Two sources of protein give this easy & delicious Blackberry Protein Smoothie a double punch of nutrition – perfect for your healthy eating habits!
It’s no secret that blackberries are often considered the third wheel when it comes to berries.
The vibrant hues of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries often steal the spotlight from blackberries but they shouldn’t be ignored. Those rich, velvet-colored berries packed with goodness, including anti-oxidants, vitamin C and fiber (along with a host of other vitamins and minerals).
Sometimes blackberries are a bit tart when you eat them out of hand, so if you’re not a fan of raw blackberries, I definitely encourage you to try them in this easy Blackberry Protein Smoothie recipe.
Two sources of protein, a touch of sweet maple syrup and a serious resume of vitamins and minerals make this healthy smoothie a delicious way to start your day.
Add protein to your smoothie
The protein in this smoothie comes from two places: skyr yogurt and collagen peptides. Never had either? Here’s a quick rundown:
- Skyr yogurt is a signature food of Iceland and is eaten across that country as well as throughout Scandinavia (though it’s made major inroads to supermarket shelves across the United States). Skyr is actually considered a cheese product because the whey is drained off, but it definitely tastes like yogurt.
Compared to regular yogurt, skyr is much denser both in texture and taste as well as much lower in sugar. It’s top-notch nutritional scorecard makes it definitely worth scoping out the next time you’re at the store.
- Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. Made from amino acids, collagen adds structure to our joints, skin, hair and nails, and studies suggest it might even aid in digestion. Basically it helps us move and stretch better as well as adds shine to our skin and hair.
As we age, collagen production starts to decline, which is why a collagen supplement like collagen peptides can help fill in the gaps of that amino acid production. (Vital Proteins is hands down my favorite brand of collagen peptides.)
Ever been frustrated by a lumpy smoothie with chunks of frozen fruit or ice in it? Often times that comes from not layering the ingredients in the blender correctly.
Now I know that this smoothie recipe doesn’t include ALL of these ingredients, but it’s a great checklist to follow to up your smoothie game as a whole:
- Add liquids first. Always. It doesn’t matter if your recipe calls for cow’s milk, almond milk, coconut milk or just plain old water, you should always add your liquid(s) to the blender first. Why? The blender uses the liquids to create that cool tornado inside the jar and helps it pull down the other ingredients into the blade action more easily.
- Next up are protein powders. Add these directly to the liquid in the blender jar to avoid any chance of a chalky aftertaste that could result from it not being fully incorporated into the smoothie during the blend time.
- Get those greens in! Who knew that greens in smoothies are so tasty? There are a variety of greens that you can add to smoothies. Spinach seems to blend the easiest because its leaves are so tender, but heartier greens like kale or collard greens can be tougher to incorporate easily. I suggest removing the tough ribs and any woody stems from these greens before adding to the jar.
- Layer in the soft solids next starting with the softest ingredients first. This can include yogurts and nut butters if you’re using them as well as seeds and raw nuts.
- Fresh fruit and veggies (that are not greens) can now be added. This mostly includes softer fruits like berries and melons as well as avocados.
- The final add to any smoothie should always be your frozen ingredients, including frozen fruit and ice. These guys can be rock hard and you want them on top so the sheer weight of them pushes everything else down into the blade action.
More tips for making the best smoothies at home
So you’ve read all the tips, followed all the guides and your smoothie is still not how you want it. Try a few of these troubleshooting techniques to see if it can help save your smoothie:
- Smoothie too thick? Add more liquid and give it a good stir to incorporate the liquid before blending again. You’re trying to get that liquid as close to the base as possible to help with the blending action.
- Smoothie not sweet enough? Add any number of sweeteners to the jar, including honey, maple syrup, stevia or even a whole pitted date. Start with a small amount, blend and then taste and adjust as needed.
- Smoothie not blending well? Start the blender on low and then gradually increase it to higher speeds to fully blend everything together. You can also try adding a bit of additional liquid to see if that will help smooth out the texture during blending.
- Smoothie not cold enough? Use frozen fruit. This keeps the smoothie chilled instead of adding ice. Bonus: frozen fruit also makes smoothies thicker.
Make ahead smoothies
The easiest way to ensure you actually drink a smoothie is to make them in advance. No excuses that you ran out of time or ingredients! Try either of these methods for prepping smoothies ahead of time:
- Make a quadruple batch of your smoothie recipe and freeze it in individual portions in a freezer-safe container or mason jar (don’t forget to leave a little head room for expansion when the smoothie freezes). Simply pop one container in the fridge the day before so it defrosts overnight.
- Make frozen smoothie packs. This method involves freezing individual portions of ingredients for your smoothies in zip top bags.
Your skyr yogurt and even your maple syrup can be portioned and frozen in ice cube trays. Simply add your frozen ingredient cubes to a zip top bag (these Stasher bags are AWESOME for this) along with your banana half.
When you’re ready to make your smoothie, grab a pre-made bag from the freezer and dump it in the blender along with any remaining ingredients and enjoy a freshly made smoothie in no time flat.
Here’s what I use to make smoothies:
- A good blender. Now I know not everyone can splurge on a top-tier blender, but I highly suggest you save up your birthday gift cards because they make a huge difference in how quickly you can pull together one of these smoothie beauties.
I own Blendtec and love it, but many people are also thrilled with their Vitamix blenders. These professional-grade machines do a much better job of tackling rock hard items like ice and frozen yogurt cubes and are able to decimate that spinach into microscopic pieces (which is key when you’re trying to convince a non-green smoothie person to try a green smoothie).
- These measuring cups are my favorite because they are magnetic and stick together. No more lost measuring cups in my unorganized utensil drawer!
- I put collagen peptides in everything, including my morning tea! It’s a tasteless, odorless addition that packs a serious nutrition punch. Available in marine and matcha varieties, too, if you prefer.
More protein smoothies
Never had a green smoothie before? This Easy Banana Spinach Protein Smoothie is a super flavorful one to try. You can’t taste the spinach (honest!).
If you love oatmeal, you’ve got to give this Blueberry Oatmeal Smoothie a go. Who knew oats were also a solid choice for protein?
Why choose between your smoothie and cup of coffee when you can have both in this Easy Coffee Smoothie Recipe?
- 1/3 cup water
- 20 grams collagen peptides
- 1 (5.3 ounce container) vanilla skyr yogurt (I used Icelandic Provisions)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
- Layer ingredients into blender and mix until smooth and creamy.
Triple or quadruple the recipe and freeze the extras in individual portions to have a healthy smoothie ready to go when life gets busy.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332 Total Fat: 3g Saturated Fat: 2g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 11mg Sodium: 174mg Carbohydrates: 49g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 6g Sugar: 38g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 30g