Creamy Coconut Mocha Maple Smoothie

So you just “hit the wall” after pushing yourself hard during this morning’s workout. You’re looking to get some energy back and recover so you can do it all again tomorrow. Am I getting warm? Well, look no further! This smoothie has got all the tricks of the trade when it comes to post-workout fuel!

Coconut Water helps hydrate and replace lost electrolytes, while the Banana and Maple Syrup restores some carbohydrate (for muscle glycogen). The Vega Sport, Avocado and seeds bring in the protein, Omega fatty acids, anti-inflammatory properties, BCAAs and Glutamine which are all vital in helping repair and build new muscle fiber. 

But why the Green Coffee Powder, you ask? Well, coffee not only adds a deep flavor which compliments the Chocolate but green coffee also provides a low dose of caffeine (about half of a standard cup of coffee); which not only provides a nice gradual boost of energy but has been shown to help athletes recover quicker! 

So overall, this smoothie is not only a nutritional powerhouse and tastes delicious but everything was carefully combined to assist you in getting back out there, doing whatever it is you do, quicker and more efficiently. I guess I’m pretty good at making stuff that sounds like a dessert but is insanely healthy! 😉

12 oz Coconut Water

1/2 Banana

1/2 Avocado

1 serving Vega Sport Performance Protein (Chocolate)

1 tsp Green Coffee Powder

2 Tbsp Chia or Hemp Seeds

1 Tbsp Pure Maple Syrup

Ice (if desired)

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

Chocolate Spiced Pumpkin Ice Cream

I scream. You scream. We all scream…because it’s almost Halloween. Well, that and because ICE CREAM! And hey…what can I say? I woke up this morning with ice cream on my mind. “For breakfast”? Well, sure. A nutrient rich ice cream with the flavors of Autumn sounds splendid. “But aren’t you tired of Pumpkin Spice”? Nope. And let’s be straight here, making ice cream is not all that different than making a smoothie either; so file away those “I don’t have time” complaints right now.

It’s creamy, sweet and spicy all in one spoonful! And after you taste this, you’re probably going to want to throw away all those chemical and dairy-laden treats in your freezer; you won’t need them any longer. Escape the carton and enter a new world of wholesome ingredients. Did I mention that we’re adding Vega One to it as well? This is not only going to give it that rich chocolaty flavor but it’s also going to give you 20 grams of premium plant-based protein, 6 servings of greens, 50% daily intake of food-based vitamins and minerals, 25% DV fiber, 1.5 grams of Omega-3s, Antioxidants and 1 billion CFU Probiotics. I don’t know about you, but thats enough to make me want to escape “carton captivity”.

So, why don’t I hate on Pumpkin like everyone else is right now? Because I don’t see it as just a seasonal “flavor” to infuse into store-bought junk food and refined sugar-bomb lattes. Pumpkin is actually a very nutrient dense fruit from the berry family (betcha didn’t know that!). It’s high in Potassium, Fiber and Vitamins A/C and is very heart healthy. The beta-carotene in Pumpkin (as well as the other fruits/veggies of the orange variety) is known to support the eyes and prevent degenerative damage. Also, a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition has shown that beta-carotene can be a beneficial rival in the development of both prostate and colon cancers.

Theres a bunch of reasons for you to go make this recipe and eat it. You can sit here and weigh them all out or I can just scream ICE CREAM! I’m sure that’ll get you up on your toes.

Ingredients
2 Bananas (peeled/chopped)
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Medjool Dates (pitted)
1 serving Vega One Chocolate Protein
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Instructions
1. Place Bananas and Pumpkin Puree in a covered bowl and store in the freezer for at least 2 hours to freeze.

2. After Bananas and Pumpkin are frozen, put them in the food processor along with the Medjool Dates. Pulse a few times to begin breaking down and then set to high speed until the mixture begins to get creamy (this step may take a while depending on how frozen the ingredients are). Once it’s smooth stop processing.

