The smoothie debate is as old as smoothie itself- is it good for you? Is it too high in sugar? Should you chew or drink your food?
Practising as a nutritional therapist and helping women ditch binging, overeating and sugar cravings, I have a few insights on how to make smoothies work for you and when it’s a good idea to do so. I see a smoothie as a fantastic tool to add in some of your 7-a-day, add extra fibre and boost your nutrient status, especially if you have a busy life.
Additionally, smoothies are great to help ditch sugar cravings, restore energy and give the much-needed focus and motivation to have a positive and productive day.
Aim to have your smoothies for snacks or as an addition to a snack and attempt at least 50% of the smoothie to come from vegetables. Not sure how that will taste? Aim to include more vegetables that don’t have a strong taste, such as cucumber, spinach and green leaves. Also use fresh herbs, lemon, ginger and other spices to add a little extra zing and flavour.
Check out some of my favourite smoothie recipes to get your creative juices flowing.
Green Energy Smoothie
This is how my “base” green smoothie looks. I love these combinations for slightly zingier taste and pleasant mouthfeel. Feel free to experiment with your own favourite vegetable and fruit combinations until you find your own. This is a perfect base to add in your spring- and summer-foraged goods, such as nettle and cleavers. Plus, a great base to try out all the leaves from your garden. Will you have a go?
1 cup spinach
½ cup chopped cucumber
1 peeled kiwi
1 chopped cored apple
A small handful of parsley or fresh mint
Add all in the blender and blend until smooth. Squeeze the lime to taste and top up with water or coconut water for preferred consistency. Enjoy!
Red Berry Smoothie
If you’re stuck for ideas to add beetroot into your diet or find it a little too earthy for your liking, Red Berry smoothie is the one for you. Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, beetroot is fantastic to increase your nutrient status. Creamy mango and fresh berries work wonders for the texture and compliment the beetroot well.
½ cup raw chopped beetroot
1 cup spinach or other available leaves
1 cup seasonal berries (fresh or frozen)
½ cup ripe mango
½ cup oat or coconut milk
Start with adding chopped beetroot and milk in the blender and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Note: Add more mango or berries if you prefer this sweeter. I like to use frozen berries for this recipe, as this means a naturally chilled smoothie for the warmer days of the year.
Zingy Orange Smoothie
I love this smoothie for its simplicity and unbeatable taste, suitable as a refreshing drink in the heat of the summer or a warming elixir in the cooler months of the year. Reach for this when in need of a little pick-me-up.
½ cup chopped carrot
½ cup orange
½ cup pineapple
¼ cup coconut water
Squeeze of lemon
Thumb- sized piece of ginger
Start with adding chopped carrot and coconut water in the blender and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Note: I love adding extra ginger and lemon in the cooler months of the year or if you’re in need of a coffee. Replace pineapple with mango or apple, depending on availability.
Afternoon Slump Smoothie
Struggle to stay focused 3-4 pm and are looking for a quick sugar “fix”? This is my favourite smoothie option when in need of extra energy to finish the working day. I love the creamy texture of this smoothie that truly tastes more like a dessert, then a smoothie. And the cacao gives the much needed energy plus a bunch of antioxidants to get you through even the most tedious tasks.
½ cup kale or green leaves
½ large or 1 medium avocado
½ cup berries
½ ripe banana
½ cup almond or oat milk
1 tbsp cacao
Start with adding the greens and milk in the blender and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Note: Add a whole banana if you need extra sweetness and add an extra teaspoon of cacao if you need extra energy.
If you prefer to swap your breakfast for a smoothie, make sure you have more substance and density to help balance your blood sugar and give you slow-release, sustained energy through the day. You can experiment with options and add chia seeds instead of flaxseeds or swap the vegetables or fruit to your preferred options, yet make sure that you do have vegetables for your energy needs.
1 cup green leaves
½ cup cucumber
½ medium avocado
1 ripe small pear
2 tbsp oats
1 tbsp flax seeds
½ ripe banana
¼ cup oat, almond or coconut milk
Add all the chopped ingredients in the blender with milk and blend until smooth. Add oats and flax seeds into the mix and blend until smooth. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and add more milk to adjust the texture. Enjoy!
I am not a doctor, medical professional or a dietician. The information I provide is based on my professional experience as a Nutritional Therapist, studies provided and on my personal experience. Any recommendations I may make about diet changes, nutrition, supplements or lifestyle, or information provided to you on this website should be discussed between you a medical or healthcare professional. The information you receive in these blogs does not take the place of professional medical advice.