Do you need a super quick, easy (yet delicious) breakfast packed with nutrition including vitamins, minerals and fiber to start your day right? A nutritious breakfast is a critical beginning to an energetic day, but time and busy schedules often get in the way of making something at home. Grabbing breakfast out can be unhealthy – full of sugar and added fat so often. Avoid breakfast drama by whipping up a quick, simple yet delicious Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie, made with naturally refreshing green tea to start your day right.
I’ve been experimenting lately with adding green tea into my smoothies as a base, rather than dairy or non-dairy milk, and I have been loving the outcome so far! It really adds a unique twist on traditional smoothies and I am going to break it all down for you here on the blog so that you’ve got the easiest, healthy breakfast ready to whip up in minutes.
The Benefits of Green Tea
Green tea originated in East Asia and has become a staple in Western diets for many centuries. Due to its caffeine content, it can be enjoyed at any time of day, whether it be in the morning to help you wake up or in the afternoon to help prevent a mid-day slump. Caffeine is a stimulant that can affect the functioning of the brain by blocking an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine. By blocking this neurotransmitter, the firing of neurons is increased and thus improving brain communication and functioning. This is why caffeine makes us feel so ‘alert’.
Green tea is packed with antioxidants that not only reduce the amount of free radicals present in your body, but can also help to reduce inflammation, improve brain function, and may even lower the risk of some cancers and chronic diseases. Some really exciting potential for green tea includes slowing the brain’s aging process and reducing the risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, green tea may even help prevent type 2 diabetes and reduce risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
One of the most powerful antioxidants present in green tea is a catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). This antioxidant is seen to help prevent cell damage and help treat various diseases. This is what all the buzz is about when people talk about green tea and all its powerful health benefits.
Green tea is a great addition to smoothies due to how nutritious it is and also the nice, zesty flavor. The antioxidants in tea create a really unique taste. Not only does it have anti-inflammatory properties, it can help prevent or reduce the risk of developing numerous chronic diseases. Some include preventing the brain from aging and reducing the risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. Additionally, green tea can help prevent type 2 diabetes and reduce risk for developing cardiovascular disease.
Creating the Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie has been a game changer for my morning routine! I love the simplicity of this smoothie and the presence of a little extra caffeine to help get me moving in the morning. Plus, with all its numerous health benefits, green tea is such a great addition to my smoothie game!
Blueberries are such an amazing addition to this smoothie. They are a superfood (like green tea is, too!), packed with antioxidants, and have so many amazing health benefits. Blueberries are great for helping decrease inflammation, reduce the number of free radicals in the body that cause damage to our cells, and may even can help lower both cholesterol and blood pressure levels when consumed long-term on a regular basis. Plus, they provide the Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie with an amazing deep, rich purple color. Adding blueberries to this smoothie (and any smoothie really) is such an additional boost to your smoothie game.
Making the Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie
Have you ever added tea to your smoothies? Rather than going with the traditional smoothie base of dairy or non-dairy milk, using tea provides a unique twist to smoothies. Aside from the additional flavor, green tea also provides the smoothie with caffeine., amping up the morning smoothie game. I have been loving the additional caffeine boost from this smoothie, along with all the numerous health benefits green tea also provides! If caffeine isn’t for you, feel free to stick with a decaffeinated tea. Just make sure you are choosing a natural, unsweetened tea to avoid additional sweetness and added sugars.
I am a huge fan of adding frozen fruit to my smoothie. Not only does it add some natural sweetness to the smoothie, but it also creates a creamy, delicious consistency! One of my favorite frozen fruits to add to smoothies is bananas. They add a whole other dimension to smoothies then if they were fresh. Using frozen bananas in smoothies is the key to the perfect consistency and to balance out all the other ingredients. They are so easy to freeze right as they are getting overripe and bananas provide the perfect thickness to this smoothie.
This smoothie also calls for frozen blueberries, which helps add to the creaminess of the texture, along with providing a deep purple color to the smoothie. Plus, blueberries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, and are a great addition to this smoothie. If you want to mix it up, feel free to use blackberries instead to keep that beautiful color. Alternatively, you could use strawberries or raspberries.
There are so many smoothie options to experiment with different types of fruit. This calming smoothie for runners is one of my all-time favorites and here’s a wild blueberry smoothie and a melon vanilla one as well.
While this Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie is packed with fruits, adding some veggies to smoothies is a great way to sneak in some vitamins and minerals into your meal – even at breakfast. Spinach is a great veggie to add to smoothies because it is packed with some many great nutrients while not overpowering the smoothie. Spinach has a nice, neutral flavor so your smoothie won’t taste really “green”. Plus, adding spinach (or any veggie) into your smoothie is the perfect way to get in a serving of your daily veggies! If you like the idea of a green smoothie, I’ve got a really nice one up on the blog here. And if you like the idea of other veggies in your smoothie, give a pumpkin smoothie a try.
The only downside to this Blueberry Green Tea smoothie is that using green tea as the liquid base instead of some type of milk decreases the protein content in the smoothie. Adding yogurt to this smoothie is the perfect solution! Not only will it help enhance the creamy texture of this smoothie, it will also increase the protein content and make this smoothie more filling. I recommend using plain yogurt to avoid adding unnecessary sweetness or added sugars and 0-2% fat, whatever your preference is. My favorite brand of yogurt to use is Siggis, for its plain yogurt is just the right amount of creamy and smooth.
The Chia Seeds
I love adding chia seeds to smoothies to really boost the nutrients in a smoothie. Chia seeds are antioxidants, so they help fight inflammation and chronic disease, and they are a great source of fiber and additional protein. They are such a great addition to this Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie, making it even more nutrient-dense and delicious.
How will you use green tea in a smoothie this week?
Blueberry Green Tea Smoothie
Brewing the tea
- 5 green tea bags
- 4 cups water
- 6 cups ice cubes
Making the Smoothie
- 2 cups brewed green tea
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 frozen banana peeled
- 1 cup baby spinach
- 5 ounces plain dairy or non-dairy yogurt
- 2 teaspoons chia seeds
- 1 cup ice cubes
- Make the Green Tea ahead of time by boiling 4 cups of water in a kettle and pouring over teabags in a heat-proof pitcher. Set aside to brew for 5 minutes, then remove tea bags. Stir in 6 cups of ice cubes until melted. Refrigerate overnight to use the next morning.
- Make the smoothie by blending 2 cups of prepared green tea with berries, banana, spinach, yogurt, chia seeds, and ice cubes. Pulse until very smooth and creamy, adding additional green tea if needed for consistency. Serve immediately. There will be extra iced green tea to enjoy later or the following morning for more smoothies.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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