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Posts from the ‘Smoothies’ Category

A winning Gingerbread Smoothie, for any time of the year.

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As many of you would know, we ran a Christmas competition in December and received a whopping 120+ entries for festive inspired recipes. Today we are very excited to share the winning recipe with you all. Thank you Melanie Lionello (IG: @naturally_nutritious) for this delicious creation – it is indeed a winning smoothie, for any time of the year.

I now present to you, the much anticipated recipe: Gingerbread Smoothie!

Gingerbread Smoothie

Serves 1.

1 cup almond milk
1 banana
1 dessert spoon chia seeds
1 date
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp mixed spice
1/8 tsp ground ginger

Throw all the ingredients into a blender and combine. Pour into a glass and stand for 10 minutes, allowing the chia seeds to emulsify and the smoothie to thicken. Garnish with whatever your heart desires – I think walnuts would be just delish. Here we showcase chunks of Melanie’s gluten free gingerbread biscuits. The recipe for these will feature in our upcoming eBook, the next in the ‘A Nourishing Kitchen’ series, ‘Morning’, due to be released early 2014 (such a tease, I know ;).

If you’re yet to grab a copy of my whole foods eBook, ‘A Nourishing Kitchen’, you can do so right here.

Free radical fighting choc-mint and berry smoothie. A ‘tough as’ smoothie.

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This smoothie was the result of a post holiday empty fridge and a strong sense that I needed a hefty dose of free radical fighting antioxidants post a slightly over-indulgent festive season (slightly? Hardly!). Enter my antioxidant powerhouse – a minty choc-berry ‘need a spoon consistency’ smoothie, blended until smooth and creamy and ready for teaspoon dippage (my favourite way to eat a smoothie is not to be able to ‘drink’ it).

“So what are the benefits of antioxidants?” And “why is fighting free-radicals so important to our health” I hear you ask. Well, I’ll tell you.

What are Free Radicals?

Free radicals are produced as part of everyday life.  Even breathing in oxygen is enough to cause the production of free radicals! Under healthy conditions the body has the ability to neutralise these free radicals on its own, but external factors such as pollution, UV radiation, alcohol, chemicals and smoking can cause an overload of free radicals that the body is unable to cope with, leading to damage. It is this damage that is the primary cause of visible and internal aging and can also contribute to inducing illness. Examples of damage caused by free radicals include:

  • joint inflammation
  • eye (and sight) deterioration
  • accelerated aging
  • increased risk of heart disease and certain cancers
  • damaged nerve cells in the brain

The Benefits of Antioxidants.

Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemicals that neutralise the negative effect of free radicals in our bodies. Oxidation in the body produces these free radicals which in turn cause oxidative stress/damage within the body.  Antioxidants, as their name suggests, are capable of stabilising the free radicals before they cause damage.

As an example of the protective effects of antioxidants, the lycopene in tomatoes may help protect men against prostate cancer, the lutein in spinach and corn may reduce the degeneration of the eye lens, and flavenoids may help to lower the risk of heart disease.

Some of the best overall sources of antioxidants are berries, walnuts, raw cacao, sunflower seeds, pomegranates, and ginger. Just think of these as the super foods of the antioxidant world!

Free Radical Fighting Choc Mint & Berry Smoothie

Handful fresh blueberries
Handful fresh mint
2 frozen strawberries
130g coconut water
1 raw egg (optional, or choice of protein powder)
1 dessert spoon chia seeds
1 heaped teaspoon maca
1 heaped teaspoon ground flaxseed
1 heaped teaspoon raw cacao
1 heaped teaspoon goji berries
1 tablespoon organic natural yoghurt

Simply combine all the ingredients in your blender and whizz it up. Pour into your serving glass and allow to sit for twenty minutes to allow the chia seeds to soften. Voila!

What’s your favourite free radical fighting recipe?

The ‘Breakfast in Bondi’ Smoothie.

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This quick and easy recipe pays tribute to my awesome years residing in Sydney, in particular that time spent living by the beach at Bondi. How I loved that life. Jumping out of bed in the morning for a Bondi to Bronte jog and a quick dip before pulling on a (pin striped) suit and heels to jump on the 389 bus to Bondi Junction (it was the 389 wasn’t in Bondi peeps?) and heading off to my corporate job. I remember those days so clearly. I had a flat at North Bondi with a best friend. We have such happy memories of sitting on our balcony on a balmy Saturday night with a big bag of cheesy CC’s or Doritos and (cask) Yalumba chardonnay – before hitting the local clubs. Clearly a little has changed in the 15 (or so) years since.

