Smoothies for dummies: How to create the perfect smoothie
It can be hard to actually make a decent smoothie at home, which is why many of us resort to buying expensive ones on the go. But there’s no need. Heed the below advice and you’ll be a pro in no time…
Tips and tricks from Henrietta Norton, nutritional therapist and the founder of Wild Nutrition
Dark green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach, are some of the most nutrient dense foods and are brilliant bases for nutritious smoothies. Including a handful of spinach and/or kale will deliver a big hit of Vitamin K, C and A, as well as minerals folate and calcium. For those who enjoy earthy flavours, beetroot will add vibrancy and powerful antioxidants.
Fruit is high in fibre (to aid digestion) and adds a natural sweetness to smoothies. Berries, pears and apples are all versatile, nutritious, and contain slow releasing sugars to keep energy balanced until lunchtime.
Fats & protein
Adding heart-healthy fats (e.g. avocados, coconut oil, nuts/nut butter) and protein (nuts/ nut butter, chia seeds, pea protein powder) will act to satiate the body and help keep hunger at bay.
Adding nut butter, coconut oil, avocado, banana or plant-based milks will help to deliver a creamy texture. Almonds are also rich in Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin that is uniquely suited to intercepting the damaging effects of free radicals.
Spices play a role in reducing inflammation in the body. Ginger and fresh ground cinnamon are versatile additions to many smoothies, and will provide anti-viral and anti-inflammatory support.
Adding chia seeds, bee pollen, greens (algaes and grasses) and other superfoods will boost nutrient and antioxidant content of the smoothie. For example, the green leaves of the barley or wheat grass plant contain a wide range of vitamin and minerals and are particularly rich in enzymes so may assist your digestion.
Try Henrietta’s two favourite smoothie recipes
One of my favourites, this smoothie is a great blend for a pre-workout, busy, active kind of day. It’s packed with antioxidants and detoxification support. Adding some extras, such as coconut manna (delicious puréed coconut butter), will give it some extra flavour.
A good handful of spinach
1 small beetroot
Half a punnet of raspberries
Half a pink lady apple
Optional extras: super blend of green powders, chia seeds, coconut manna (delicious puréed coconut butter) for extra flavour
Wash fruit & veg. Place all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth.
Wildly Nutritious Green Smoothie
This one is a firm Wild Nutrition favourite, my go-to rejuvenating blast of green juice goodness that’s perfect after a tiring week or to make me feel fresh for the one ahead.
Handful of spinach
1 celery stick
A chunk of fresh ginger
Half a lime
Optional extras: Bee Pollen, green powder (grasses and algaes), coconut butter or oil (for extra creaminess)
Wash fruit & veg. Place all ingredients into a blender and blitz until smooth. Serves 2 or 1 hungry person!
Tip and tricks from Stu Henshall, Food & Beverage Consultation at Cloud Twelve
People always chuck a banana in their smoothie but it makes every smoothie taste of banana. To improve your smoothie repertoire, swap out the banana for half an avocado. It’st is great in a green smoothie and gives the awesome creaminess you get from the banana.
My second tip is that frozen fruit is actually fresher than fresh fruit most of the time, as it is frozen at pick and cheaper. Supermarkets have tons of different fruit and things like mangoes and pineapple have already been peeled and cut, saving you time. The plant milk you use will do the thawing and leave you with super cold delicious smoothie.
The third tip is use a good fortified milk like oat or almond as they have the same calcium as cow’s milk without any of the saturated fat and cancer risks attributed to the baby cow juice.
Fourth tip: you can super charge your smoothie with things such as baobab or lucuma which add sweetness and also add massive health benefits, without needing a banana.
My final tip would be to get some reusable containers or zip-lock bags and pre-prep your smoothie mixes for the week and bang in the freezer. All you have to do is chuck it in a blender with your milk and you are on your way – without the mess and faff that no-one can face on a busy morning.
Stu’s Summer Super Green Smoothie
Large handful of spinach
400ml Almond Milk
½ Tsp Lucuma
1 Tsp Green Mix Powder (a mixture of superfoods available in your local health food shop or online)
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