You were born to make these smoothies! … by Mia Uren
Smoothies; they seem to be all the rage these days and for good reason, too! If you use the right ingredients they can become a very healthy and nutritious on-the-go meal that will keep you full and energetic until your next big meal. This also means you will be less likely to crave sugary food between meals. Plus, it’s super easy; you don’t need to be a whiz in the kitchen to throw some stuff into a blender and press a button.
So what makes a great smoothie?
First you need to start with 1-2 cups of a good liquid base. Some of my favourites include:
– Almond milk – make sure the brand you use has no added sugar or preservatives, otherwise, make your own using this recipe: http://chiamiablog.wordpress.com/2013/05/06/coconutty-almond-milk/
– Coconut water – this is a great hydrator so it’s perfect for a post workout smoothie to put electrolytes back into your body
– Rice milk – it’s important to make sure it is made with brown rice and has no added sugar
– Just good ol’ plain filtered water is also a great option
If you’re having a smoothie as one of your meals it’s a good idea to add in a type of protein as this will keep your energy levels up and also keep you fuller for longer. Some good protein options include:
- Raw eggs – it may sound daunting, but you really can’t taste them. Just make sure they are good quality, free range, organic eggs
– Nut butter or a handful of nuts
– LSA meal (this is ground up linseed, sunflower seed and almond)
– Plain Greek yogurt
– Good quality protein powder such as whey or pea protein. Make sure you check that the ingredients don’t include any added sugar, numbers or weird sounding ingredients you’ve never heard of. One of my favourite protein powders is: http://www.thehealthychef.com/2012/12/pure-protein-all-natural-delicious/
You can then add in some fruit to sweeten it and add more flavour. Try and limit it to one piece of fruit so you don’t have too much sugar in the smoothie; I find that about a quarter of banana and some blueberries is ideal. Berries are a great option as they are low in sugar, high in antioxidants and taste great.
If you are game add in some kind of green vegetable for extra nutrients, like a handful of baby spinach, a cucumber or some celery.
Superfoods are also great to add to your smoothie for extra health benefits. Some of my favourites include:
Maca Powder – this is a ground up ancient root.
(Use 1 teaspoon)
– contains vitamins B,C, and E plus calcium, zinc, iron and magnesium
-helps balance hormones and mood
-increases energy levels
(use 2-3 tablespoons)
– high in antioxidants and amino acids
– strengthen eyesight
– help balance hormones
Spirulina – this comes from pond algae.
(use 2-3 teaspoons)
– contains calcium and chlorophyll
– contains omegas 3, 6 and 9 which is great for brain function and healthy hair, skin and nails
– helps remove heavy metals from the body which is great if you eat a lot of fish or have tattoos
Chia Seeds - these are super absorbent tiny seeds.
(use 1 tablespoon)
– high in fibre which makes them great for good digestion
– contain omega 3, calcium, antioxidants, vitamin C and iron
– help promote healthy skin, hair and nails
Here are some suggestions for smoothie recipes. Feel free to play around with flavours and different ingredients yourself.
Chai Breakfast Smoothie:
1 cup almond milk
1/4 banana (put more banana in if you like your smoothies sweet)
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla powder
1 handful of spinach (optional)
Protein of your choice (I use 2 raw eggs)
Blend the spinach and liquid until smooth then add in the rest of the ingredients and blend.
Note: if you feel like having a warm drink heat the almond milk up before blending.
This is a great way to get a few extra servings of veggies into you. Read my article on why it is important to have healthy alkaline levels in your body here.
1½ cups water
1 handful of baby spinach
2 stalks organic celery
Juice of ½ lemon
Small knob of ginger
Add ½ banana if you want it to be sweeter
Whiz in a blender until smooth and well combined.
Post Workout Smoothie
Your choice of protein
1 cup coconut water
1 tsp vanilla
Handful of berries
Blend and enjoy!
The Mocktail Smoothie
2 tsp lime zest
1 lime, skin removed
1 cup coconut water
1 tbsp coconut
2 tsp maca
1 tbsp nut butter of your choice
2 tsp chia seeds
Blend and enjoy!