James' Super Smoothie

By James Collier BSc (Hons) Nutrition Consultant and Co-Owner of MuscleTalk

I first developed the James' Super Smoothie (JSS) recipe in December 2006 and since then it has been adapted and also featured in bodybuilding and fitness magazines. The beauty of the basic JSS ingredients, are that they can be adapted to make a recipe to suit the varied goals of sports, fitness, bodybuilding and strength athletes. The basic JSS recipe (below) is a traditional bodybuilding bulking smoothie shake as it is high calorie, but it can easily be adapted to suit those on both a 'bulk' or those on a 'cut', or indeed just as an energy and nutrition smoothie. Four recipes have been included in this article, but you need only use these as a guide; try different ingredients to suit your goals and your tastes.

1. James' Super Smoothie: The JSS Bulker
The following makes two large servings; practically it's best to make this in the evening and have one serving straight away and store the second half in a sealed container in the fridge for breakfast:

Ingredients
1 tbsp linseeds, ground
400ml skimmed milk
1 medium banana
3 apples
3 heaped tbsp low fat natural yoghurt
100g organic jumbo oats
1 heaped tbsp of activated barley powder
3 scoops maltodextrin powder
3 scoops whey protein powder
1 tbsp wheat grass

Method
Put linseeds into a clean, dry blender/smoothie maker and whiz them on their own to ensure they are ground well. Add chopped fruit, milk and oats and blend well, ensuring fruit is puréed and oats are ground and you have a smoothie texture. Add protein powder, maltodextrin, wheat grass and barley powder and finally the yoghurt and blend well again. There will be a large volume so you may have to help the mixture with a spoon. (Safety: ensure blender is turned off at power before putting a spoon into the blender!). The resulting mixture should be lump-free, smooth and drinkable; however, should you prefer a thinner consistency smoothie then simply add more water.

Pour half the mixture into a sealed container and immediately refrigerate to be consumed within 12 hours. Preparation and cleaning up can be fairly time consuming, so allow 20 mins to make and tidy up afterwards.

Nutritional Information per serving
Energy – 890kcal
Carbohydrate – 137g
Sugars – 93g
Fat – 16g
Protein – 49g
Fibre – 11.5g
Sodium – 52mg
Calcium – 471mg

The JSS recipe is very nutritious, providing four fruit servings, essential fats, soluble fibre, calcium, high quality protein from different sources, and of course, is very high carbs, both fast and slow acting.

About the Ingredients

  • Linseeds are a source of flaxseed oil which provides some essential fatty acids. As a seed, the fats are protected from damage by light and heat, so you'll need to grind the seeds or you will not b able to digest them. You can grind them with a pestle and mortar or simply by adding them first to the blender with no other ingredients.
  • Skimmed milk is included as it's a good source or protein, carbs and calcium. I suggest skimmed as opposed to full cream or semi-skimmed (half fat) milk because the fats in these are homogenised saturated fat which have been linked with increased risk of heart disease. If however, you're not keen on milk or have a degree of lactose intolerance, then simply reduce the amount used and replace with water.
  • The fruits you include in your JSS are really your choice. Try to vary it, but my choices of three apples and one banana are more for practical reasons. Try different fruits: pears, berries and melon all work well – it's up to you, just ensure you include four items. We're encouraged to have at least five fruit and veg per day, but infact we should try to have seven or eight for optimum nutrition; well, with the JSS that's four taken care of!
  • The yoghurt is there for flavour and texture, but it does provide protein and calcium too.
  • Oats are a great source of low glycaemic (GI - slow release) carbs and they also blend very easily. They are also a good source of β-glucan which is a potent type of soluble fibre; great for gut health aswell as helping lower cholesterol levels.
  • The activated barley is merely a supplemental slow released carb source, and I used this mainly because it means you can still have a good low GI carb content using less oats; i.e. they help keep a thinner consistency. If you can't get hold of this, don't worry, simply use slightly more oats.
  • Maltodextrin is synthetic supplemental complex carb, which is actually very rapidly digested and absorbed, so is high GI. As JSS contains high and low GI carbs there is a sustained release of carbs for energy, giving it an optimal carb profile.
  • Whey protein is a protein which is digested, absorbed and taken up by muscles quickly. It is available in powdered supplements so make sure you use a quality brand.
  • Wheat grass is what people refer to as a 'superfood', and sellers will often claim all weird and wonderful benefits from this product. Most are unfortunately unfounded, but even so it is a great product to include in your diet, and a convenient way of including it is in JSS. Wheat grass is very nutrient dense, providing fibre and a range of micronutrients in a small volume. These nutrients are also more bioavailable than in many other foods, which is what makes this 'superfood' a useful addition.

The JSS Bulker is very tasty and very filling too, so there's a highly nutritious meal in itself; in fact it's two highly nutritious meals! This recipe is great for beginners, hard gainers, bulkers, off season bodybuilders, powerlifters, strongmen and athletes with high nutritional requirements to include every day. However, the main problem people had with the original recipe was that it's too high calorie, so how can it be adapted to suit people with other goals...?