Tropical fruits are so much affordable and resplendent in Sydney – I recall eating mangos like an apple back then.

‘Breakfast in Bondi’ Smoothie
Makes 1 generous serving.

1 cup coconut water
1 banana
1 mango cheek
1 heaped tablespoon natural or Greek yoghurt (I use five:am organic yoghurt)
1 dessertspoon ground flax seeds
1 dessertspoon chia seeds
1 heaped teaspoon maca powder
Juice ½ lime

Throw all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Leave to sit for at least 20 minutes to allow the chia seeds to soften and thicken the smoothie.

For more simple, summery smoothie inspiration, you’ll find some scrumptious ideas in my eBook, A Nourishing Kitchen.

For the love of beetroot and a beetroot smoothie recipe.

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So yes, I have a new love in my life and it doesn’t answer back, nor does it leave the toilet seat up. Nope, all it does is creates an almighty mess of my fingers and anything it touches. Say hello to the beetroot, a perhaps previously underrated resident in my fridge’s vegie crisper. We’re making up for lost time now though because this vibrant beet is getting a run for its money every week, twice a week.

Did you know the Romans used this as an aphrodisiac? True (apparently). Maybe they were onto something.

fresh beet roots

The beetroot is a power house of nutrients (and staining potential). Beetroot is high in iron, Vitamins A and C, and calcium.  It also contains folic acid, protein, manganese, potassium and fibre. It has been found to improve memory, increase energy and stamina, to lower blood pressure and to assist with the recovery of wounds. But wait – there’s more! The pigment in beetroot, betanin (giving it its purple colour), may also assist in preventing cancer. Antioxidants within this pigment help guard cells from damage by free radicals and provides a natural form of protection against many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Sold? You ought to be!

Where possible buy your beetroot raw, not canned. Canned beetroot will have no where near the same health promoting properties and will no doubt contain added sugar and preservatives, none of which your body cries out for. Don’t be afraid to buy bunches of beetroot, leaves attached. The leaves are great through the juicer and can be eaten mixed through a salad.

So here’s my latest fave smoothie recipe.

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The ‘Pretty in Pink’ Beetroot and Cos Lettuce Smoothie.
I bet you’d never thought of putting lettuce in a smoothie. I certainly hadn’t but I’m all over the idea now. It’s fairly tasteless which is perfect if you’re looking to appreciate the flavour of other ingredients. Leafy greens are seriously good for us, so where possible throw them into that blender!

4 or 5 leaves of cos lettuce (any type of lettuce will do)
1/2 a raw, small beetroot or 1/4 large, roughly chopped
1/3 lebanese cucumber
1/4 large avocado, or 1/2 small
150grams coconut water, more if you prefer a thinner consistency
1 serve flavourless protein powder (optional, I use 100% whey protein)
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 5cm piece of turmeric and ginger (fresh)
A little sprinkling of cinnamon
Optional: 1 tablespoon full fat natural or Greek Yoghurt

Throw all your ingredients into your blender and blend until really smooth. The avocado will really thicken it up. Of course it really helps if you have a high powered blender for beetroot. Go grab your bib and your spoon, and tuck in!

Choc-orange ‘jaffa’ smoothie recipe.

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Where there’s a will there’s a way (to eat chocolate for breakfast). With one lonely orange in the fruit bowl,  some previously opened coconut water and a huge place in my taste bud’s heart for cacao, this creation was a delight in the making AND consumption. It’s easily ‘veganised’, refined sugar free and full of goodness.

Choc-orange ‘jaffa’ Smoothie. 
(recipe edited 29/10/13)

In a blender, throw:
1.5 cups coconut water
1/2 an orange, peeled
1/4 avocado
2 heaped tablespoons dairy or coconut yoghurt
1 dessert spoon natural protein powder of choice (optional)
2 heaped teaspoons cacao powder
1 heaped teaspoon maca powder
1 heaped teaspoon mesquite powder

Blend until really smooth and taste. Add more cacao or coconut water if necessary. I found it plenty sweet enough as is.

A ‘cleaner eats’ banana smoothie

photo (18)I love a smoothie – that’s pretty obvious by now I would think. A ‘need a spoon consistency’ smoothie that becomes a total meal. Up until recently I threw (almost) every item of my pantry into my smoothie and wondered why I wasn’t hungry at lunch time. I dare say many of you who have made one of my smoothies may have experienced a similar lack of appetite and I’m sorry about that, sort of. I recently decided it’s due time to slow down just a little on the decadence front (which I’ll admit has taken the fun out of my smoothies) but this little creation was mighty fine in my book so I plan on having it again next week and probably the one after that.

