After months of having porridge most days for breakfast, with warmer weather I crave something cooler and more refreshing, yet still filling: smoothies are the answer? Prepare the night before then whizz up in the morning for a fresh, easy and nutritious start to the day.
You will soon see my measurements are very rough! I usually just wing it in general and with smoothies it's not an exact science, you can adjust to your taste of course or how thick/thin you prefer your smoothie. Read on and I hope you enjoy!
// Berry Bircher //
1 handful of oats
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 handful of berries of your choice (I used raspberries)
1 tsp honey
1-2 tbsps water or oat milk to blend
Oats are something I bang on about a lot on here and something I eat most days, they are a wholesome source of fibre which releases slowly keeping you fuler for longer and stabilising blood sugar. They are beneficial for cholesterol levels also. Choose a full-fat yoghurt that contains probiotic cultures for the most benefits. Adding flaxseed gives essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), omega 3 and 6 which helps promtote heart health and is anti-inflammatory. Berries are an excellent source of antioxidants, vitamin C and anthocyanins which promote a healthy gut and also enhance healthy eyes.
// Tropical Greens //
(I promise you won't taste the 'greens'!)
1 handful of chopped mango and pineapple (I actually used a bag of mixed frozen mango and pineapple)
1 tbsp spirulina powder
1 handful fresh spinach (could also use kale/watercress/rocket but I find spinach is the mildest and easiest flavour to disguise)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
5-6 tbsp water or coconut water to blend (use more or less depending on how thick you like your smoothie)
Pineapple is a fruit containing enzymes, particularly noted is bromelain which makes it an ideal fruit to pair with greens for a fruit smoothie as it helps aid break down the tough stems as well as the manual blitzing, all making it easier to be digested, papaya is a good alternative as this is also a fruit containing enzymes.
Spirulina is one these 'superfoods' we hear about, although I don't believe there is such a thing, spirulina is an algae that is great source of B vitamins as well as calcium and iron
// Mint Choc Chip //
(Only without the chip! But this does taste like a mint chocolate ice-cream milkshake!)
1 1/2 bananas, sliced and frozen
couple of sprigs of fresh mint
1 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/2 - 1 tsp honey/maple syrup
few tbsps oat/almond milk or just water to blend
Avocado is most known for being 'a good fat,' this is because it is an excellent source of monounsaturated oils and omega 3 fatty acids, which can lower blood pressure and protect the heart, preventing cardiovasular diseases and strokes, they are also antioxidant and anti-inflammatory so fight free-radical damage and the oils help lubricate the joints helping with arthritic conditions. They also contain phytosterols which are a natural plant hormone so could be beneficial in boosting fertility. The best way to prepare avocado is to test the firmness you went it to have a bit of give when you press it, it shouldn't be hard leave it out of the fridge for a couple of days to ripen like you would a peach or mango before refridgerating. Then slice lengthways down the middle and round the whole fruit, twist to separate into two halves the stone will stay in one half, peel the skin off like you would a banana, as this where the nutrients are most concentrated and chop the flesh.
// Golden Goddess //
1 tbsp turmeric paste* see below how to make
1 fresh mango chopped, or a handful of frozen chopped mango
1/2 - 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
few tbsp water to blend
Mangoes contain nearly two thirds of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C, therefore is an amzing boost for your immune system. mangoes also contain beta-careotene an antioxidant that prevents free-radical damage in the body benefiting you skin, eyes and possible against anti-aging, they also aid digestion through the high prebiotic dietary fibre. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) of course is basically wonder woman! Studies have shown it to be anti-inflammatory and antioxidant mainly due to its component, curcumin. It reduces amyloid plaque build-up which may be a main contirbuting factor to Alzheimer's disease, possible prevention of cardiovascular disease and cancer protection. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is also anti-inflammatory and pain, it has anti-nausea actions and is anti-bacterial, it boosts the digestive system and gets the juices flowing relieving cramps and bloating and generally boosting the circulation all over.
If you recall I did a post a few months back on a Golden Milk recipe, and the best way to increase the absorption of turmeric is to take it alongside black pepper and fat content. Similar to that recipe, we will make the base paste but instead of adding milk, we will add the paste to the smoothie. Melt 1 tbsp coconut oil for 30 seconds in the microwave, remove and add 1 tsp turmeric powder, a sprinkle of ground black pepper and a tsp of honey and stir to combine.
My name is Helen Davison and I'm a NIMH registered practising Medical Herbalist based in Ramsbottom, Lancashire. I've had a keen interest in herbal remedies since my early teens and would experiment creating my own balms and bath bombs using natural ingredients, which prompted me in discovering and pursuing a career in Western Herbal Medicine.