3. Now add in the Vega One and dry spices and process again on high speed until combined well.

4. Scrape all of the creamy goodness out of the container and into a bowl. Top with sliced Cranberries and Coconut shavings if desired. Now eat it before it gets too melty! You can also transfer the mixture to the freezer while you clean up to allow it to stiffen a bit.

HOLY CACAO! (RAW CACAO PEANUT BUTTER OAT SMOOTHIE)

Who doesn’t like a thick, chocolaty, peanut buttery smoothie in the morning? Not this guy. I absolutely love raw cacao; and for more reasons than I can count on both of my hands…

* ANTIOXIDANT
* CANCER FIGHTER
* CARDIOVASCULAR/HEART HEALTH
* GREAT FOR WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
* VITAMIN C
* MAGNESIUM
* OMEGA 6
* TRYPTOPHAN (AN ESSENTIAL AMMINO ACID)
* SERATONIN
* HELPS REGULATE BLOOD SUGAR
* HELPS FIGHT CAVITIES
* LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE

This list doesn’t even touch all of the nutrient dense power within raw Cacao. Through phytochemical analysis, raw chocolate has been proven to be one of the most chemically complex foods on earth. In fact, there are still some compounds within it which have yet to be discovered! Not sure about you, but I find this stuff fascinating.

Information on raw, live, plant-based superfoods are readily available without much red tape; that is, if you’re willing to do a little research. Unfortunately, foods such as Cacao, Spirulina, Chlorella, Acai, Maca (and many more) are not hugely popular or readily available in most chain grocery stores. Cheap, highly refined and processed foods are what the masses are buying up by the cart load; this type of “food” will never feed the body what it needs to function properly; instead, it will create imbalance inside the body, promoting obesity and illness.

Begin taking some steps to take control of your health and wellbeing. Why not start with this wholesome smoothie? You and your tastebuds will be glad you did. Keep it up!

8 oz. FLAX MILK
1 FROZEN BANANA
1/4 CUP WHOLE GRAIN RAW OATS
2 TBSP RAW CACAO POWDER
1 SCOOP VEGA ONE MOCHA
2 TBSP NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER (NO SUGAR ADDED)
1 TSP CHIA SEEDS

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend on high setting until super smooth. Pour into a glass and sprinkle some shredded Coconut and Ground Cinnamon on top. Drink with an awesome, reusable glass straw from Glass Dharma. Enjoy!

THE SMOOTHLANDER

If you don’t recall the ridiculous movie Zoolander with Ben Stiller as the zany supermodel, Derek Zoolander, then I guess this whole thing just went right over your head! In any case, if you make this decadent smoothie recipe, none of it will matter once you taste it. There is a scene in the movie where he and his model buddies go off on an adventure to get some Orange Mocha Frappuccinos and ride around town with their devil may care attitudes, spraying one another with gasoline to the soundtrack of Wake Me Up Before You Go Go by Wham! Sound to good to be true? See for yourself:

WOW!!! Right?!

Well anyway, if you’re on the “Go Go” and need a super tasty wake me up, search no further than THE SMOOTHLANDER. It’s my healthy smoothie inspired by the famous Starbucks drink. Cold, frosty and creamy with notes of dark chocolate and zesty Orange; melding with the earthy, roasty flavor of the Espresso and the creamy, nutty finish of the Coconut Cream. Damn, this was delicious! Not to mention all of the health benefits you’re getting from just the Vega One protein alone; 20 grams premium plant-based protein, 6 servings of greens, 50% daily intake of food-based vitamins and minerals, 25% DV fiber, 1.5 grams of Omega-3s, Antioxidants and 1 billion CFU Probiotics…HOLY MOLY!!!

You may not want to jump into your Jeep, turn up so hard with your friends that you blow them up at a gas station; but you can make and enjoy this awesome smoothie all the same…enjoy!

