Kick off your mornings with these vitamin-boosting smoothies
While the sight of a bright green smoothie can set your stomach churning, many of them do, in fact, taste very nice. The trick is to find flavours you like. Some people love the fresh taste of celery or cucumber, others may prefer to hide their greens among the overpowering flavours of pineapple or mango. Whatever works for you.
Smoothies and juices are a good way to get some additional fruit and veg into your diet, and after trying a few different recipes, you can easily make your own. Experiment with fruits and vegetables, push yourself and test your bravery. Avocado in a smoothie may sound strange, but it’s actually delicious.
It’s important to acknowledge that shop-bought smoothies often contain a lot of sugar, and can be quite expensive. Making your own at home can help to reduce sugar intake and are much more cost effective, especially if preparing in bulk. They are refreshing, quick to make and can be just what you need to kick-start your energy levels.
Orange & Carrot Smoothie
- 1 orange
- 1 large carrot
- 2 small sticks of celery
- 50g mango
- 200ml water
- Handful of ice
Peel the fruit. Roughly chop the orange, carrot and celery. Slice the mango. In a blender, add the fruit, veg and ice. Top up with water and blend until smooth.
Nutritional therapist Beanie Robinson says, "This smoothie packs a ‘vitamin-C punch’ that will give your immune system a much-needed boost. The stand-out star is the beta-carotene, obtained from the bright orange of the mango, carrot, and orange.
Beta-carotene is the precursor to vitamin A production, which is essential for skin, eye, and reproductive health. Adding celery will prevent it being too sweet, while boosting the fibre content."
Berry Breakfast Smoothie
- 225g frozen berries
- 225g Greek yoghurt (or dairy-free alternative)
- 50ml milk of choice
- 2 tbsp porridge oats
- 1 tsp honey or agave syrup
Blend the berries, yoghurt and milk until smooth. Add the oats and pour into glasses. Taste. For extra sweetness, add a drizzle of honey or agave syrup. Enjoy.
"Berries provide a high dose of numerous antioxidants, oats add a good source of soluble fibre, promoting bowel health and balanced blood sugar levels." Beanie says.
"Adding honey is a lovely sweetening agent – if possible, treat yourself to a raw and unprocessed brand that will contain both antimicrobial and antifungal properties."
Zesty Green Smoothie
- Half an avocado, sliced
- Juice of half a lime
- Large handful of frozen pineapple
- 2 handfuls of kale
- Fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp cashew nuts
Optional: 1 small banana
Add all the ingredients into a blender. Add a handful of ice and blend. Add a splash of water and blend until smooth. Serve.
"Avocados are not only a great source of healthy fats, but also provide more potassium than bananas. Potassium supports healthy blood sugar levels, while the lime, kale, and pineapple have immune-boosting properties." explains Beanie.
"It also features an enzyme called bromelain, present in pineapple, that improves digestion. There’s a great balance of fruit to veg, while cashew nuts add a protein hit for a very satiating smoothie."