Super Green Smoothie

Super Green Smoothie

Super Green Smoothie

 

Smoothies are a fantastic way to get a lot of nutrients into you in one go, simply due to the volume of fruits and vegetables you are able to consume this way. Take a green smoothie for example, you can literally pack an entire salad or plate of greens into one glass, yet it’s easy to finish and you don’t feel overly full afterwards. The reason for this is the smoothie ingredients and their nutrients are partially broken down by the blender blades, which means they are more readily digested and absorbed by your body. This in turn means your body doesn’t have to put as much time and energy into digestion and can turn its attention to other important processes such as detoxification and healing.

The other great thing about smoothies is the ingredients are entirely raw so all the nutrients are in their original, unprocessed state. All the antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals remain intact, along with the foods inherent living enzymes which are often killed by heat. These living enzymes assist in the absorption of the nutrients which also helps to take some of the load off your digestive system. So by eating raw food in the form of a smoothie, you can maximise your nutrient intake in a very easy way.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing food that you’ll be eating raw is to consider buying organic, spray-free produce. Or an even better, much more affordable option is to grown your own if you can. The reason for this is produce that is covered in pesticides creates more work for your digestive system and liver, which essentially defeats the purpose of eating raw (easily digestible) food.

Making your own smoothies is much more cost effective than buying them and allows you to control the quality of ingredients and flavour combinations. One important thing to look out for if you are buying a smoothie (especially the pre-packaged type from the supermarket) is to check the label for added sugar. This can often be disguised as “fruit juice” or “juice concentrate” which is essentially fruit that has been stripped of it’s fibre and nutrients leaving a high concentration of fructose and not much else. Fructose can’t be used for energy by the body and can only be metabolised by the liver, which turns it into fat and stores it in the body. Alternatively by using whole fruit in a smoothie, the fibre and nutrients act to slow down the fructose absorption and the benefits of the vitamins, phytonutrients, antioxidants, and minerals far out weigh out any negative effects from fructose. Therefore if you are going to buy a smoothie, the best places to do so are those where you know the smoothie is being made from scratch using whole, raw fruit and vegetables, such as quality cafes, raw food eateries or smoothie bars.

If you are new to green smoothies you may prefer to ease yourself into them by starting off with a fruit base, rather than going straight to an entirely green vegetable smoothie which can be an acquired taste. A good way to start is by adding a little fruit like a pear, a small handful of fresh pineapple or half a banana.

The following minty green smoothie recipe is one of my favourites and is a nice mild option to start with. It’s a mix of greens, tropical fruit and coconut water. It tastes best when chilled, so one of my top tips is to chop up a bunch of fruit and store it in your freezer. That way your smoothies will always come out chilled, even after high speed blending, and you will always have a stash of frozen fruit ready for the next one!

Use this green smoothie recipe as a base, swapping in different fruits and greens to create your own favourite smoothie combinations. Enjoy!

 

Super Green Smoothie
 

Green Smoothie

Makes: 1 large smoothie
Prep time: 10 minutes

1 cup of coconut water or filtered drinking water
1 cup of spinach or kale, washed
1 2inch/6cm piece cucumber
1 cup of pineapple, chopped, preferably frozen
1 kiwifruit, peeled, chopped, preferably frozen
1/2 frozen banana
1 handful of fresh mint
1 handful ice
squeeze of lemon or lime

Place all the ingredients in the blender and slowly work up to maximum speed. You may have to stop the blender and give the ingredients a stir if you’re using frozen fruit, or use the blender stirring stick. Blend until smooth, pour into a tall glass and drink immediately. Alternatively this smoothie can be stored in the fridge in a sealed bottle for up to 2 days.

Note: This makes quite a thick, icy green smoothie. For a more liquid version just add extra coconut water or filtered drinking water, or leave out the ice.

 

Cinnamon Jam Donut Smoothie

Cinnamon Jam Donut Smoothie

Cinnamon Jam Donut Smoothie

 

This cinnamon jam donut smoothie recipe is from the second edition of my Inspired Smoothies ebook, and it’s still one of my favourites!

It’s a great example that not all smoothies necessarily have to be green to be good for you. Even though it has a decadent name, it’s actually a very healthy smoothie and is a great energy and protein.

The best way to describe this smoothie is a thick and creamy, vanilla milkshake with hints of cinnamon, banana and caramel. And when topped with raspberry chia jam it really is reminiscent of a jam donut.