2. James' Super Smoothie: The JSS Cutting Shake
This recipe is an amended version of the original JSS and is ideal for bodybuilders on a cut or for those who are naturally predisposed to holding more fat and still wish to gain muscle while keeping fat levels down. Basically it's the same recipe with no maltodextrin, no barley, less oats and less milk.

Ingredients
1 tbsp linseeds, ground
300ml skimmed milk
1 medium banana
3 apples
3 heaped tbsp low fat natural yoghurt
80g organic jumbo oats
3 scoops whey protein powder
1 tbsp wheat grass
Water to desired consistency

Method
Put linseeds into a clean, dry blender/smoothie maker and whiz them on their own to ensure they are ground well. Add chopped fruit, milk and oats and blend well, ensuring fruit is puréed and oats are ground and you have a smoothie texture. Add protein powder, wheat grass and finally the yoghurt and blend well again. There will be large volume so you may have to help the mixture with a spoon. (Safety: ensure blender is turned off at power before putting a spoon into the blender!). The resulting mixture should be lump-free, smooth and drinkable; however, should you prefer a thinner consistency smoothie then simply add more water.

Pour half the mixture into a sealed container and immediately refrigerate to be consumed within 12 hours. Preparation and cleaning up can be fairly time consuming, so allow 20 mins to make and tidy up afterwards.

Nutritional Information per serving
Energy – 618kcal
Carbohydrate – 68g
Sugars – 33g
Fat – 15g
Protein – 47g
Fibre – 10.2g
Sodium – 51mg
Calcium – 466mg


3. James' Super Smoothie: The JSS Nutritious Shake
If you're not a bodybuilder and simply want a healthy nutritious smoothie shake as a way of obtaining essential fats, fruit, fibre, protein and carbs, then this recipe is for you. It's ideal for sports enthusiasts of all kinds or for those of you who merely want a healthy, tasty smoothie.

Ingredients
1 tbsp linseeds, ground
200ml skimmed milk
1 medium banana
3 apples
3 heaped tbsp low fat natural yoghurt
40g organic jumbo oats
1 scoop whey protein powder
1 tbsp wheat grass
Water to desired consistency

Method
Put linseeds into a clean, dry blender/smoothie maker and whiz them on their own to ensure they are ground well. Add chopped fruit, milk and oats and blend well, ensuring fruit is puréed and oats are ground and you have a smoothie texture. Add protein powder, wheat grass and finally the yoghurt and blend well again. There will be large volume so you may have to help the mixture with a spoon. (Safety: ensure blender is turned off at power before putting a spoon into the blender!). The resulting mixture should be lump-free, smooth and drinkable; however, should you prefer a thinner consistency smoothie then simply add more water.

Pour half the mixture into a sealed container and immediately refrigerate to be consumed within 12 hours. Preparation and cleaning up can be fairly time consuming, so allow 20 mins to make and tidy up afterwards.

Nutritional Information per serving
Energy – 366kcal
Carbohydrate – 52g
Sugars – 33g
Fat – 10g
Protein – 18g
Fibre – 8.8g
Sodium – 49mg
Calcium – 231mg


4. James' Super Smoothie: The JSS Vegan Shake
All the above variations of JSS are suitable for vegetarians, but it can easily be adapted to suit those of you who do not consume any foods of animal origin. Here's the bulking version; but simply lower the portions or omit the maltodextrin and barley if you want a vegan cutting smoothie. Interestingly, the bulking vegan shake is higher in calories, carbs and protein than the original JSS – making it great alternative for non-vegans too!

Ingredients
1 tbsp linseeds, ground
400ml organic unsweetened soya milk
3 heaped tbsp soya dessert – fruit flavoured
1 medium banana
3 apples
100g organic jumbo oats
1 heaped tbsp of activated barley powder
3 scoops maltodextrin powder
3 scoops soya isolate protein powder
1 tbsp wheat grass
Water to desired consistency

Method
Put linseeds into a clean, dry blender/smoothie maker and whiz them on their own to ensure they are ground well. Add chopped fruit, soya milk and oats and blend well, ensuring fruit is puréed and oats are ground and you have a smoothie texture. Add protein powder, maltodextrin, wheat grass and barley powder and finally the soya dessert and blend well again. There will be large volume so you may have to help the mixture with a spoon. (Safety: ensure blender is turned off at power before putting a spoon into the blender!). The resulting mixture should be lump-free, smooth and drinkable; however, should you prefer a thinner consistency smoothie then simply add more water.

Pour half the mixture into a sealed container and immediately refrigerate to be consumed within 12 hours. Preparation and cleaning up can be fairly time consuming, so allow 20 mins to make and tidy up afterwards.

Nutritional Information per serving
Energy – 952kcal
Carbohydrate – 141g
Sugars – 97g
Fat – 20g
Protein – 52g
Fibre – 12.1g
Sodium – 93mg
Calcium – 408mg

Enjoy your JSS!
Although I have just included four variations of the recipe, the very notion of JSS is for you to tailor the recipe to suit you. If you don't like the taste or consistency, then alter; if there's too many carbs, adjust the carb containing ingredients. If you don't want protein – leave the whey powder out. With JSS, there's a recipe for everyone!

Enjoy!

For more smoothie recipes check out our Muscle Menus : Shakes, Bars and Smoothies Kindle eBook on Amazon