I started off day 23 of my vegan Whole30 with an enormous, veggie-packed brunch. This amazing meal kept me full and feeling great for hours. To start, I made a green smoothie loaded with avocado, banana, spinach and seeds. I’ll note that Whole30 discourages – but doesn’t ban – smoothies on the program, so I haven’t been indulging in smoothies too frequently. One of the program’s main objections to smoothies is the fact that many of them are full of juice and fruit, and are therefore rather high in sugar. The few smoothies I have made on Whole30 have only had one serving of fruit, so I’m not getting bombarded with sugar by drinking one.
After working at two different smoothie bars in high school and college, I can no longer stomach smoothies full of juice, several cups of fruit and overly sweetened soy milk. Instead, most of my smoothies today are full of protein, healthy fats and vegetables, with just enough fruit to sweeten them. This smoothie is plenty sweet with just one banana, and the avocado, hemp hearts and chia seeds are full of filling healthy fats, protein and fiber. The small amount of chia seeds also help thicken the smoothie, making it extra filling. In the recipe below, I call for soaking the chia seeds in water for 10 minutes before blending. Giving the chia seeds a chance to absorb some liquid before making the smoothie ensures that the smoothie’s final texture isn’t too jelly. Soaking can definitely be done in advance if you prefer.
On the side of the smoothie, I enjoyed a small portion of sweet potato toast. This time, I went for a sweet and salty combination of strawberries, sunbutter and roasted salted pepitas for my toast toppings. This was so good and so easy, and I’m now having a hard time remembering how I lived in my pre-sweet potato toast days 😉 Post-Whole30, sweet potato toast is still going to be a regular at both breakfast and dinner!
Both the smoothie and sweet potato toasts are nutritional powerhouses! The avocado banana spinach smoothie provides 7g protein from hemp hearts, 6g protein from chia seeds, 2g protein from spinach and 2g protein from avocado. That’s a grand total of 17g of protein from real food in a 16oz green smoothie. No need for powders or supplements! The sweet potato toast provides 8g protein from sunbutter, 3.5g protein from sweet potato, and 2g protein from pepitas.
- 1 c. unsweetened almond milk
- 1 frozen banana, broken into chunks
- 1 c. packed spinach
- ½ avocado
- 2 T. hemp hearts
- 2 T. chia seeds, soaked in 2 T. water for 10 minutes
- Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.
- 2 very large sweet potatoes (about 1 lb. each), peeled and cut into 4 slices lengthwise each
- olive oil, for brushing
- ½ c. sunbutter
- several strawberries, sliced
- ¼ c. roasted pepitas
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Spread out the sweet potato slices on 1 or 2 greased or lined baking sheets. Brush with oil. Bake until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
- Top each slice of sweet potato with sunbutter, strawberries and pepitas.