If you have any form of blender you can make a fruit smoothie, whether it is a simple stick blender or a turbo charged blender such as a Vitamix or a Nutribullet. I have set out below how to add a bit of nutritional punch into the mix.
At its most basic level a smoothie is a simple blend of fruit – fresh or frozen work equally well and a little liquid – my preference is to use water, non-dairy milks such as oat milk, nut milk, hemp milk, coconut water or coconut milk (not the one in a can - try Koko ).
Wherever possible stick to the lower sugar / glycemic index fruits: citrus, apples, pear, berries and soft fruit. Avoid overdosing on masses of high sugar (high glycemic index) ones such as all the tropical fruits (banana, mango, pineapple, papaya) and dried fruit.
Don’t forget the protein
Smoothies are a sugar hit, natural fruit sugars for sure, but nevertheless not always that great for blood sugar balance.
In my clinic I try to encourage people to balance out this fruit sugar high by including some protein rich foods into their smoothie blend. This helps your body digest them more slowly, which in turn is good for your blood sugar as well as helping to feel fuller for longer. Things that you can try include:
Natural non flavoured Greek yogurt (higher in protein than normal yoghurt but stick to 0% or 2% fat)
Nut and seed butters (get creative almond, cashew, hazelnut, etc)
Tofu (silken works well)
Protein powders (whey, rice, hemp, pea) - at the moment I am using Purition Superseed Breakfast Smoothie
Nuts and seeds: if you blender will take it and you don’t mind the bits, this adds texture and creaminess
Add some wholegrains
For a more substantial smoothie add oats to the mix. This makes it more like breakfast in a glass and will keep you going until lunchtime – a small handful will do. This gives the smoothie more texture, for a smoother option you can soak the oatmeal in some water for 20 mins or even overnight.
Add some extra goodness
There are lots of other things that you can add into the mix to layer in the nutritional goodness:
Ground flax seeds: make sure you use ground or milled not the wholeseeds unless you have a very powerful blender. This adds extra protein and fibre along with some of the good fats
Chia seeds: high in fibre and beneficial omega 3 and 6 fats. They absorb a lot of water so will make your smoothie thicker. Add a couple of spoons.
Cacoa powder and nibs : raw cacao contains flavonols which are turbo charged antioxidant. It tastes great with banana blends.
Hemp seeds: again go for the ground or milled versions. High in fibre and protein as well as a good source of both omega 3 and 6 essential fats.
Maca: nutrient rich and said to be energy enhancing. You can buy in powdered form and a tablespoon will do.
Green superfood powders: powdered green superfoods that add lots of nutritional goodness but will turn your smoothie and alarming shade of green - I love Vital Greens as it is more palatable than most
Matcha green tea: packed full of antioxidants. I am using Tea Pigs matcha green tea at the moment.