well about 6 months ago.
Ashwagandha has been known to help reduce stress, anxiety, cortisol (your stress hormone) and c-reactive protein. It may help improve memory and research suggests is may reverse neurological toxins that contribute to neurological disease.
Adding ashwagandha and maca to a smoothie gives it that calming effect boost and helps the adaptogens go down easy. You see, many adaptogens are not super palatable, ashwagandha being one of them for me. You can still taste it in the smoothie, but it’s a subtle flavor you grow accustomed to.
I also have a supply of 10 Mushroom Blend powder, which includes 10 adaptogenic mushrooms. I love the concept of this type of product to cover a range of health benefits, although I do recommend singling out each adaptogen, at least to start out, to observe any effects.
I find using a quality protein powder like hemp protein, almond milk, almond butter, and yogurt yields the best flavor for your protein smoothie. I use coconut milk yogurt, which is lower in protein than regular yogurt, so keep the protein content in mind when choosing your yogurt.
You can even add a cooked egg or cooked egg whites.
I know, it sounds crazy…but I’ve done it on multiple occasions (see my Blueberry Grape Protein Smoothie for example), and it actually works quite well!
Simply scramble an egg and allow it to cool in the refrigerator before adding it to the blender if this is something of interest.
And yes, you have my permission to tell your friends I told you it’s acceptable to put a bloomin’ egg in your smoothie. Winky face.
I thought I’d share my two current adaptogenic protein smoothie go-tos.
Keep in mind, you can change up your protein selections according to your protein needs, add more fruit if you’re cool with more fructose, and also change the adaptogens depending on the effect you’re going for.
I hope you enjoy these slurpable beverages…if you make them, feel free to report back and let me know what you think!
Here’s the Green Adaptogen Smoothie:
Green Adaptogenic Protein Smoothie
- Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until creamy. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Blueberry Adaptogenic Protein Smoothie
- Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!