Top Tips, Tricks and Recipes for Smoothies!

Just about over juicing? That’s just fine. Because you can keep up your good greens with smoothies this season! Here’s how.

The Juice craze has swept through town in a tsunami of kale, broccoli and Spirulina. But although in theory juicing greens is a joyous way of boosting health, vitamins and minerals, in practice it can prove a bit beige on the palette and leave you wanting more.

And that’s where smoothies come into the equation!

Let’s look at the difference:

1) Juicing is when only the juice is extracted from the fruit or vegetable so that the pulp is not ingested. This is great for sneaking vitamin dense foods - that you may not like to approach with a knife and fork - into your system anyway.

2) The process of blending an entire whole food into a thick drink makes a smoothie, making them generally thicker and more of a ‘liquid meal’ than your garden-variety juice. Add some coconut milk, soy or almond milk and you’ve got a filling feed right there.

Both are fantastic – no denying that – but smoothies may just prove not as fussy – or messy – for your everyday.

Clare Hillier
, author of e-book, 21 Shades of Green says that this was exactly the impetus for her to blend her knowledge of food and nutrients with her need for a speedy serving of super greens.

“As a busy mum of two, I was looking for a small easy change that would have a big impact on what I was eating and my health,” she says. And it worked wonders. By introducing smoothies into her life – via a “simple, budget-friendly” blender - Clare has toned up, gained energy and set her family up for a better balanced – and easily prepared - eating plan.

“Green smoothies are such a simple and superior way to up your mineral consumption, cleanse toxins from your system, oxygenate blood and boost energy,” she says. “Minimal effort for maximum health results – and who doesn’t want that?”

Here are Clare’s Tips and Recipes for Smoothies to suit every woman, man or fussy child!

o Remain Calm: Cinnamon added to a smoothie will stop the blood sugar spikes, notes Clare.

o Add Substance: “Chia seeds are always great to aid the feeling of fullness,” says Clare. If you want to add some more Va Va Voom to your vitamin and mineral intake, add Maca Powder or Spirulina advises Clare. And for extra weight to your liquid meal, “chuck in a small handful of almonds and blend on high!”

o Super Batch:  “Contrary to some opinion, I think its really easy to pre-prepare smoothies en masse,” says Clare, who eyeballs overripe banana’s, chopping them up and freezing them before they are ready to go to God, or if there are some summer berries in season, freeze these for a rainy day during the winter months. “Then I can grab them the next morning and throw them in the blender with whatever else comes across the kitchen counter,” she says.

o Eat In The Now: Clare says that eating seasonally is the best way to maintain a budget-friendly approach to smoothies, and ensure you are eating what is grown locally.

o Stick to the 3:1 Ratio: With 3 vegetables to every 1 piece of fruit. This will ensure that fructose levels are kept low, and smoothie calories even lower.

o Chew It Real Good: The process of mastication releases saliva that is good for the gut, and can better prepare the nutrients and minerals in the smoothie for absorption upon arrival!

o Don’t Be Petrified By Price: Blenders don’t have to rival rocket ships in their engineering. There are options in all price ranges, so look at a blender as a crucial investment for your kitchen as you may a coffee maker or microwave!

o Eat Cleaner: Ensure you are eating clean vegetables and fruits. It doesn’t have to be all organic if you find that too expensive, notes Clare. “Just stick to the Dirty Dozen list. That’s a deal breaker,” she says. The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen is a list compiled by the Environmental Working Group so that – amongst other things – consumers can keep abreast of fruits and vegetables that have a higher pesticide residue and the choices they can make to avoid them.

o Kids Like Smoothies. True Story: “Just keep the greens to a lighter taste,” Clare advises, naming Cos lettuce and spinach as perfect kiddy friendly options, as opposed to things like kale and silverbeet. “Add frozen mango cheeks or banana to sweeten and serve them in cute mini glass milk bottles with a quirky straw.”

o Water Down Calories: If you want to opt for a low-calorie smoothie, use filtered water as your base instead of coconut milk, coconut water, and almond or soy milk. “And definitely steer clear of pre-packaged fruit juices as these are high in sugar content,” adds Clare.

o Make It In The Morning: Blend up a big smoothie at breakfast, and refrigerate the lion share of it, advises Clare. “As long as it is stored in the fridge with a secure lid on it, it should be fine for up to 24 hours,” she says. Alternatively, if she predicts a busy morning, Clare will make her breakfast smoothie the night prior, so it’s a grab-and go-situation in the A.M.

o Eat: Smoothies are not a meal replacement all day, every day. They can make up one meal, but you need to still cover off all your other vitamins and mineral needs – not to mention various food group nutrients – with solid meals.

o First Things First: The digestive system may not take kindly to kale at 7am, so ease it into the day – and prod your metabolism awake – with a warm water with lemon pre-smoothie.

Try these sensational smoothie recipes courtesy of 21 Shades of Green – and get your free copy here!

New Kid On The Block

1 cup of coconut water
1 cup of packed bay spinach leaves
1-cup romaine or cos lettuce
1 cucumber – cut into chunks
1 lemon – peeled
½ cup frozen mango

Place coconut water, spinach, lettuce, cucumber and lemon in a blender and blitz for 30 seconds. Add mango and continue to blend until smooth

Top Seed (with Chia)

Utilize the health benefits of Chia – which include omega-3 fats, protein, calcium, iron and fibre - and feel fuller for longer.
1-cup coconut water
1-cup romaine or cos lettuce
2 stalks silver beet – stems removed, roughly torn
½ cup parsley
1 lemon – peeled
2 teaspoons ginger – grated
½ cup pineapple
1 apple – cored cut into chunks
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
6 ice cubes

Place coconut water, lettuce, silver beet, parsley and lemon in a blender and blitz for 30 seconds. Add ginger, pineapple, apple, chia seeds and ice cubes and continue blending until smooth.

Find out more at 21 Shades of Green: A Green Smoothie Recipe Book 

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