Health and well being

My formula for the perfect smoothie

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This is a complete guide for beginners and already committed smoothie devotees. You know they say practice makes perfect-it took many failed attempts to finally figure out how to make these drinks a success. To me, a smoothie needs:

To be tasty

The feeling of trying to drink one that tastes disgusting is something I’m hoping to NEVER repeat!

To include vegetables

I want my smoothies to be bursting with nutrients.

To have a nice colour

That strange shade of brown that can happen…no thank you!

To have a good consistency

There’s something about fruit and veg blended that when too thick, can seem like a strange milkshake.

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To be tasty

My method for explaining the choices of fruit and veg may seem a little crazy, but bear with me as I think this helps.  For taste, I categorise my fruit and vegetables into strong and weak.

Strong veg would be celery and beetroot; it’s vegetables that you need a tiny amount of because when blended they are very distinctive. Spinach on the other hand, is weak because when blended it doesn’t have a strong taste. This applies to fruit as well, so raspberries and most berries are fairly weak, whilst mango and pineapple are strong.

This is important. If you put a strong-tasting vegetable in a smoothie with weaker tasting fruit, the drink will not be pleasant. Don’t get me wrong, I like eating vegetables. To me, there is a huge significance between eating vegetables with your meal, and having them blended. For the purpose of my formula, I’m running on the idea that you would rather have a smoothie that tastes of fruit, with hidden veg inside.

So to summarise, make sure your fruit has a stronger taste. Avoid using weak tasting fruit with strong-tasting veg.

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To include vegetables

The best veg to blend in my opinion are: spinach (all time favourite), kale, cucumber, romaine lettuce and fennel. (No wonder green smoothies are popular)!Leafy green veg works because it blends well and the taste is not overpowering. It’s easy to combine with any type of fruit and create something delicious. Additional veg I love consists of carrots, broccoli stems, beetroot and zucchini. These have a stronger taste however, which means a stronger tasting fruit is needed. Pineapple and passion fruit perhaps?

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To have a nice colour

Green smoothies have a heap of nutrients. They are also the most simple to make. It’s easy to take a variety of ingredients and formulate a perfect colour. My smoothies tend to be green, orange or heading towards pink and purple. I think the selection you choose, needs to be of similar shades.

Spinach with apple and carrot and blueberries for example, is a very broad colour mix. Ideally you want there to be a dominant colour. Not every fruit and veg you use, needs to be purple or red etc, but if you have at least two colours similar, you’re more likely to get a good overall result. Colour theory can come into play.

A handful of raspberries is not going to edit a colour entirely, in the same way a large handful of kale will.

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To have a good consistency

Two things mainly to highlight. The first, be wary of including the skin of your fruit and veg. I have a Nutribullet 900 series and as much as I love it, including the skin can affect the taste. Examples such as mango, apple and orange. In saying that, I keep the skin on my carrot and cucumber. The head of broccoli is another thing I avoid. Secondly, depending how you like your smoothie, if you start adding bananas and protein powder etc, you will get a much thicker consistency.

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Additions to include:

So the above guide is for an everyday healthy smoothie. There are innumerable recipes like breakfast smoothies (oats, cocoa, protein powder). The world is your oyster! Here and are some additional products or ingredients you may consider adding:

  • Oats
  • Nut butters
  • Coconut sprinkles
  • Sweet spices-cinnamon/nutmeg
  • Spices-turmeric  is popular
  • Protein powder
  • Ginger-only a tiny amount
  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Seeds-chia, flax, hemp
  • Cocoa/cacao powder
  • Applesauce-look for unsweetened
  • Coconut oil
  • Frozen fruit-A small handful of frozen fruit is the perfect way to finish a smoothie, in my humble opinion

 

My smoothie recipes

Here are some of my recipes for ideas.

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1 small carrot

1 banana

2 tsp pumpkin puree

Half an apple

Handful of frozen blackberries

Sprinkle of cinnamon

 

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Cucumber (about 6 thin slices)

Broccoli stems (cut very fine)

1 banana

Frozen berries-raspberries, blueberries and blackberries (a handful or 2)

 

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Handful of spinach

Slices of cucumber

Handful of frozen pineapple

Passion fruit

1 tsp of apple sauce

1 very tiny piece of ginger

 

Tips

  • Avoid using a variety of different sugars-syrups, honey, juice, dried fruit. Be careful not to include too much sugar (even the healthier versions).
  • If you ever make a smoothie and it needs that extra kick, squeeze in some lime or lemon and do a quick blitz
  • Blenders specifically for smoothies tend to work much better than a standard blender. The Nutribullet to me is a worthwhile investment, but be sure this is something you will use often.
  • The finer you chop your fruit and veg, the easier it will be to blend
  • When you cut open your fruit and veg, it will start to oxidize and you can lose nutrients. Cover in cling film, squeeze some lemon, or even just closing the lid every time you add something to your blender can help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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