Smoothies are a great way to get some extra vegetables and fruit into your day. I’ve shared a few of my favourites on the blog (see here and here) before, but at the moment, I’m into adding lots of greens, or most recently beetroot to get my fix of antioxidants.
I prefer smoothies to juices because juicing removes a lot fibre from the fruit/vegetables. Fibre is great for helping keep you feeling fuller for longer, digestive health and also stabilising blood sugars.
As a part of the 30 Days of Wellness, try adding smoothies to your diet – they are a good breakfast, light lunch or recovery drink after a hard workout. It’s an easy way to get a good boost of health giving ingredients.
I prefer smoothies as a light lunch or workout recovery drink over breakfast – but that’s just me! I like to chew and savour something when I first get up in the morning – my current favourite is a quinoa granola that I made over Easter. Yum!
This weekend I decided to give beetroot a go in my smoothie for lunch. Beetroot is an amazing vegetable. It’s gorgeous red colour comes from an unique group of red pigments called the betalains. Betalains are responsible for the vegetable’s high antioxidant potency, thought to be useful in preventing chronic disease.
If you had a good blender, you could use beetroot raw in smoothies- but I cooked mine a little first as I’ve just got a little stick blender. Cook with it’s skin on so it doesn’t loose it’s colour – it’s easy to take the skin off later.
When combined with banana, blackberries and lemon the beetroot flavour is subtle and it’s quite a tasty combination. Here’s how:
Beetroot, Blackberry and Banana Smoothie
1 whole beetroot
1/2 cup frozen blackberries
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup coconut water
1/4 cup berry yoghurt
Cook beetroot for around 5 minutes in boiling water. Peel and chop into small chunks. Place in a blender with remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
Beetroot – rich in betalains, a potent antioxidant. They also provide potassium and B group vitamins – particularly folate. It also contributes a small amount of iron and Vitamin C. Beetroot can also help to lower blood pressure and improve sports performance when taken in the right doses. Beetroot contains nitrate. This converts into nitrite in the body and then into nitric oxide, which has a two fold effect: it widens blood vessels to increasing blood flow; and it reduces the oxygen needed by muscles, so they work more efficiently.
Banana – an excellent source of potassium, vitamin B6 and fibre
Blackberries -a good source of vitamin C, folate and Vitamin K
Lemon – a valuable source vitamin C
Coconut water – made from young coconut, coconut water is high in potassium and is great for hydration
Berry yoghurt – I used the Dairy Collective yoghurt as it’s preservative free and contains probiotics. A good source of calcium and protein.
If you want to know how to create your own perfectly balanced smoothie blend, check out this article for some top tips.
What are your favourite smoothie combinations?