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THE SMOOTHLANDER

For the Smoothie:
8 oz ALMOND MILK
1/2 FROZEN BANANA
1 ORANGE (PEELED)
2 OZ FRESHLY BREWED & CHILLED ESPRESSO (Regular Coffee or Chai Tea are fine too)
2 TBSP CACAO POWDER (OR NIBS)
1 SCOOP VEGA ONE MOCHA
1 TBSP CHIA SEED
1 TBSP FLAX SEED
4-5 ICE CUBES

For the Coconut Cream Topping:
4 OZ COCONUT CREAM (FROM CANNED COCONUT MILK)
1 TSP ORGANIC COCONUT PALM SUGAR (FAIR TRADE)
1/2 TSP ORGANIC VANILLA EXTRACT

With an Espresso machine, brew a 2 oz shot of your favorite espresso (if you don’t do espresso, you can just brew some of your favorite coffee instead..or even Chai Tea if you’d like). Once your espresso is brewed, set aside in the fridge to chill a bit. In the meantime, get out your blender and fill the jar with the Almond Milk, Banana, Orange and blend until smooth. Now add in the Cacao, Vega One, Chia and Flax and blend again until smooth. Now get your chilled (or room temp) espresso and add that to the blender along with ice cubes and give that a short whirl until it’s at your preferred consistency (I like a more frosty consistency). Set aside the smoothie in the fridge while you prepare the Coconut Cream.

The Coconut Cream consistency will depend on the type of cream you get from your canned Coconut Milk. Mine was a more liquid consistency, whereas some others have a thicker cream. The thicker, the better as you will be able to achieve a more “whipped cream” texture. Mine is more of a smoothie cream layer consistency. You can also refrigerate your coconut milk can overnight to achieve a thicker texture. In any case, here is how I made mine. Get a medium size mixing bowl and an electric hand mixer. Pour the coconut cream into the bowl. Add in the Coconut Sugar and Vanilla. Beat with the electric mixer until desired thickness.

Now pour the smoothie mixture into a glass and then add the coconut cream layer on top. Dust with extra Cacao Powder and garnish with an Orange slice. Now drink it up with a fancy, reusable straw from Glass Dharma!

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Vega One Whole Foods Exclusive Flavors (Coconut Almond & Mocha)

Vega One is Vega’s flagship, all-in-one, protein powder that packs 20 grams of protein, 6 servings of greens, 50% daily vitamins & minerals, 27% daily fiber, 1.5 grams Omega-3, 1000 ORAC of Antioxidants, 1 Billion Probiotics and only 150 calories. It’s one of the cleanest, whole food ingredient, plant-based powders on the market and is now Non-GMO Verified, Vegan Certified and Gluten Free. I’ve been using Vega protein powders in my smoothies for a while now and really haven’t tried anything better on the market.

That all said, it wasn’t much longer after reviewing the brand new formula that 2 new flavors arrived at my doorstep to try; I love when that happens! If you shop at Whole Foods Market, you’re in luck because Coconut Almond and Mocha flavors are now exclusively hitting the shelves. These 2 flavors are available on Vega’s eStore as well.

So, I gotta say, at first I was skeptical given that my usual stand by flavor preferences for protein powder are Vanilla, Chocolate or Natural. I do not stray often, I like to keep them fairly plain; just enough to compliment all of the other ingredients I usually have going on in my smoothies. But when I opened the tubs, smelled them and took a little taste of each, I was surprised and delighted that both flavors were tasty and not overpowering.

The Coconut Almond is fantastic and extremely versatile. A nice mild nutty profile with just enough Coconut without going overboard. You can pair it with anything really; Green Smoothie, Fruit Smoothie, Chocolate Smoothie…it really works with everything and also adds a little something extra for your tastebuds.

