Here is a solution - smoothies, packed full of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and it adds a great score to the hydration count. With true goodness all in a glass, what better way to meet your daily nutritional needs? Check out the smoothie recipe at the end!
Smoothies are a rave everywhere, from Instagram feeds to restaurant menus.
Here are a few tips if you're new to the smoothie scene and how to make your own:
- Blend the mix as briefly as possible - this prevents oxidation which contributes to decreasing the nutrient content. Blending shouldn’t take any longer than 2 minutes even with an underpowered blender - it takes me about 30 seconds to blend. Start at the lowest speed until a chunky puree forms and then finish off on high for a few remaining seconds for a smoother texture.
- Prepping saves you time - you can wash and cut the ingredients and store in containers so it’s all ready to be dumped into the blender.
- Buy and freeze fruits in season to keep - peel and deseed fruits as you normally would, then store in an airtight container to freeze - they'll keep for months. I usually buy bags of spotted bananas for freezing, not only are they cheaper with age, you'll get the best nutrients out of them.
- Avoid canned fruits at all costs - these are predominately sugar-laden.
- Give veggies a go - vegetables may be difficult for you to associate smoothies with. Try them out, they're great additions. Spinach, celery, kale, broccoli are great for starters.
- Green smoothies are great for kids too- get them involved in the process by taking them out to the grocer and letting them choose fruits and veggies for coloured themed drinks.
- Most recipes will call for milk or tea infusions; this can be swapped around or substituted with water. If you’re opting to go dairy-free, you can always use almond milk, rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, oat milk, coconut water; whatever you fancy really.
- Some like it thick, some like it thin - to thicken you can add a little yoghurt, banana, protein powder,chia seeds, or oats to the blend. If your smoothie is too thick for your liking, you can thin it with a little water, milk, or tea.
- Say you made too much? Make popsicles; it’s great for snacking. BPA-free popsicle moulds are easy enough to get from places such as Ikea.
- Endless options for add-ons - generally, protein powder, spirulina,moringa, wheat grass, maca, acai, bee pollen, nuts and seeds such as Linseed Sunflower Almond (LSA) are great for fibre and extra nutrients. Spices such as cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cacao powder have anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic properties amongst others and add great flavour. Honey and dates are good sweeteners. When purchasing, look for ingredients in its purest form - I’ve seen some dehydrated berries and protein powders with added thickeners, colours, and sugar added. Eeeew!
- Leave washing the blender until later in the day (if you're in a rush, that is) - fill it with water and let it soak in the sink, you’ll find cleaning a whole lot easier too.
Broccoli is a good source of beta carotene, vitamin C, folate, fibre, and it’s also great source of calcium for those who do not consume dairy products. The cruciferous vegetable contains a wide range of phytochemicals which protects against many chronic diseases, as well as cancer.
Tips when selecting broccoli:Choose florets that are compact and not bruised. The head should have a uniform colour without the presence of any yellow flowers starting to blossom. The stalk and stems should be firm and ensure the leaves are not starting to wilt.
Best way to keep broccoli:Have it placed in a veggie bag and stored in the refrigerator; it should keep up to a week. Alternatively, you can also freeze broccoli by cutting it into smaller pieces as you would for a stir fry. Wash and blanch with hot water for about 3 minutes. Plunge into cold water to cool. Then drain well, pack, and freeze. Broccoli can be kept frozen for up to 9 months.
Ingredients (serves 2):
- 1 apple, skinned, seeds removed and cut into pieces
- 1 pear, skinned, seeds removed and cut into pieces
- 5 broccoli florets (about 100g)
- 1 1/4 cups chilled herbal tea/milk or nut milk of choice (300ml)
- 2 celery stalks cut into smaller pieces
- 2 ice cubes (optional)
Place all ingredients into a blender, start at the lowest speed until a puree forms, turn the blender on high for last remaining seconds. The blending should take about 30 seconds, try not to over do it. You may choose to share, freeze, or keep a portion as a booster for later in the day!