Fortunately, plant-based recipe developer Kelsi Boocock, aka @healthykelsii, created a nutritionally-balanced, drinkable (!) version of my shopping mall dessert of choice. It just might be the special sauce (errr… smoothie) to get my go-to mall fix at home. Friendly on the palate, wallet, and nutrition goals, it’s sure to be on my rotation for the foreseeable future.
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Why we love this cinnamon roll smoothie recipe
Packed with protein, carbs, healthy fats, and fiber, this cinnamon roll smoothie is a hearty yet balanced snack that’s just as delicious as it is loaded with good-for-you-ness. Frozen bananas are a staple in many a smoothie—and for good reason. They seemingly do it all, offering sweetness and creaminess in equal measure. They also pair well with countless ingredients, all the while being nutritional powerhouses. Among their surplus of nutrients and benefits, bananas pack digestion-promoting and heart-healthy fiber, energizing carbohydrates, vitamin C for immune health, and the minerals potassium and magnesium—both of which are beneficial for regulating blood pressure.
Boocock leaves the choice for plant-based yogurt up to you. To optimize the smoothie’s health potential, aim to buy a non-dairy yogurt that contains a minimal amount of fillers, is low in sugar, and packs some protein and a smattering of micronutrients. (Tip: Check out which brand varieties of coconut milk yogurt, cashew yogurt, and almond milk yogurt top a dietitian’s list of the best non-dairy yogurts.)
The same choose-your-own-adventure method goes for the plant milk you’ll add to the sippable base. Although your vanilla protein powder will provide the *pun alert* bulk of the protein to this cinnamon roll smoothie, you can also opt for high-protein alt-milk alternatives to maximize the content of this vital macronutrient that helps to regulate metabolism, facilitate cellular repair, and repair muscles (among countless other functions).
Next up is almond butter, which one dietitian deems “the queen of the nut butter world.” It earns this title given its high nutrient density, boasting a solid balance of healthy fats, protein, and carbs, plus fiber and minerals like potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium. Last but not least, cinnamon goes beyond providing a delicious, warm flavor. It also offers a range of health benefits given its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, plus antimicrobial, antidiabetic, and anticancer potential.
P.S. Can we all take a second to marvel at how fluffy and decadent the smoothie is? It basically oozes out of the blender in slow motion and mimics a huge heap of icing, with the proverbial cherry on top being that it’s legitimately good for you. IMHO, the texture alone deserves a standing ovation. And definitely don't sleep on the scoop of granola in the bottom of the cup—it's the ultimate power move.
Healthy Kelsii's gut-friendly cinnamon roll smoothie recipe
1-2 frozen bananas
1-2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
2 tbsp plant-based yogurt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp almond butter
1/3 cup plant milk
Granola of choice
- Add all of the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and serve with granola.
- Kawatra, Pallavi, and Rathai Rajagopalan. “Cinnamon: Mystic powers of a minute ingredient.” Pharmacognosy research vol. 7,Suppl 1 (2015): S1-6. doi:10.4103/0974-8490.157990
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