This healthy smoothie is a great breakfast option, packed with proteins and vitamins to energize you and keep you full, and spiked with low-acid cold-brew coffee to perk you up. You can make your own Cold-Brewed Coffee Concentrate, or buy it online. The handful of greens in the smoothie really boost the nutrition without affecting the flavor.

For more Food for Life, get this Fennel and Jicama Salad with Lemon and Pink Peppercorn Dressing recipe, and this Baked Parmesan Zucchini Fries with Marinara Dipping Sauce recipe.

NOTES: Chocolate flavored whey or protein powder works particularly well in this recipe. Maca powder is a supplement derived from the Peruvian maca root (sometimes called Peruvian ginseng) and is claimed to boost energy and stamina, but you can leave it out of this smoothie if you prefer.

  • Yield: 1 smoothie
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 5 min
  • Active: 5 min

Ingredients (10)

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cold-brewed coffee concentrate
  • 1 scoop whey or other natural protein powder
  • 1 tablespoon no-sugar-added almond butter or other nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup, or to taste (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon flax or chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon maca powder (optional)
  • large handful of fresh or frozen kale, spinach, romaine lettuce leaves, or other greens, torn into pieces if using fresh
  • handful of ice cubes


  1. In a blender, combine all the ingredients except the ice. Blend, starting on low speed and finishing on high speed, until smooth. Add the ice and blend again, starting on low speed and finishing on high speed, until smooth, adding more water if your smoothie is too thick.

From Food for Life by Laila Ali. Copyright © 2018 by the author and reprinted by permission of St Martin’s Press. Photography by Matt Armendariz.