A ‘clean eats’ (refined sugar free) banana smoothie

1/2 large frozen banana (I eat few bananas because of their sugar content, go for your life if you handle them well)
130 grams coconut water (I used Loving Earth Coconut water powder mixed with filtered water)
1 large tablespoon greek, natural full fat yoghurt
1 scoop whey protein powder (or an egg, or your protein powder of choice)
1 heaped tspn maca powder
1 heaped tspn ground flaxseed
1/2 tspn ground cinnamon
1/2 tspn vanilla powder
5-6 ice cubes

Throw all of the above into a blender and blend until well combined, thick and creamy. Pour into a glass and top with some chopped walnuts and bee pollen (or anything your heart desires).

My thoughts around raw eggs and a Tropical Delight Mango, Passionfruit & Lime (raw egg) Smoothie.

2013-03-01 12.26.48Oh how I looooove a smoothie. In fact I think that as one of a series of recipe books I intend on writing I might dedicate one to the “need a spoon consistency” smoothie. Not that this one is a “need a spoon consistency” (in fact for me it was disappointingly not so..but that is easily fixed with a few extra chia seeds!). The beauty of a smoothie for me is that it’s a terribly quick meal in a glass. You can throw all sorts of (mainly raw) goodness into a blender and create a beautiful meal in a couple of minutes. Easy as. Significantly for my body however is that the majority of my meals contain a good quality protein – be that meat, chicken, eggs and the very occasional piece of fish. I seem to function well if 2 of my meals each day contain said protein but I teeter on flakiness if only one gets a look in. Believe me there has been a lot of trial and error here. I wish that I could rely more heavily on a predominantly vegetarian diet (mainly out of my love for raw, fresh food) but alas it can not be. I should mention too that although my food philosophy rests around a whole foods, ‘as nature intended it’ diet I do incorporate a little 100% whey protein to give me a little variation. I don’t however eat protein powders with multiple ingredients – I guess I always err on the side of less ingredients is more.

So that takes me to my thoughts around raw eggs. As many of you would know by now, I love my eggs and they get a very regular weekly look in. Eggs have been a saviour for me – I love their versatility in both savoury or sweet dishes. Raw eggs mean I can have a whole meal in a smoothie and be satiated until lunch time. That being said I would probably only eat a raw egg once or possible twice a week. The majority of my eggs are poached or turned into a omelette.

I must point out that I ONLY eat organic, free range eggs – they are more nutrient dense and less contaminated than battery caged hens. Note that by simply refrigerating your eggs you can minimise the risk of salmonella or other bacteria causing infections. I have been reading a great article from Mark’s Daily Apple on this subject and do acknowledge that there is always a minor risk of salmonella poisoning – but as Mark says of eating raw eggs: “As for drawbacks, there’s the well-circulated salmonella risk, which isn’t the dire prospect it’s often made out to be. The risk has been estimated as 1 in 10,000 (CDC) or 1 in 30,000 (Risk Analysis journal). And though washing eggshells can reduce much of the risk, it doesn’t eliminate it entirely.”  The risk as far as I am concerned is most certainly a small one. Having said that I would not recommend pregnant women eat raw eggs. I have been eating raw eggs my entire life (from early childhood) and thus far am infection-free. I do feel there has been a lot of hype around salmonella (and rightly so given the outcome in some respects) however irrespective I would not touch an egg that is not from an organic farm and a free range hen. My raw egg consumption is absolutely a personal choice – it’s not for everyone I am sure.

So moving along. The addition of an egg in a smoothie certainly has it’s benefits in that you can barely taste it. So you can go nuts with all sorts of flavours without the egg taking over. The attached recipe is a case in point.

Tropical Delight Mango, Passionfruit & Lime Smoothie2013-02-25 09.03.02
1 1/4 cup milk (I used Coco Quench, any milk will do)
1 mango cheek
1 passionfruit (1/2 for smoothie itself, 1/2 for the topping)
1 egg
1 heaped dessert spoon chia seeds
1 heaped tblspn full fat yoghurt (or CoYo)
1 heaped tspn maca powder
1 heaped tspn ground flaxseed
1 good pinch vanilla powder (or essence)
Juice of half a lime
Sweetener to taste (I did not use a sweetener, Coco Quench is quite sweet itself)

Throw all of the above (bar 1/2 passionfruit) into a blender and blend until smooth. Ideally let it sit for 20 minutes or so before you drink it to allow the chia seeds to soften. Top with whatever ingredients you wish to add. Mine is topped with passionfruit, coconut flakes and a drizzle more of lime juice. Bon apetite!