So unless you’ve been living under a large rock with a ‘hipster free zone’ sign firmly planted out the front, there’s a good chance you’ve stumbled across the vague whisperings of someone banging on about the benefits of green smoothies.
Models, actresses, health and wellness peeps, that dude who lives next door and ALWAYS goes out to get the paper on a Sunday in his boxers and ugg boots, they’re all on the GS bandwagon. And, as much as it kind of pains me to admit it, I’m on that very same bandwagon.
Have been for awhile to be honest. And in my defence, I’ve always loved a good smoothie. I could tell you stories of the time, heavily pregnant, I schlepped, with husband in tow, to secure a large plastic cup of my favourite concoction (a honeybee should you be a person who’s keen on details), only to position the challis awkwardly on the roof of the car and have it crash and burn in the gutter. I sat and wept while I watched it ebb its way down the drain.
Tears and trauma aside, my family have always enjoyed a milky beverage. And why not? It’s the ultimate meal in a glass. This is what swung me back onto the smoothie train after I’d survived the first 6 weeks of quitting sugar (and not being able to eat fruit). I love my nutty granola and yoghurt and won’t say no to porridge but I don’t always have the luxury of time.
Being able to whip up something ludicrously nutritious in one hand, while frantically scrolling the channels for Peppa Pig with the other, makes my morning that little bit more enjoyable. I can also drink my smoothie on the go (have you ever tried to eat granola with yoghurt while driving? Don’t, it’s not enjoyable for anyone, ever) and even whack a lid on that bad boy and finish it off later, should I have my fill of goodness.
So now that the ‘why’ is sorted, lets move onto the how, more specifically, the ‘green’ part. Yes, I drink smoothies that are ACTUALLY green in hue BUT I also take the meaning a little more metaphorically and consider that the majority of my concoctions, be they green, yellow, pink or purple in colour, to be, essentially ‘green smoothies’. To me, it’s all about the health benefits. A green smoothie, if made correctly, is insane on the health scale. A smoothie that is perhaps a different hue, but with all the goodness you’d associate with a greenie, is no less nutritious. I drink a combo of both to be honest with you and find I crave different things at different times.
Generally, you’ll find the following in my blender (not all at once though):
– Baby spinach – People wrinkle their noses up at this but when it comes to greens, spinach really is the bomb. I find that it doesn’t taste as strong as some other greens (kale, rocket I’m looking at you!), it blends really well and gives a great hit of of those amazing nutrients that Popeye was so fond of.
– Chia seeds – I pretty much don’t make a smoothie that doesn’t have chia seeds in it. If you’re not a chia fan, now might be the time to give them a go. These little beauties are packed full of goodness and are one of the only complete plant based sources of protein. They’re also high in fibre, calcium, vitamin C, omega 3 fatty acids, iron and potassium. What a list. I usually pour around a tablespoon in.
– Egg – This one might be a tad controversial for some but yes, I add raw egg to my smoothies (they call me ‘Rocky Naomi’ around these parts). Why do I add egg? Generally, for a hit of protein. I need my smoothie to keep me going through a busy morning of toddler wrangling and, as well all know, protein is the gal when it comes to energy production. I’m not a fan of protein powders generally, hence my dalliance with egg. And honestly? You can’t even taste it.
– Berries or banana – This is an either/or. I don’t usually combine my fruits (though I do often add a rehydrated date to the mix if I need a bit of sweetness). I try and take it easy with my fruit consumption as too much makes me feel a bit funny so it’s either half a ‘nana or a handful of organic frozen berries.
– Coconut water OR Milk (almond or full fat dairy) – I mix things up of a morning but generally stick to one of these bases, depending on what I’m blending up. I can’t drink coconut water straight but love it as part of a smoothie. Too much milk gives me a funny tummy so I tend to use almond milk but if I’m all out, or whipping up something for the husband and I, I use full fat, organic cows milk.
– Raw Cacao powder – If you’ve got this far, well done, I don’t blame you if you’re sick of my words now. But bear with me. This is where it gets a bit airy fairy but still completely delicious. If I’m after something quite rich and decadent of a morning, I reach for the raw cacao. If you’re not familiar with the stuff, it’s like chocolate but in its rawest form. Think unrefined cocoa powder. It’s got a whole host of body loving properties and I actually find that it gives me quite the pep up of a morning. It does tend to me quite bitter so I stick to about 1/2 tbsp and balance it out with fruit, a date or some stevia.
I’ve also been know to chuck peanut and almond butter, avocado, oats, cinnamon, walnuts, pecans and all spice into my blender if I think it’ll taste good!
You can check out my Choc-Berry Superfood Smoothie recipe HERE
You can check out my Ultimate Banana Smoothie recipe HERE
Care to share your fave smoothie recipe? Add it to the comments below!