Whenever I want to reset and recharge my mind and body, I start the day with a smoothie. It’s the perfect way to get a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals, and they are just so damn delicious. I’m smitten!
Considering that smoothies can get out of hand quite easily, I try to abide by a few basic rules to guide me and prevent my smoothie from becoming a sugar-laden drink. These include the basic ingredients I always have in my kitchen, the right amount of liquid-to-solids ratio for the perfect smoothie and smoothie bowl, the most beneficial superfoods to add in, and of course, a few delicious recipes to get you started.
The magic formula
For me, the right combination usually includes a mix of the following: Liquid + banana + leafy greens + fruit + superfood. When it’s time to incorporate all of these, these are the general quantities I stick to: 1/2 to 1 cup liquid + 1/2 banana +1 handful leafy greens + 1 to 1 1/2 cups fruit + 1/2 to / tablespoon superfood.
You can adjust the quantities to your taste and preferences, but these measurements are a pretty good place to start. If you want a thicker smoothie, add more banana. Looking for something a little more liquidy, add more liquid (duh!).
Now that you know the magic formula, let’s move on to ingredients. There are a million ways you can create a smoothie just by switching the liquid, greens and fruits. So be adventurous and don’t be afraid to try something new!
Liquids: My liquid of choice is usually unsweetened vanilla almond milk or unsweeteened almond/coconut milk, but feel free to use any milk of your choice, coconut water or even Greek yogurt if you want a thicker consistency.
Leafy greens: Spinach and kale are the usual go-to options here, but don’t be shy to experiment with other greens. Arugula, bok choy, dandelion greens, romain, swiss chard and wheatgrass are all delicious and nutrient-dense options.
Fruit: While I use frozen and fresh bananas interchangeably in my smoothies, I like to keep other fruits stashed in my freezer just for my smoothies. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, mango, pineapple, peaches, cherries, whatever you like. Money-saving tip: Buy ripe fruit in bulk when it’s really cheap and freeze them for later.
Superfoods: My favourites include raw honey, chia seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries, maca powder, superfood greens, cacao powder, acai powder and flax seed. Aside from the cacao and acai powder, you probably won’t even be able to detect the taste of these. They’re just here to give you an extra dose of superpowers.
Toppings: Here’s where you can really go wild and make your smoothie a thing of beauty. I like to top my smoothies with a selection of coconut chips, bee pollen, goji berries, cacao nibs, a spoonful of almond butter, granola and fresh fruit. Whatever makes it pretty!
Now that you know the basics, I thought I would share a few of my favourite recipes to get you started.
Vanilla Coconut Lime Smoothie
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tsp raw honey
1/2 frozen banana
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Start by adding the almond milk and the spinach in a blender and give it a whirl. I found that the best way to get the least amount of spinach bits is to blend them together before adding all the ingredients. It makes for a much smoother smoothie.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Serve immediately topped with a sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut.
Berry Banana Smoothie Bowl
(adapted from Because I’m Addicted)
1 cup baby spinach, chopped
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
1 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
1 tbsp honey
1. Start by blending the spinach, chia seeds and almond milk to get a smooth base.
2. Add the banana, berries and honey, then give it another whirl.
3. Add toppings of your choice and enjoy!
What is your favourite smoothie recipe? Share the link in the comments below!