When I first started making smoothies, my husband would often pad into the kitchen, coffee cup in hand, and taunt me. ‘What’s in it this time?’ he’d say, peering over my shoulder. ‘Eye of newt, toe of frog, wool of bat?’ I must admit, it was a bit of a hit and miss in the early days and I did create a couple of unsavoury blends. However, I’ve become quite a connoisseur over the last few years and can now produce some great tasting, healthy drinks. Okay, I know that some people can’t bear the thought of drinking anything that’s green but I also believe in the saying, ‘Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.’ It’s necking one of these lovely concoctions every morning that fuels me with energy and sets me up for the day.
So, what’s in these drinks that are turning me into superwoman? (Okay, that’s a lie, a slight exaggeration). Well, it largely depends on my plans. If I’m going for a run or need extra energy then I’ll drink 300ml of a berrie, banana and flaxseed smoothie, on other days I opt for a green one with kale, spinach or broccoli. One of these drinks provides a host of nutrients and fibre, which I probably wouldn’t get from scoffing a buttery croissant or an iced bun for breakfast, though I’d love to, of course. And I don’t know what it is, but as soon as I drink one I feel almost instantly rejuvenated and bustle around the house with a spring in my step. It’s probably because I know I’ve consumed something healthy and nutritious.
Speaking of nutrition, a smoothie will provide:
- Vitamins (a host plus lots of C which is excellent for iron absorption and boosts immune).
- Minerals (bananas are high in potassium, an electrolyte which is good for muscle cramps and helps regulate blood pressure).
- Fibre (keeps your gut in tip-top condition).
- Phytonutrients (plant compounds, many of which are said to act as antioxidants).
- Hydration (from coconut water and filtered water to dilute).
I usually drink a smoothie for breakfast and store the rest in the fridge for the next day but sometimes, if I’m in a hurry or if I’m on a diet (almost always) I’ll have the rest for lunch! You don’t need an expensive smoothie maker to create your blends of magic (although you can if you want to!) I use a simple and inexpensive Breville and it produces gorgeous results.
Here’s one I made earlier…..
So, what do I get out of drinking smoothies?
- Bags of energy
- Fewer colds, or at least I’ve dealt with them swiftly and with a lot more control
- Brighter skin
- Shinier hair
- Improved digestion – all that fibre!
- An easy way to add healthy seeds to my diet (you can also add protein)
- Weight loss
- One of my five-a-day (only one 150ml glass counts)
With regards to getting one of your five-a-day, the government’s advice is that only one 150ml glass will count towards one of your five-a-day, so you can’t just plonk five fruits and veggies into a glass and be done with it. This is because of the sugars that are released when they hit the blade! This said, smoothies do have the advantage over other sugary drinks in that they provide you with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. Whilst I’m not suggesting for one moment that you exceed the recommended consumption, personally, if it’s a choice between a glass of fizzy drink or another smoothie, I’d go for the smoothie! Unless it’s champagne!