The humble smoothie– dress it up, or dress it down, there is never a bad time to break out the blender and create a glass of creamy and sweet deliciousness. I’m a 24-hour a day kind of smoothie fan… I will have one at lunch or for dessert. But here I have laid down my best healthy and filling smoothie recipes to start your day.
I’ll start with the old favourite– straight up banana & honey. Growing up my mum use to make it with milk as was the standard way– in my adulthood I’ve forgone dairy in a bid to improve my health and fitness. I now make this classic with 3 bananas (peeled and frozen first is definitely best), honey, a quarter of a tin of Coles basic brand coconut cream (has the mildest flavour and is best IMO), topped up with plain old filtered tap water and ice. Chuck it all in the blender until it is completely smooth and voila! The high-fibre banana will fill you up, honey provides anti-bacterial properties, and from the coconut you receive plenty of vitamins and minerals including folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, vitamin C, selenium and your recommended daily intake of manganese.
If you would like a fat-free version, you can forgo the coconut cream and gain electrolytes from using coconut water instead.
Cherry Ripe vs Snickers Bar
It sounds like a treat, but this is laden with superfoods like cacao, nuts and antioxidant-rich berries, so you can bet it packs a health punch. Add to your blender one frozen banana, half a cup of frozen mixed berries, a tablespoon of raw cacao powder, a tablespoon of peanut butter, a dash of coconut cream, ice and top up with almond milk. If you like it sweeter add a dash of maple syrup. Blend until smooth.
I eat a lot of coconut cream, which once upon a time did concern me as 93% of the calories in coconut cream are from fat. However, the majority of fat comes from a medium-chain triglyceride called Lauric Acid, a super-nutritious element that boosts immunity and is also found in breast milk (http://birthtouch.com/2014/08/coconut-oil-breastmilk-and-lauric-acid/). This fat is not easily stored as it goes straight to the liver once digested and is turned into energy, and can actually reduce appetite and decrease the intake of calories.
Get Him to the Greens
Ok, this one is Level 5, Grade A on the healthy scale. Add two frozen bananas, one kiwifruit with skin peeled, a small handful of spinach, a 2cm length of cucumber, and top up with orange juice and ice. This is great for those who want to improve their iron. The body does not readily absorb plant-based or nonheme iron from spinach and other vegetables, so double it with Vitamin C which will aid the uptake. This is where the OJ comes in and gives that spinach the kick it needs.
As most of Australia rejoices as summer arrives, the north of Australia is entering monsoon season– hot and humid weather, big storms, and of course- mango season! As a Broomie myself I have eaten a fair few of these over the past few weeks and can attest to their excellence. Add to your blender; two mango cheeks, a dash of coconut cream, three teaspoons of chia seeds, ice, and top up with coconut or filtered water. Chia seeds are very powerful nutritionally, high in magnesium, calcium, B vitamins, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. This makes chia one of the most nutritional foods on the planet.
Indo Style Espresso Smoothie
I first got hooked on espresso in smoothies on the beautiful Gili Islands in Indonesia. They would add it to their avocado smoothies, which is awesome, but at home I tend to substitute with banana. So for this one you’ll want two frozen bananas, a shot of espresso, a couple of dashes of coconut cream, ice and coconut water. Blend it up smooth and drink brekky on the run with a meal and coffee in one. Studies show coffee can boost your metabolic rate and aid in fat-burning, as well as having a positive effect on brain function. Of course the caffeine also gives you that extra buzz in the morning to get you on your way.
So there you have it– plenty of material for you boost your mornings with nutrition and convenience, and welcome to the Smoothie Club!