The Mocha flavor is also very good but, in my opinion, not as versatile when adding to a wider range of ingredients. I’ve found that the Mocha leans well toward more of the Chocolate, Banana, Nut Butter, No extra Greens type of smoothie. It has a nice dark chocolate flavor and a somewhat strong hint of coffee flavor, which I also love but it may simply limit the ingredients you’d want to add it to. Still, that did not stop me from coming up with some excellent recipes with it (2 of which are below!).

I’m really enjoying both of these flavors immensely…so much, in fact, that I offer you 4 luscious smoothie recipes to try them out with.

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Chococonutty
GET CHO-COCO-NUTTY!
Coconut Almond Cacao Smoothie

Pairing the Coconut Almond with Cacao, Dates and Banana is heaven…the outcome is rich, creamy and sweet (of course with major coconut notes). This smoothie is so damn good!

12 oz Almond or Flax Milk
1 Frozen Banana
2 Medjool Dates (pitted)
1/4 Cup Goji Berries
2 1/2 Tbsp Cacao
1 serving Coconut Almond Vega One
1 Tbsp Chia Seed
1 Tbsp Flax Seed
2 Tbsp Coconut Flakes (blend 1, reserve 1)
1 Tbsp Chopped Almonds (garnish)
1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs (garnish)

Blend all. Adjust texture to likeness with ice cubes or more liquid. Pour into glass and sprinkle with reserved Coconut Flakes, Chopped Almonds and Cacao Nibs. Enjoy! (eat all the yummy garnish with a spoon).

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Golden Gusto
GOLDEN GUSTO!
Pineapple Orange and Carrot Smoothie

You can have my smoothie when you pry it from my cold, dead hands! I took the Coconut Almond on more of a fruity journey this time around. Again, so versatile and adds something special.

8 oz Hemp Milk
1 Frozen Banana
1 Cup Fresh Pineapple Chunks
1 Small Orange
2 Small Carrots
1/4 Cup Goji Berries
1 Serving Coconut Almond Vega One
1 tsp Turmeric
1/4 tsp Camu Camu
1 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
2 Tbsp Coconut Flakes

Blend all. Adjust texture to likeness with ice cubes or more liquid. Pour into glass and Enjoy!

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MochaMeHappy
PAKISTANI PARADISE!
Mocha Smoothie w/ Cardamom and Cinnamon

Let me start by saying it’s coming up on one year since I killed my caffeine/coffee addiction with juicing and lemon water. That said, I allow myself a cup of joe every now and again. And what better way to drink my Coffee than in a Smoothie! This post is inspired by a Pakistani Coffee recipe by Sasha Martin. I adapted it into smoothie form and combined it with the new Vega One Mocha Whole Foods Market exclusive flavor. This smoothie is so delicious and exotic. The deep coffee and mocha flavors are subtly interrupted by the sweetness of Banana and Medjool Dates with an aromatic finish of Cardamom and Cinnamon. A gem!

8 oz #Organic Coffee (brewed and chilled)
4 oz Flax Milk
1 Frozen Banana
2 Medjool Dates (pitted)
1 serving Vega One Mocha
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cardamom

Blend all. Adjust texture to likeness with ice cubes or more liquid. Pour into glass and Enjoy!

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Mocha Madness
MOCHA MADNESS!
Mocha Maple Oat Cacao Smoothie

I splurged a little this morning and created something very decadent AND nutritious. It packs a really rich, chocolaty taste w/ a nice hint of coffee bean…the perfect start to my day!

8 oz. Coconut Milk
1 Frozen Banana
2 Medjool Dates (pitted)
1 serving Vega One Mocha
1 Tbsp Cacao Nibs
1 Tbsp Cacao Powder
1/4 Cup Raw Whole Grain Oats
1 Tbsp Coconut Flakes
1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 packet Justin’s Maple Almond Butter
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Seeds
Garnish with sprinkles of Coconut Flakes, Cacao and Cinnamon

Blend all. Adjust texture to likeness with ice cubes or more liquid. Pour into glass and Enjoy!

