Blitz & Go: The Busy Women’s Smoothie Guide

There is often some controversy around smoothies and whether they are healthy or a useful weight loss aid. My main thought is that we shouldn’t get them confused with juicing. Juicing is a different process, which has been slammed for creating drinks with ‘a lesser nutrient value’, a kind of ‘all the sugar, none of the goodness’ argument which might or might not be strictly true. But, that isn’t the focus of this post anyway. I want to focus on smoothies and offer some recipes, ideas and tips when making your own.

Smoothies can be a fantastic way of fuelling your body for your daily activities and aid recovery from gruelling workouts. They can also provide all the nutrients you need to maintain good health in a quick, convenient and tasty hit. You can whizz up all your favourite foods and consume as a delicious quickie breakfast or throw them in your bag ready for when the hunger pangs hit later in the day. They’re a popular choice for the warmer weather as appetite becomes naturally suppressed and we develop a hankering for fresh, light, cold foods. So, when consuming a big meal in the heat of summer seems impossible, opt for a chilled smoothie instead – it’s a perfect choice to stay energised, pack in those nutrients and maintain good health.

Shop-bought smoothies can sometimes have an unfavourable macronutrient balance e.g. lots of sugar but minimal protein or healthy fats, so I would recommend you make your own. Plus, it means you can personalise them and add all the things you enjoy. I wanted to share some of my favourite smoothie recipes and also look more closely at the health benefits of some of the ingredients included.

1) Energiser Smoothie - it’s like the most convenient breakfast ever!
150ml oat milk
240ml cooled black coffee
2 tbsps porridge oats
1 tbsp flaxseed
1 tsp honey

2) Re-fuel Smoothie - great for after exercise recovery!
200ml whole milk
2 tbsps Greek or natural yoghurt
Half a scoop (10g) whey protein (flavour of choice)
1 banana (fresh or frozen)
150g frozen berries
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp natural honey

3) Dark Chocolate Avocado - an indulgent evening treat!
300ml hazelnut or cashew milk
1 small frozen banana
3 tbsp cocoa powder (unsweetened)
Half a scoop (10g) chocolate whey
2 tsp coconut oil
Half an avocado
1 tsp vanilla extract

4) Almond Butter Nutter - a personal favourite!
150ml almond milk
1 large banana
3 tbsps cocoa powder
2 tbsps Greek or natural yoghurt
1 tbsp natural honey or agave syrup
1 tbsp almond butter

5) Strawberry Cheesecake - for when those sweet cravings hit!
300ml semi-skimmed milk
150g strawberries
80g quark or cottage cheese
2 tbsps porridge oats
Half a tsp of vanilla extract
For a more indulgent smoothie, you can even crumble up half a biscuit to decorate the top!

6) Immune System Booster - boost your nutrient intake with this one!
250ml coconut milk
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 tsp maca powder
1 small ripe banana
50g blueberries
1 large stoned date
Handful of kale or spinach

7) Low-fat Tropical Tang - fancy a low-fat shake with maximum flavour? This is the one for you!
150ml coconut milk
2 tbsps low-fat Greek or natural yoghurt
50g mango or mango puree
50g pineapple
1 passion fruit or kiwi
1 tbsp honey (or less to sweeten)
Half a tsp vanilla extract
Coconut water until desired consistency.

Good to Know:
  • You can ice and reduce/increase liquid as desired - make them to your preferred consistency.
  • You can substitute some of the foods mentioned above of course - if you’re vegan, look at always using a nut, soy, oat or rice milk, a soy, hemp, pea or rice protein powder, a dairy-free yoghurt and agave syrup instead of honey.
  • Whey protein doesn’t have to be included but can be a great addition to sweeten, and boost your protein intake which may also increase satiety.
  • Milks can be used interchangeably depending on your preferences and/or potential intolerances. Similarly, oats can be gluten free or quinoa flakes used instead.
  • Always add whole fruits where possible to allow for maximum fibre and nutrients.
  • Alter the sweetness to your own taste - it could mean more or less honey/agave or none at all!
  • Never be afraid to add more greens - spinach, spirulina and kale are all good options so get that goodness in.
  • Be aware of (but don’t over-think) food pairings - i.e. the best combination of foods to get maximum nutrient value, for example, vitamins A, D, E & K require fats for better absorption and vitamin D aids calcium absorption. This type of knowledge could help you make even better choices.
So, if these recipes have tickled your taste buds and you feel the need for something new, I’d recommend you try these recipes. Simply keep the extra pointers in mind to create the best and most enjoyable ones for you. Smoothies are easy to make, convenient to take, delicious and healthy so make a fantastic addition to your daily diet.

Enjoy!
Serene

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