I always find the start of a new year to be full of gimmicky health messages and short-lived resolutions, although I can’t help but appreciate the sentiment to treat our bodies a little better and hopefully bring in some goals and good habits that will last beyond February. I have been drinking green smoothies and juices for a couple of years now, but it was only about six months ago that I invested in a high-powered blender and started making them at home almost every day. I really love starting my day with a big hit of fruits and vegetables.
If you’re ready to start making smoothies at home, here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Your Green smoothie doesn’t have to be ‘green’
I add a massive handful of spinach to my smoothies no matter what. Depending on the other fruits and vegetables you use, the colour can vary from green to purple to… a somewhat questionable brown. But I think the foundation of healthy greens is the most important building block.
2. Use the whole fruit where possible.
One reason I like smoothies is because you can get an extra dose of nutrients from the parts of the fruit that you wouldn’t normally eat. I add kiwi fruits and mangoes with the skin on because there’s a crazy amount of fibre and more antioxidants than the fruit itself! Of course you should always give your fruit a wash before you add it to the smoothie and you may want to keep the blender on a few extra seconds to really make sure it has properly broken down.
And make it pretty. If you still need some convincing about drinking your greens, try out a few of your favourite fruits and vegetables with some mild tasting spinach leaves before you upgrade to kale! Also experiment with nutritious add ins like chia seeds and nuts, and different liquid bases like coconut water, almond or coconut milk. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a pretty glass, festive straw and tasty garnish. Add a wedge of pineapple and pretend you’re on holidays!
I’ve tried a lot of different smoothies over the last few months, and this is one that I keep coming back to. But it’s also quite flexible, depending on what you have in the fridge. Sometimes I use peaches or payaya instead of mango, or add a banana. If I’m starting to feel under the weather, I’ll throw in a little fresh ginger or turmeric. I love the tropical fruit flavours and the creaminess from the coconut and almond milk, which also helps it to feel a little more filling and substantial. There are no rules! Give it a try and adapt it as you go.
- 1 cup spinach, packed
- 1 cheek mango
- 1 kiwi fruit
- 1 small cucumber (or 1/2 large one)
- 1 large slice pineapple, skin cut off
- Almond and coconut milk
- Optional: Small piece ginger
Cut mango, kiwi fruit and cucumber into 2cm pieces leaving the skin on. Cut pineapple to the same size. Place everything into a blender. The amount of almond and coconut milk you use will depend on how thick you want your smoothie to be – you can always add a little more if you need to. Blend until well combined and serve immediately.