Adding quinoa to this blueberry smoothie recipe is an amazing way to add nutrients and a unique flavor. With the combination of the quinoa and berries, this smoothie ends up tasting like blueberry pie. It’s perfect for getting more choosy family or friends to eat more greens and whole grains too.
Quinoa – it’s not just for dinner
While quinoa isn’t your usual smoothie ingredient, it just might be your new favorite. We may normally associate it with savory flavors, but it blends perfectly with the sweet blueberries. Quinoa is one of the only plant sources that is a complete protein, making it an excellent addition for those who don’t eat meat. Complete proteins contain all of our essential amino acids, which are the amino acids our body cannot produce on its own. Proteins are made up of a chain of twenty different amino acids. Eleven of these proteins can be produced by our body, with the remaining nine coming from our diet.
Many vegetarian sources of protein (like legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and vegetables) contain some but not all of these essential amino acids. Usually, complete proteins come from animal sources like fish, poultry, eggs, and dairy. However, there are a few plant sources such as quinoa and whole sources of soy that are complete. Making sure that you are getting all of your essential amino acids is crucial for creating structure and support to your muscles and organs. It also plays a role in your immune health and hormone production. Essential amino acids aren’t stored in the body, so it’s important to regularly eat a varied diet and include complete proteins like quinoa or meat.
Phytochemicals for health and beauty
The fruit gives this blueberry smoothie recipe its sweet flavor and a dose of fiber, vitamin C, and folate amongst other nutrients. Fiber is crucial for preventing heart disease as it helps remove excess cholesterol from the body. Blueberries are also an excellent source of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients help reduce the risk of certain cancers by fighting chronic inflammation in the body. They have also been shown to improve brain function and prevent cognitive decline that can happen with age. This is why we recommend to “eat the rainbow.”
The addition of romaine lettuce is a change from the usual spinach or kale you find in smoothie recipes. We love romaine lettuce for adding a slew of vitamins and minerals to the diet – namely calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins C and K, and folate. Eating foods rich in water like leafy greens and fruit helps keep the body hydrated which is important for digestion and healthy organ function.
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2-3 large romaine lettuce leaves
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons full-fat coconut milk (the thick cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coconut or other nut milk
1 cup ice
Step 1: Cook the quinoa according to directions and let cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Rinse and dry the blueberries (if fresh) and romaine lettuce. Juice the lemon. Remove the pits from dates. Add all ingredients of this blueberry smoothie recipe to the blender and blend on high until creamy and smooth.
Written by Kaitlyn Noble
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like This magic superfood pie is so good