Green Smoothies For Beginners
Since last August, I’ve been on a massive smoothie kick. It started when I got a bit of food poisoning after eating some dodgy mangosteen that I brought back from Jakarta. I had having omelettes for breakfast most mornings, but just couldn’t stomach them after the food poisoning.
So I’ve been experimenting with smoothies of all kinds ever since, and have hit upon some winning recipes, based on the protein – fat – carbohydrate formula.
Why protein, fat and carbohydrate? Proteins and fats take longer to digest, so you’re fuller for longer. The carbohydrates, in the form of fruit and vegetables, are the source of important micronutrients and fibre.
A satiating morning smoothie should ideally see you all the way through to lunch, with no need for snacks, unless you’ve done a really intense work out.
The building blocks of a good, nourishing smoothie are generally 50% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 20% fat. Here are some good examples of ingredients for each of the macronutrient building blocks – use organic ingredients where you can!
- Protein: Nuts (almonds or cashews, in butter or whole form) and seeds (pumpkin, sunflowers, flaxseeds, chia, in seed form), organic full fat greek yoghurt
- Fat: Coconut butter, coconut oil, avocado, almond milk, coconut meat
Fruit: Go for low GI fruits like blueberries and raspberries, bananas for thickness, use high GI, very sweet fruit like dates, pineapple and mango sparingly – a little goes a long way!
Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, watercress & chard, beetroot and cucumber. These should make up the majority (80-90%!) of the carbohydrate you add to your smoothie!
- Liquids: Nut mylks, coconut water, full fat milk and even water can reduce the thickness of a smoothie, depending on your personal preferences.
- Extras (if you want to add some more oomph to your smoothie): Bee pollen, lucuma, cacao, collagen powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, turmeric, maca, chlorella and spirulina are all nice additions to a smoothie. All of these boosters have different nutritional benefits, such as immune support and skin health support, and can give your smoothie a nice kick!
One for you to try
Here’s my current go-to morning smoothie recipe – try it and let me know what you think!
1 small banana
1/4 cup mixed berries
2 handfuls of kale
1 (heaping) tbsp almond butter
1 small knob of ginger
2 small 5 pence sized discs of turmeric
200ml almond milk
1 tbsp collagen powder
- Put all the ingredients into a blender (I prefer the NutriBullet!)
- Blend for 30 -60 seconds, depending on your preferred thickness
- Pour into a cup
- Garnish with a dusting of cinnamon