My wife was speaking to a fellow instructor the other day and had asked if I could do a piece on homemade smoothies, and what foods are best to put in them around times we exercise.
Smoothies are an excellent way of consuming food before and after we exercise as they are very easily digested and contain massive amounts of nutrients to allow our body’s to perform at their best.
The “Smoothie” name first came about around the 60’s or 70’s and since then it has become a very popular way of consuming our fruit portions. All you need is a blender, and whatever food you wish to blend down into a nice thick juice.
There are many brands and styles of blender out there, so if you don’t have one, how do you choose?
It is such a competitive market out there that you won’t need to spend much. £20-30 will set you up with a pretty decent smoothie maker these days. You can spend a bit more If you want to treat yourself.
Personally we use the Breville Blend-Active Family Pack, it is lightweight, easy to take away, easy to wash, it feels modern (which is always a bonus) and does all we need it to do (blends stuff). There are so many out there at a similar price, a quick search on the online retailer Amazon will give you numerous options. Filter it down by selecting 4 stars or more and you will get one that highly recommended by a number of people.
Ok, the fun part. We have a blender/smoothie maker. So what should we make?
I am a massive fan of the Incredible Smoothies website and especially their “How To Make the Perfect Green Smoothie” page. Follow those steps and that is pretty much all you need, apart from recipes of course. It is almost the Holy Grail of simplicity on how to make a healthy smoothie.
Can’t wait to read all of that? My simpler format would be
Choose a liquid – water, milk, fruit juice, etc. Any drink you can buy (not alcohol!)
Choose 2 fruits or just 1 if you used fruit juice
Choose a vegetable- Yep anything, even frozen broccoli
*And If you want* (do it, I dare you)
Choose an extra such as protein powder, cocoa powder, flax seeds, goji berries, etc.
As long as the fruit content is greater than the vegetable content, the sweetness will overcome any bitterness from the vegetables. It is a great way to consume super nutritious foods such as kale, spinach and broccoli.
Here are a few recipes that would be excellent before or after exercise
My Recommendation – Due to the exercise benefits of beetroot
Beetroot and Strawberry (makes 1)
250ml Almond milk
1 small beetroot (buy the ready to eat ones that you get in packs of 3 or 4)
Large handful of berries of choice or mixed berries
1 small orange
*Optional to add protein powder if you own any*
Kiwi & Kale (makes 2)
Handful of kale
A peeled Kiwi fruit
1tbsp Peanut butter
Spinach and Strawberry (makes 2)
125ml Vanilla yoghurt
Handful of strawberries
Handful of spinach
Add honey if not sweet enough