This cinnamon jam donut smoothie has a base of cashews nuts which are a great source of plant protein and are high in magnesium which is vital for bone health and helping your body and muscles relax.

Bananas are one of the best sources of manganese which jump starts the metabolism and encourages wound healing. They’re also a good source of vitamin B6 (vital for so many processes!), vitamin C (boosts immunity, reduces inflammation, and slows the ageing of skin) and copper (essential in the development of blood cells).

Dates are also high in vitamin B6, vitamin A, potassium, iron, phosphorus, calcium and fibre.

Raspberries are a naturally low fructose fruit and are also a great source of antioxidants and fibre.

Last but not least, chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid which is beneficial to the brain and heart, and contain all 9 essential amino acids making these little seeds a complete plant protein.

You need to plan ahead a little for this recipe as the cashew nuts require soaking for 2-4 hours beforehand to ensures they blend into a super smooth and creamy smoothie. However, if you don’t have time or just want this smoothie ASAP, you could use boiling water to soften them faster. Or do away with the soaking step altogether provided you have a high speed blender!

Mmake sure you have frozen bananas on hand as these really add to the thick, creamy chilled texture. A great tip is to keep a stash of peeled, chopped bananas in your freezer so that you’re always smoothie or nice cream ready!

 

Cinnamon Jam Donut Smoothie

 

Smoothies are a fantastic way to get a lot of nutrients into your body in one go. Take a green smoothie for example, you can literally pack an entire salad or plate of greens into one glass, yet it’s easy to finish and you don’t feel overly full afterwards.

The reason for this is the ingredients have already been partially broken down by the blender blades which means they are more readily digested and absorbed by your body. This in turn means your body doesn’t have to put as much energy into digestion and can turn its attention to other important processes such as detoxification and healing.

The other amazing thing about smoothies is the ingredients are entirely raw which means all the nutrients are in their original unprocessed state and not affected by heat. This means all the the vitamins and minerals remain intact, as well as the foods inherent living enzymes. These enzymes assist the absorption of the nutrients which futher takes the pressure off your digestive system.

So essentially, by drinking smoothies you can maximise your nutrient intake in a very easy way.

When choosing ingredients that you’ll be eating raw, consider buying organic, spray free produce if you can. Or at the very least, take note of the dirty dozen and clean fifteen as identified by the EWG and try and avoid the dirty dozen if you can’t get them organic/spray free.

If you’d like more helpful hints and tips about making smoothies, or some new recipe inspiration, check out my free Inspired Smoothies ebook here, or my 5 Day Green Smoothie Challenge here.

I hope you enjoy this cinnamon jam donut smoothie recipe! Leave a comment below and tell me what you think, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or Facebook.

 

Cinnamon Jam Donut Smoothie

Serves: 2 large or 4 small glasses
Prep time: 2-4 hours soaking time (optional); 10 minutes to make the smoothie

2 cups soaked cashew nuts
2 small frozen bananas
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla powder or essence
2 Medjool date, pitted
2 cup filtered water
1 cup ice

Raspberry Chia Jam

1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 Tbsp chia seeds

Toppings

Cinnamon
Raspberries

Make sure you have frozen bananas, plan ahead and put them in the freezer a couple of hours beforehand or better still keep a stash in the freezer ready for smoothie and nice cream making.

To soak the cashew nuts, place them in a bowl and cover with filtered water and leave to stand for for 2-4 hours. Drain and rinse well.

Prepare the chia jam by washing the raspberries well. If using fresh raspberries, place them in a bowl and simply crush with a fork until they become juicy. Combine with the chia seeds and stir well. If the raspberries are frozen heat them a little either in the microwave or in a small pan over low heat until they become soft and juicy. Transfer to a bowl, combine with the chia seeds and stir well. Set the raspberry chia jam aside to thicken, which should take about 5-10 minutes.

To make the smoothie, place the cashew nuts into a blender jug with the frozen bananas, cinnamon, vanilla, dates, water and ice. Blend on high until all the ingredients are well combined then pour into your serving glasses.

Spoon a layer of raspberry chia jam onto the top of each smoothie and swirl with a spoon. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and place a couple of extra raspberries (fresh or frozen) on top. Serve and enjoy!

Note: If you want to make these smoothies ahead of time, keep the chia jam separate and store in sealed containers in the fridge for up to 3 days. When ready to serve top with the chai jam, cinnamon and raspberries.

 

Cinnamon Jam Donut Smoothie