A CLOSE LOOK AT THE NEW VEGA ONE

As you probably already know from my posts, I’ve been using Vega protein powders in all of my smoothies…well, ever since I began making smoothies which was earlier this year. After going on a quest to regain my health back in February, drinking juice, eating clean, becoming vegan (and losing over 70 lbs doing it all) I began adding smoothies to my everyday eating as well. The thing that drew me in most to trying out Vega was Brendan Brazier’s story about his need for a plant-based protein powder, full of whole food nutrition and no chemical additives (as most powders on the market contain). Since I was in a situation where I had just undergone multiple steps to detox my body, I wasn’t about to just grab any protein powder to add to my smoothies. It had to be vegan…it had to be packed with nutrition and most of all, it had to be CLEAN. When I did some research, I quickly found out about Vega and purchased a small bag from my local health market. I haven’t stopped using Vega powders ever since. And now almost 3 months as a Vega blogger and 30+ smoothie recipes later, I catch word that Vega is changing the formula of their all in one Vega One powder. I immediately worried about what was changing, since I had relied on the original formula so much. But with what I had already known about the company, I had a feeling it would be better than ever. And I was right.

VegaOneHero

Last week I received a nice big package from my friends at Vega containing samples of the new Vega One and boy was I excited to bust it open and check it all out. The very first thing I did when I took out the tub of French Vanilla was look at the ingredients list. At first glance, my heart sank as it appeared to be a very long list. But upon further inspection, I had realized something amazing; all of these new ingredients were whole foods! Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Carrot, Beet, Tomato, Apple, Blueberry, Orange, Cranberry, Strawberry and Shitake Mushroom. On top of this, they added a ton of super foods as well, such as Hemp, Sacha Inchi, Maca Root, Spirulina, Chlorella, Pomegranate, Mangosteen, Goji and Maqui. I was completely blown away; they added to the powder itself many of the ingredients that I’ve been adding into my blender along with the Vega. Not only is that convenient for me, in the long run it could also save some pennies by not having to buy so many other supplements. And as if that wasn’t enough, Vega also went ahead and got the “Certified Vegan”, “Non GMO Project” designations and also increased the amount of organic produce they use (which are 3 very important things in my world). Awesome! The new powders all look greener because the ingredients are greener.

PowderIngredients

One scoop of this bad boy will take you far! The serving size is larger than it’s predecessor but the benefits are even larger. To stretch your dollar, you can actually use 3/4 of a scoop and still get the same nutrition you’ve always been getting. But the quick snapshot of the new “per scoop” stats are very impressive; now boasting 20 grams of protein (33% more), 6 servings of greens (2x more), 50% daily vitamins & minerals, 27% daily fiber, 1.5 grams Omega-3, 1000 ORAC of Antioxidants, 1 Billion Probiotics and only 150 calories. BAM!

WhatsItGot

As far as the flavor and drinkability goes, I tried each of the samples I was provided with (French Vanilla, Chocolate, Vanilla Chai and Natural). All of them had a very mild, sweet and clean taste. It seems that the strong “Stevia Leaf” flavor that is sometimes present in the Vega powders has mellowed out a bit which is a huge plus in my book. Not that it was a big problem for me before, but it is something I noticed with the new formula. In addition, the Vanilla and Chocolate profiles are kicked up even more. You can really taste the vanilla in French Vanilla! And likewise for the chocolate; so chocolaty!

All in all, my review of the new Vega One is 2 thumbs up (it’d be 3 if I could)! Be on the lookout for it on shelves in early 2015 or get it right now on Vega’s eStore. Once you have a supply of your very own, try out one (or all) of these awesome recipes below that I experimented with…yuuuuum…smoothies!

