Smoothies – 30 Days of Wellness

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 banana
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!

Nutrient Lineup
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?

Vanilla & Blueberry Parfait

Blueberries and yoghurt are my favourite thing to eat for a snack right now.  The other day, I felt inspired to ‘pimp’ it up a little and I came up with this simple but delicious idea.  Mix in 1 tablespoon of vanilla flavoured protein powder with vanilla yoghurt and then layer it with berries. Simple but delicious and also quite filling. Here’s what I used.

4 tablespoons Greek  yoghurt
1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder
1 tablespoon slithered almonds
3 teaspoons of seeds (I used chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds)

All you do is mix the protein and yoghurt together and layer with the rest of the ingredients. You’ll have a high protein snack that’s bursting with antioxidants.

There are lots of other varieties you could make too – here’s a few other ideas:

  • Mango, lime juice and pineapple
  • Blackberry, coconut and almond
  • Strawberry and  chopped macadamia nuts
  • lemon juice + zest, chia seeds and macadamia nuts


Quinoa with caramalised winter vegetables

Quinoa makes the perfect lunch dish – high in protein, low GI and a good source of a variety of vitamins and minerals.  I made this salad in the weekend for a yummy protein packed lunch that incorporates caramalised winter vegetables – onion, pumpkin and kale.  Yum


1 cup quinoa
2 cups salt reduced chicken stock
1 cup pumpkin cut into small cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 cups of kale, chopped
50g almond thin cut almond slices

Rinse quinoa under running water.  Place in a bowl with the chicken stock and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the liquid is all absorbed.

While the quinoa is cooking, place the pumpkin in a pot of boiling water and boil for 5 minutes.  Drain and pat dry.  Heat oil in a fry pan and add the pumpkin and onions.  Stir well, add brown sugar and balsamic vinegar and heat until the vegetables are soft and caramel brown.  Push aside and cook the finely chopped garlic.  Add the chopped kale and stir until wilted. Mix through the cooked quinoa and add sliced almonds. Serves 4-6 people.



Recipe: Apple, Blueberry and Cinnamon Bircher Muesli

Oats make the perfect breakfast. They’re low GI so they’ll give you a slow, steady release of energy and help keep you feeling full. They’re also high in soluble fibre which can help reduce cholesterol levels, improve blood sugar control and also helps keep you “regular”. Here’s a yummy recipe for apple and cinnamon bircher muesli – a perfect way to get oats and a good serving of antioxidant rich fruits into your day.

For 1 large serving:
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup apple juice
1 apple, grated
1/4 cup blueberries (I use frozen and defrost as they’re a bit expensive now the season is pretty much over)
4 tablespoons natural yoghurt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + a sprinkle for the top
1 teaspoon maple syrup (optional)

Soak the oats in the apple juice over night. In the morning, drain out any extra juice. Mix in the apple, blueberries, yoghurt and cinnamon. Sprinkle with a little extra cinnamon, some slices of apple and drizzle with a small amount of maple syrup. Yum!

Products we love: Kenny’s Kumara Chips

Sometimes rice crackers just don’t cut it when you want a savory, crunchy snack.  That’s where Kenny’s Kumara Chips step in.  While they are higher in fat than rice crackers, they have around half the fat of your average potato chip.  Plus they also provide some nutrients. Kumara Chips from Kenny’s are rich in beta carotene, high in dietary fibre, and a high source of Vitamin C, iron, calcium and fibre.   So while they still fit in the “treat food” category (they contain a fairly high % saturated fat), they make a good alternative to potato chips when you feel like a treat.  And they taste pretty good too.

They are available in two flavours – natural and salt and pepper and retail for $3.99 a bag.

Banana and Blackberry Frozen Yoghurt

One of my favourite, quick to make desserts is frozen yoghurt. Packed with antioxidants, you can feel free to enjoy this guilt free.


  • One banana, sliced and frozen (I keep frozen bananas in my fridge)
  • 2/3 cup frozen blackberries
  • 4 large spoonfuls of Greek honey flavoured yoghurt (I used Dewinkel Greek yoghurt with honey)

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth.  Pour into a bowl and place in the freezer for around 3 hours, or until set.  Stir once or twice if desired during the freezing process.  Serves 2-3.

Brown Rice Salad with Currants, Cashews and Capsicum

This is my new favourite way to eat brown rice.  I ordered this a local cafe and loved it so when I got home, I googled the ingredients and found a similar recipe that I’ve slightly adapted below.  A nice side dish to grilled chicken breast, with steamed vegetables, or a perfect meal alone.

(Recipe adapted from Serendipity Corner, photo from same)


1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
6 spring onions, finely diced
2 red capsicum, diced (I used chargrilled capsicum from a jar as they are out of season and expensive right now!)
2 tablespoons each of pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons reduced salt soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil

Place the rice in a pot with the water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer.  Stir occasionally. Cook for around 30 minutes, until the water is totally absorbed and the rice is cooked.

While the rice is cooking, place pumpkin and sunflower seeds in a lightly oiled pan over medium heat and stir constantly until slightly toasted.  Set aside.

Mix the lemon juice, soy sauce, oil and garlic in a shaker and shake until well mixed.

When the rice is cooked, put into a bowl leave to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Add the spring onion,capsicum, seeds, currants, cashews and parsley and mix.  Pour over the dressing, adding to taste.  You may not need to use it all.

For more delicious, healthy salad ideas check out more recipes here.