I’ve recently started enjoying my smoothies again now that its getting warmer. I enjoy them for breakfast but they make great snacks or post workout meals. Green smoothies are a quick and easy way to get a large amount of fruit and vegetables into your diet. The vegetables not only act as a great source of nutrients they also help control the sugar absorption from the fruit.
They are tasty too!
The science behind the green goodness… dark leafy greens contain, amino acids, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and beneficial phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant-based chemicals that support your immune system, improve health and may reduce life- threatening diseases.
5 Reasons to give a green smoothie a try:
1. Natural energy booster
2. If combined with some healthy fats and protein they make a complete meal and can make the perfect breakfast.
3. Simple way to boost your immune system when you’re feeling under the weather, and they are packed with antioxidants!
4. A great way to boost your 5 or 10 a day and they are full of fibre.
5. They taste yummy and are quick and easy to make and with all the choices you can never get bored of them…
How I make mine…
To make the perfect green smoothie the most important ingredient you will need are some leafy greens like spinach, chard or kale. Try adding some avocado for a creamy texture or some cucumber for freshness.
Then you will need the yummy sweetness and flavour from your fruit like banana, berries and mango. Literally any fruit. Use about 3/4 of a mug full… Mix it up there are some great tried and tested recipes out there just give google a go. Banana is a great base fruit as it adds a natural sweetness and gives the smoothie a smooth texture. Especially if using berries that can be quite sharp. I like to use frozen fruit as it helps to thicken the smoothie and makes it deliciously cold…
Then the liquid… 2 mugs full of water, milk or a non dairy such as almond milk, coconut milk….you can even add yogurt.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, try adding different flavours, such as a spoonful of cocoa powder, cinnamon, grated nutmeg or vanilla essence before blending, or some added fats and proteins like flaxseeds, toasted chopped nuts, chia seeds or whole oats. Easy Peasy homemade Nut butters and protein powders will make it into a complete meal. Not only will it taste great but it will keep you fuller for longer too.
Bump up the goodness
If you haven’t tried a smoothie made from a mixture of fruit and vegetables before, you may be surprised by the flavour. The sweetness of fruit blends well with lots of vegetables and makes for a delicious and super-nutritious drink. Other vegetables which work well are grated beetroot or carrot, kale, tomatoes and avocados.
This breakfast green smoothie was made using….
- Spinach: Source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein and choline.
- Banana (frozen): Source of vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, potassium, biotin, and copper.
- Green apple: Source of Calcium, Vitamin A, C, E, Vitamin B6 Fiber, copper, Magnesium, Manganese, Pantothenic Acid, Potassium, Riboflavin, Zinc, Niacin, Thiamin
- Lemon juice: Lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, flavonoids, B vitamins, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and fiber. Lemons contain more potassium than apples or grapes.
- Avocado: Avocados are a good source of pantothenic acid, dietary fiber, vitamin K, copper, folate, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin C.
- Almond milk: Source of Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Vitamins C, vitamin B6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folate and vitamin E.
- Soya protein: Contains all the amino acids your body needs for building and maintaining muscle. Folate, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. Copper, phosphorus, iron and manganese, calcium, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
With all this going on in one smoothie you would be mad not to try one yourself. I do love a smoothie during the warmer months when I am not eating my porridge.
I am going to give it a go for a few weeks and see what other benefits I can discover along the way…. I might even manage to persuade the girls to give it a try! Wish me luck. I will keep you posted.