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GreenInset

Vega One (French Vanilla) Green Smoothie

8 oz Almond Milk
2 handfuls of fresh Baby Kale or Baby Spinach
1 Frozen Banana
1 handful of Mixed Berries (Raspberry, Blueberry, Blackberry)
1 handful of Mango chunks
1 scoop of Vega One (French Vanilla)
2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
2 Tbsp Flax Meal
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Pour Almond Milk into the blender along with the greens and blend on liquify until you have a nicely blended green liquid. Now add the Banana, Berries and Mango. Blend on crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Almond Milk. Add Vega, Hemp Seeds, Chia Seeds and Flax Meal and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

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ChocolateInset

Vega One (Chocolate) Smoothie

8 oz Coconut Milk
1 Frozen Banana
1 handful of Mixed Berries (Strawberry, Raspberry)
1 scoop of Vega One (Chocolate)
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
2 Tbsp Flax Meal
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Pour Coconut Milk into the blender along with the Banana and Berries. Blend on crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Coconut Milk. Add Vega, Almond Butter, Chia Seeds and Flax Meal and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

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Chai_Inset

Vega One (Vanilla Chai) Smoothie

8 oz Coconut Milk
1 Frozen Banana
1 handful of fresh Cranberries
1/2 fresh Pomegranate Seeds
1 scoop of Vega One (Vanilla Chai)
1/4 Cup Coconut Flakes
2 Tbsp Flax Meal
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds

Pour Coconut Milk into the blender along with the Banana, Cranberries and Pomegranate Seeds. Blend on crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Coconut Milk. Add Vega, Coconut Flakes, Chia Seeds and Flax Meal and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

Brooke’s Blend (Smoothie)

ALMOND MILK, BABY SPINACH, BABY KALE, BANANA, STRAWBERRY, APPLE, MEDJOOL DATE, VEGA ONE (CHOCOLATE), CACAO, MAPLE ALMOND BUTTER, CHIA SEED AND FLAX MEAL

Following in my footsteps this year, my 15 year old daughter also became Vegan a couple months back. I’ve been training her in the ways of the force (plant-based eating) and she has been picking it up very well. Brooke makes her own smoothies, school lunches, healthy snacks and is definitely on the path to eating well. One day, I asked her to make a smoothie (so I could see if she was really listening to me when I first showed her how). Brooke, admittedly, has a super sweet tooth so it was no surprise when I saw her get out the Vega One Chocolate, Cacao and Maple Almond Butter. Then I saw her throw in huge handfuls of spinach and kale! I was thrown off a bit because I wasn’t sure about the combo of greens, chocolate and almond butter. After she made it, she handed it to me to take a sip…it was really great! So rich, chocolatey and with a nice thick nutty-ness from the almond butter.

This smoothie was inspired by my daughter’s favorite flavors w/ even some extra added sweet delights. Enjoy!

8 – 12 oz Almond Milk
1 large handful Baby Kale
1 large handful Baby Spinach
1 Banana
Small handful of Strawberries
1 Apple (cored)
2-3 Medjool Dates (pitted)
1 scoop Vega One (Chocolate)
1 Tbsp Cacao
1 – 1 1/2 Tbsp of Maple Almond Butter
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Flax Meal
4-5 Ice cubes (if fruits are not frozen)

Pour Almond Milk into the blender along with the Baby Kale and Baby Spinach. Blend on liquify for about 40 secs. Add in Banana, Strawberries, Apple, Dates and Ice Cubes. Blend crush ice setting until cracking stops…then blend again on liquify setting for about 30-40 secs. If too thick, you can always adjust by adding more Hemp Milk. Add Vega, Cacao, Almond Butter, Chia and Flax and blend one more time on liquify until very smooth. Pour into a large, tall glass. CLEAN UP BEFORE DRINKING (this reenforces good habits and a new regimen). Enjoy!

Don’t forget to check out all of the great plant-based, whole food products from Vega. Their smoothie powders are delicious, nutritious, animal-free and are the foundation for all of my smoothie recipes. http://myvega.com/

Enjoy your smoothie w/ your favorite straw; although, for Earth’s sake, I recommend a glass one from Glass Dharma http://glassdharma.com.