By Christina Wilton, Dragonfly Thrive
Smoothies are very simple - start with 3 key components: greens, fruit and liquids. But this will leave you with a delicious smoothie that is a little high on natural sugars. Whenever you can, lower the blood sugar kick by adding protein and fat to your smoothie. All it takes is a couple tablespoons of nut butter, seeds or a protein powder.
If you are already taking the time for a fresh nutritious gift to your health, why not add a super boost of anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatories or adaptogens. It can all be simplified as follows:
Greens (1 cup) + Fruit (1.5 cup) + Liquid (1 cup)
Take it up a notch by adding
2-3 Tbsp Protein/Fat + Super boosters
Remember to “chew” your smoothie. Smoothies are naturally high in carbohydrates and 50% of carbohydrate digestion happens in your mouth.
The salivary enzymes needed to do that job won’t be activated unless you chew your food. This mastication process is also a signal for your pancreas further along the digestive tract to get ready for the incoming carbs. Some people experience some tummy aches or bloating when drinking smoothies and the simple act of chewing and consuming your smoothie a little more slowly will usually avoid that.
With these suggestions below, you can mix and match to taste and have a new smoothie creation everyday.
My personal favourite is this great beginner smoothie. The spinach is a mild flavoured green and ripe bananas with strawberries are always a great flavour pairing which add sweetness that even children will get excited about.
Strawberry Banana Bliss (serves 2)
2c spinach, packed
1c+ strawberries, frozen*
2 banana, ripe
2c milk, almond or other
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
2 Tbsp almond butter
½ tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
>> With a high quality blender, just add in the ingredients in the order listed and blend for about one minute. With a smaller blender, blend the greens and liquid first, then add the remaining ingredients and blend again.
>> If it seems a little thick, just add milk a couple tablespoons at a time until you get the consistency you enjoy.
>> Transfer to a couple big mugs and enjoy
* Frozen berries are picked at perfect ripeness so usually offer more consistent sweetness. They also save time on preparation and cool down your smoothie if you like that chilled effect.
Have fun with it. I love pouring in my left over coffee, a bit of almond milk and a big scoop of cacao for a mocha flavoured effect – if it seems a bit bitter, a drizzle of maple syrup offers a sweet form of anti-oxidants as well.
Most of us struggle to get our daily doses of fruits and dark leafy greens. There is no dispute that smoothies are a tasty way to get our fresh raw nutrition each day.