For around the past two months on my Instagram, I have been posting about this smoothie every single day. No kidding–it is a formula that I find to be magnificent for my schedule, nutrition goals, and taste buds. I listened to many health and wellness podcasts, read many blog posts, and scrolled through countless social media profiles just to search up on what’s new in the nutrition field. Of course, veganism and keto are some of the most trending topics!
What really struck out to me was Kelly LeVeque’s approach: using science as a guiding vehicle for making personal choices. She really prides on viewing every meal, snack, and beverage option as a choice instead of a way of rewarding or punishing yourself and there really is no strict formula. I read her book Body Love and truly enjoyed it (only critiques: wish there were more vegan options and vegan-friendly recipes!)–there seems to be a good focus on healthy fats and enough protein in every meal as she centers her principles on maintaining stabilized blood sugar for health. However, the best gem I obtained from listening to podcast episodes with her and reading her book was her Fab Four smoothie recipe. This go-to is the most popular recipe from her platform and it’s insanely simple!
There is no singular post for the recipe, but Kelly has several variations on her blog and other health-related websites. They all look absolutely delicious! In many of her podcast interviews, she conveys that fruit is actually an optional ingredient, the reason being that many tend to overdo it on the sweet stuff, increase their blood sugars too drastically, thus experience a more significant crash (with the exception of many low sugar fruits such as avocado). What each smoothie does contain is a serving of fat, a serving of fiber, a serving of greens, and at least twenty grams of protein. If used, fruit is often restricted to 1/4 cup per smoothie. There is no right or wrong type of each to use so as long as added sugars are kept to a minimum.
Personally for me, I tend to not use fruit in my fab four smoothies. Instead, I love flax milk or cashew milk that have been frozen into ice cubes, or even just using cold flax milk and a cup or a cup and-a-half of ice cubes. However, I have made this smoothie with blueberries or frozen strawberries before and loved them! Just as a personal preference, I end up eating a wide plethora of fresh raspberries on the side because I like chewing my fruits. The main exception for this would be frozen bananas. Blended frozen bananas or frozen mangoes are LIFE-CHANGING.
Additionally, I do want to mention that while I genuinely appreciate and value everything I have learned from Body Love, I still do not plan on limiting my fruit intake or complex carbohydrate intake anytime soon. It’s not necessarily in my best interest to eat a low or minimal carbohydrate diet long-term. Having said that, I would just rather eat or chew my carbs than drink them. Seriously, wouldn’t you prefer a vegan chocolate cake or a baked sweet potato over a dessert cocktail or a unicorn frappuccino? Don’t know about you, but I would for sure. It’s all about balance: a #fabfour smoothie a day, a vegetable and protein salad for lunch with a cookie for dessert, and zucchini noodle pasta with sweet potatoes for dinner? Why not, eh?
Note: I don’t recommend this recipe if you wish for a smoothie bowl consistency. It is not very thick and the toppings end up sinking to the bottom. More fruit would have to be added which defeats the purpose of the Fab Four smoothie.
- 1 large handful of greens of choice, approximately 1 1/2-2 cups; I personally favor spinach and kale, though it is also possible to use beet greens, collard greens, and swiss chard (be wary of incredibly bitter leaves like arugula)
- 1 serving of vegan protein powder, approximately 1-2 scoops or minimum 20 grams of protein; alternatively, you can use 3-4 servings of peanut butter powder, which will yield 24-32 grams of protein total
- 1 serving of fiber or 10 grams minimum; this can range from acacia fiber, chia seeds, flax seeds, or raw fiber powder; personally, I skip this step and prefer to have other sources of fiber on the side
- 1-2 TBSP of fat of choice; this can range from chopped nuts, pumpkin/sunflower/hemp seeds, nut/seed/legume butter, coconut oil, MCT oil, flax oil, etc.
- 1-2 cups unsweetened plant milk of choice, can also use coconut water, unsweetened iced tea, unsweetened coffee, or plain water
- 1/4 cup frozen or fresh fruit of choice (optional); this can be any type of fruit, but the Fab Four favorites are low sugar such as mixed berries, avocado, and coconut meat
- 1 cup ice, preferably crushed or frozen into smaller ice cubes (optional)
- Non-nutritive sweetener to taste–best ones are Stevia or monkfruit (optional)
- Optional add-ins: cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, ginger, vanilla extract, cocoa nibs, etc.
- Blend all ingredients in a strong food processor until smooth.
- Serve in a glass and enjoy!
What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?