Hello spring and hello smoothie season! The weather is starting to warm up here in Perth which means I can finally start making my favourite drinks for breakfast once again. I don’t know about you, but I just can’t bring myself to drink an ice-cold smoothie during the wintertime. Since I’ve never really been a breakfast person, I find drinking a smoothie in the morning much easier than eating a big hearty meal and they usually keep me full until lunch. Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get in part of your daily fruit and veg doses, as well as adding extra oomph with things like collagen and protein powders. Here are some of my favourite ingredients to boost your smoothies.
Frozen fruit and veg
I love a creamy smoothie and adding frozen fruit and veg is my secret to getting that super thick consistency. Frozen berries are a great way to add antioxidants to your diet and are also a much cheaper alternative to fresh ones. For extra creaminess, you can’t go past frozen bite-sized pieces of banana and zucchini. I’ve also tried roasting then freezing sweet potato and pumpkin. And with the addition of frozen fruit and veg, there’s no need to add ice, which not only can water down your smoothie but do I often forgot to have premade in the freezer.
If you follow a plant-based diet then you’ll already know the struggle of getting enough protein. These days there’s a huge variety of protein powders on the market, with everything from hemp to pea and rice. Be sure to read the ingredients and avoid things like fillers. I do, however, choose to use a whey protein, which is animal-derived and offers all nine essential amino acids needed for muscle growth. In addition to protein for energy, I also love to add in rolled oats which are rich in dietary fibre and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
Hello, healthy fats! Gone are the days where people used to fear and avoid adding fats into their diets. Obviously, there are good and bad fats, but for today we’re talking about healthy fats such as monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as omega 3’s. Some easy ways to add in healthy fats into your smoothies is with ingredients such as hemp seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, nut butter and activated nuts (raw nuts soaked in water) like almonds, cashews and macadamias.
Ok, so I’m not the biggest fan of using the word superfood, but I needed a word to group all these ingredients together. I’m referring to powdered ingredients like maca, cacao, spirulina, acai, matcha and collagen – the list goes on. I bang on about collagen 24/7, but it really is the magical unicorn of ingredients, especially when it comes to smoothies. My favourite is the Nutra Organics Collagen Beauty which is formulated to support healthy hair and nails and increase skin hydration and elasticity. I chop and change which superfood powder I’m using based on what I feel I need dietary wise at the time and what flavour I’m craving. Pineapple, raspberries, maca powder and shredded coconut is totally a vibe!
Herbs and spices
Look, if something isn’t tasty then I’m probably not going to want to eat it. One way to add some serious flavour to your smoothies is with fresh herbs and spices. My most used herbs and spices are fresh mint, especially when making a green smoothie or with cacao powder for a healthy choc mint smoothie, and my personal favourite, a spicy blend of cinnamon, cardamom and ginger with a splash of vanilla essence, which tastes just like Christmas.