I love creating smoothies, and I love drinking them (most of them – and if it’s not gone so well a few spoonfuls of cacao will usually improve the situation). The best thing I like about them is the huge variety of ingredients and amount of nutrition you can pack into something that tastes great and is enjoyable to drink.
A great blender is essential if you want a silky smooth texture – which makes all the difference for me. I use my Vitamix every day, and it has really enhanced my diet – it’s a big investment, but one I’m so glad I made.
Essential Smoothie Base
I always use banana as my base, (a properly ripe banana – which is both sweeter and easier to digest than unripe) or sometimes coconut if I run out of bananas, and I keep some of both chopped up in the freezer as a fall-back if I run out of fresh.
Essential yummy fats
I prefer my smoothies really rich and creamy, they are both nutritionally and calorie dense. I don’t count calories, and I have been loosing weight since eating mostly raw, so I really belive that calorie counting is counter-intuitive as it encourages people to avoid healthy fats which are essential to get that wonderful satisfying sensation of having a truly nourishing food experience. When I eat foods devoid of fats I find I am inclined to snack more as I have not truly satisfied my hunger.
I use coconut oil every day in my breakfast smoothie, it tastes wonderful and really gives a very silky, satisfying feel to the drink. I have tried Udo’s oil in the past, but coconut is a firm favourite. Choose raw, organic for the best flavour, and health benefits.
Thicken it up (but not too much!)
For fiber and to thicken the smoothie up a little (and for more omega 3) I add a spoonful of Chia – be aware thought that too much turns it from a creamy, dreamy drink into a gloopy pudding! Before I discovered Chia I would add ground flax but that gives a distinctly fibrous texture which I didn’t really like.
Just Add Milk
I use hemp milk for the fluid, it is rich in omega 3 and gluten-free, but does have quite a distinctive taste which took some getting used to – one day I will get round to making my own – I’m sure it’s quite straightforward, but for now I buy it. I avoid processed soya as much as possible, the health risks are well documented. Oat milk I have found to have the most neutral flavour, but contains gluten so I use it only occasionally. Dehydration is another reason I snack – it took me years to figure this one out! So a liquid breakfast sets me up for the day.
The Fun Bit
To the hemp milk, coconut oil, chia and banana I will add whatever I feel like, usually a nut or seed butter (hazelnut, almond, pumpkin, tahini), some dried soaked fruit (figs, apricots, goji berries), and a superfood powder (cacao, carob, maca, barley grass or a blend such as Superlife, or my current favourite – Supergreens). I might finish of with a sprinkle of spice (turmeric, cayenne pepper, black pepper, vanilla bean, nutmeg or cinnamon). If I find a combo which works really well I might stick to if for weeks – or until I run out of some of the ingredients.
So here is my best – yet smoothie, absolutely jam-packed with good stuff and one that I can’t get enough of…
All measures are approximate – adjust to your taste.
All ingredients are raw and organic where possible.
I ripe banana
Heaped dessert spoon of coconut oil
Heaped dessert spoon of Chia
400ml of hemp milk
Heaped dessert spoon of Almond butter
Handful of soaked apricots and goji berries
Heaped teaspoon of Supergreens powder
Ground vanilla to taste
Blend and sip – and if you don’t like the flavour there is always my favourite fallback – cacao powder!