31 May 2017
I am a big fan of smoothies, and not because they are “trendy” or popular at the moment. I love them because if you can make them right, they taste amazing, fuel you for hours and are a great way to get vitamins and minerals. They are also perfect for busy people who may not get time each morning to make a standard breakfast and 100% follow my principal of “crowding in” the good stuff!
There are definitely good smoothies and some that may not serve us. I often see smoothies being made that contain something along the lines of a scoop of fruit yoghurt, a whole banana, berries, and pineapple with low-fat milk. Though I encourage fruit as part of a healthy diet, we can also have too much of a good thing and there are some key ingredients that are missing from a smoothie stuffed with only fruit and sweetened yoghurts. Smoothies are meant to fuel and sustain us, but these types of smoothies are often nothing but a sweet sugar hit that will send us crashing and burning by morning tea.
So, what are the key ingredients in a healthy smoothie?
Vegetables! What a great opportunity to crowd in some vegetables into your busy day. It’s also a fabulous way to sneak in some veggies for kids (or adults) who may or may not have a taste for them. Vegetables such as courgette and cauliflower are easy to hide as they have a mild flavour and are light in colour. Green leafy veggies can be a bit trickier to disguise but are easy to sneak into something chocolaty. Experiment with carrots and make a carrot cake smoothie with cinnamon spice and nutmeg or tuck away some red capsicum into your berry blast. They’ll never know!
Protein! Protein is the magic ingredient that will keep your blood sugars more balanced and fill you up for longer. There are lots of ways to add protein to your morning drinks. For example, you can simply add in a handful of your favourite nuts, or a couple tablespoons of nut butter. Good ol’ raw eggs are a favourite for many (you really can’t taste them), and protein powders are also a common addition. When choosing protein powders always go for one with minimal and recognisable ingredients. Vegans may prefer a pea-based protein while others enjoy egg based or whey powders.
Healthy Fats! Please don’t fear the fat. We need fat for our brains and bodies and it is also another great way to ensure that our tummies aren’t rumbling an hour after your smoothie. My favourite fats to add to smoothies include hemp oil, flax oil, avocado and coconut butter or nut butter. Avocado will add an extra creaminess to your drink and turn a potentially watery smoothie into a decadent shake!
Superfoods! Superfoods are amazing. They are jam packed with heaps of nutrients and smoothies can be a fabulous way to get in on some of that action. There are countless different super foods out there including berry powders, seeds and seed powders, green algae and even green supplement powders. Some are chocolatey (cacao) and some are sweet (lucuma). I highly recommend you check out my next Superfoods workshop or request one at your local Bin Inn for an overview and heaps of ideas on how to use them.
So, keeping all this in mind, how do you create the perfect smoothie?
1. Start with your liquid of choice. I enjoy a thick creamy coconut milk or almond milk but full fat dairy is fine too if you’re not sensitive to it. You can also add coconut water or just plain water if you do not want it as creamy.
2. Add your veggies!
3. Choose your fruit, if you would like. Bananas are delicious and berries will add an antioxidant boost to your day. Any fruit can be added to your smoothie I enjoy the flavour boost of seasonal and local delicacies.
4. Add your fat and protein of choice.
5. Lastly, add your favourite super foods and blend until thick and creamy!
It’s as simple as that!
There are a million smoothie recipes online but really no wrong way to do it. Check out my book Beyond The Bin available at all Bin Inns for heaps of delicious recipes and ideas and enjoy this delicious way to start your day.