A smoothie a day to keep the doctor away
From breakfast to supper, a homemade smoothie can boost energy levels, keep you feeling fuller for longer and make it easy to digest all the natural vitamins, minerals and antioxidants you need. Preferable to fruit juices (they’re a better source of fibre), they even appeal to kids, who will happily drink up all kinds of fruit and veg whizzed up with yoghurt and honey!
For each combination, simply peel or prepare the ingredients then blend together for a smooth, thick drink. If you can’t find some of the more exotic ingredients, don’t be put off, just give the recipes a go with what you have that tastes good!
1. Green smoothie
Leafy, fresh greens are incredibly healthy and packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. This green smoothie will help you to detoxify, alkalise and gain energy. It will also boost your immune system.
•Combine Apple, cucumber, spinach, lemon, lemon peel, ginger, celery, pear, avocado, banana, apple juice and parsley.
•Tip Use green tea or freshly juiced beetroot as a base ingredient. Green tea helps to boost the metabolism, while beetroot helps to purge bile and detoxify the liver.
2. Cleansing smoothie
This smoothie can be enjoyed on a warm spring morning to rehydrate the body and flush out toxins.
•Combine Watermelon or sweet melon, cucumber, grated ginger, mint, lemon rind and honey. As an optional extra you can add plain yoghurt for a creamier texture.
•Tip Melon is a very good diuretic. It also cleanses the lymphatic system, liver and kidneys. The cucumber contains a high amount of potassium, which helps the body to rehydrate.
3. Tropical smoothie
The tropical flavours in this smoothie make it particularly refreshing. It’s a good one to have after a workout because coconut water is rich in electrolytes and can help to replace lost fluids and minerals after exercising.
•Combine Coconut water, mango, banana, pineapple, granadilla (a member of the passion fruit family) and yoghurt. As an optional extra, add fresh turmeric or half a teaspoon of turmeric powder or ginger. These spices have anti-inflammatory properties and work well in mango and yoghurt-based smoothies.
•Tip Mango is a good source of beta-carotene, while the fibre in bananas will help the good bacteria in your gut to flourish. Bananas are also a source of tryptophan, which aids relaxation and sleep. Pineapple adds a lovely sweet flavour and assists digestion.
4. Two delicious chocolate smoothies
Cocoa powder contains powerful antioxidants, as well as compounds that help control your appetite. It also oxygenates the body to create a sense of energy and alertness, and naturally boosts the feel good hormones in the brain.
•Combine For chocolate smoothie 1 – cocoa powder, banana, peanut butter, cinnamon, vanilla, honey, milk or a milk alternative. For chocolate smoothie 2 – cocoa powder, almond milk, dates, avocado, frozen banana, spring water and a vanilla pod.
•Tip Use cocoa in its natural, unsweetened form. Sprinkle either of the above smoothies with cocoa nibs for extra chocolate flavour. Use raw honey or dates to add sweetness.
5. Summer fruit smoothie
Cherries add colour, fibre and important minerals to this delicious fruit smoothie. Berries are in a nutritional league of their own: they’re very low in sugar and absolutely loaded with powerful, health-boosting antioxidants.
•Combine Cherries, mixed frozen berries, orange peel, orange, honey, yoghurt and banana. You could also try adding star anise, ginger, cinnamon powder or angelica.
•Tip Cherries, with their high fibre content, stimulate and cleanse the digestive system. These delicious fruits are also a natural source of melatonin, which helps to establish a healthy sleep cycle. Choose the darker cherries for their valuable mineral content (iron, magnesium and silicon).
6. Cashew nut smoothie
This smoothie can be enjoyed as a drink, but it also makes a delicious topping for fruit salad or sliced papaya.
•Combine Cashew nuts, fresh orange juice, fresh grapefruit juice, honey, cinnamon and banana.
•Tip The grapefruit in this smoothie helps to break down old toxins and this aids the elimination of cellulite, while the cinnamon helps to stabilise blood-sugar levels.
7. Papaya and melon smoothie
If you frequently suffer from sluggish digestion, this fruity smoothie is for you. Papaya helps to cleanse the digestive tract and, thanks to the papain in the fruit, assists in the breakdown of food, particularly protein.
•Combine Papaya, melon, sesame seeds or tahini paste, yoghurt or a milk alternative, honey and cinnamon.
•Tip Add a few papaya seeds to your smoothie as they’re great for digestion. The calcium rich tahini paste or sesame seeds add healthy fats.
8. Immune-boosting smoothie
Feeling a tad under the weather? Boost your immunity with this vitamin C-rich smoothie.
•Combine Lemon juice, lemon, orange, honey, yoghurt, spinach, banana, guava and ginger.
•Tip Lemons, guavas and oranges are all fantastic sources of immune-boosting vitamin C. The ginger in this smoothie is great for circulation and acts as an antiseptic, while the yoghurt is rich in probiotics (these healthy bacteria play a key immune boosting role).
5 top tips to serve the perfect smoothie
1. Choose your ingredients based on what’s in season. Seasonal produce contains all the nutrients you need for the specific time of year.
2. Go for pure, whole ingredients, e.g. fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
3. Avoid using sweetened fruit juice, flavoured yoghurt and ice cream as your base. Instead opt for 100% or freshly squeezed juice, medicinal teas, elixirs, aloe vera, pure spring water, coconut water, a milk alternative, or plain, unsweetened yoghurt.
4. Sweeten your smoothies naturally with fruit. If necessary, you can add some honey, xylitol, stevia, fruit juice or dates, but ideally, get used to enjoying smoothies that aren’t so sweet.
5. If you need extra sustenance add a complex carbohydrate (e.g. cooked quinoa or oats), a protein (e.g. egg, almond powder, chia, spirulina or a good-quality protein powder such as brown rice protein, pea or whey isolate) and/or a fat (e.g. avocado, coconut oil, flaxseeds, coconut milk, peanut butter, tahini, almond butter or nuts). Brilliant when you want to whizz up a smoothie that will keep you going until lunchtime.
Get off to a smoothie start each morning
Quick to make and loved by all ages, smoothies are perfect as part of our 5 best family breakfasts.