Before I get to this dreamy fennel & cardamom green smoothie recipe, I’ve got 5 compelling reasons why you need green smoothies in your life.
If you already drink green smoothies, fabulous! You may want to skip down to the recipe, or read on to reaffirm why you do it. If green smoothies are an occasional or even non existent thing for you, the following 5 reasons may just persuade you otherwise.
So without further ado, my top 5 reasons why you need green smoothies in your life:
1. Green smoothies are a simple way to give your diet and health a boost.
Green smoothies are an amazing way to get a lot of nutrients into your body in one go and are a really simple and inexpensive way to boost your diet naturally.
Think of how many greens go into a green smoothie compared to piling that same amount on a plate. It’s a lot easier to drink a green smoothie than it is to eat a plateful of raw vegetables…right?!
2. Green smoothies get your digestion flowing.
Green smoothies are packed with fibre and hydration which are essential for good digestion. Just about everybody who does my 5 Day Green Smoothie Challenge (& the 10 Day Sugar Cleanse for that matter), reports back that they’ve never been so regular!
And lets face it, no one wants stagnant food hanging around in their gut. It slows the metabolism and can cause unpleasant gas.
A healthy digestive system means a healthy body that’s less prone to illness.
3. Green smoothies leave your skin glowing.
As I discussed in the previous point, green smoothies get your digestion flowing and this is also one of the keys to having glowing skin. They’re also very hydrating, and as any good beauty therapist will tell you, adequate hydration is the first step towards reducing those fine lines.
Green smoothies also contain an abundance of antioxidants which protect your cells from free radical damage and ultimately the ageing process. Antioxidants are found in all fruits and vegetables, but are particularly abundant in the green variety.
4. Green smoothies can boost detoxification and healing.
This happens in two interlinked ways. Firstly, because the ingredients are already partially broken down by the blender blades it means less work for your digestive system which means your body can put more time and energy into other important processes such as detoxification and healing.
Secondly, because green smoothies are predominantly plant based and raw, the inherent nutrients and enzymes in those plants remain intact and unaffected by heat. This means your body is better able to digest and absorb these nutrients because often the plants enzymes aid in this process, and secondly these intact nutrients can help boost the body’s natural detoxification and cell renewal pathways.
5. Green smoothies can help keep you healthy!
Green smoothies naturally contain an abundance of phytonutrients, which are ‘magical’ chemical compounds unique to certain plants. Phytonutrients give these plants their vibrant colours, tastes and smells, and their role is to help the plant thrive or fight off competitors, predators or pathogens.
In humans, phytonutrients have the ability to promote healthy cell function and have some very unique roles in preventing disease. Some examples of phytonutrients you might be familiar with are carotenoids (e.g. betacarotene which makes carrots orange), flavanoids (e.g. anthocyanin which gives blueberries their blue colour), resveratrol (found in red grapes, aka red wine!) and glucosinolates (e.g. sulforaphane, found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower).
These compounds have been shown to collectively support cardiovascular and cognitive health, regulate inflammation, support the immune system and help prevent and fight cancer. However, the research is only in it’s infancy, so I’m sure a lot more will be discovered about these compounds in the years to come.
But what better reason to ensure you eat a wide variety of plants in abundance today!
5 amazing reasons why you should include green smoothies to your diet (if you don’t already), and of course if you get the recipe right, they can taste pretty damn amazing too!
So without further ado, here’s one of my favourite green smoothie recipes: Fennel & Cardamom Green Smoothie. Fennel has a beautiful mild anise flavour which combines beautifully with fragrant cardamom. If you’re not a big cardamom fan, go easy at first and slowly increase the amount to your taste.
FENNEL & CARDAMOM GREEN SMOOTHIE
Makes: 1 extra large or 2 small smoothies
Prep time: 10 minutes
1 large handful of spinach leaves
1/4 -1/2 bulb of fennel (depending on how large your fennel is)
1/2 green apple
2 Tbsp coconut yoghurt
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 cup filtered water
Wash the spinach leaves well, and leave to drain in a sieve.
Wash the fennel well and chop in half.
Peel the lemon and apple (if not organic) and place in the blender jug along with the spinach and fennel.
Add the coconut yoghurt, cardamom and water and blend on high until all the ingredients are well blended and smooth.
Pour the smoothie into a glass and enjoy.
This smoothie will keep in a sealed jar or bottle in the fridge for up to 3 days.