4 Smoothies You Need To Add to Your Diet
Last year, a writer for The Telegraph announced we’d reached peak smoothie. The sentence doesn’t even fully make sense, and yet we all know exactly what she meant. Across the globe, everybody’s social media feeds and kitchen counters were dripping with smoothies.
Blender hysteria has since settled into restrained smoothie enthusiasm, and we’re becoming more responsible smoothie makers. We’ve figured out that — like with frozen yoghurt and fat-free cheese — the name alone doesn’t make it healthy. We now know that blending fruits can yield excessive sugars and that pulverizing something doesn’t make it less calorific.
The great news is we’ve also learned to harness the power of potent ingredients. Trying to increase your protein intake, detox from a junk-food binge, recover from a night of drinking or just shake an old-fashioned cold? There’s a smoothie for that.
The Put-Some-Muscle-In-Your-Smoothie Smoothie
Let’s start with a key basic premise: if your smoothie is to serve as a meal, protein is essential. Otherwise, about an hour after you finish drinking it, you’ll find yourself rooting around for a sandwich.
This article about non-powder sources of protein for your smoothie is an excellent read and features a great selection of smoothies, but if you’re short on time just jump to the Lemon Blueberry smoothie from This Silly Girl’s Kitchen:
1 cup 1% cottage cheese
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fat free milk
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
My little tip: if cottage cheese isn’t your thing, remember that a big scoop of Greek yoghurt is a protein-packed alternative.
The I-Had-Too-Much-To-Drink-Last-Night Smoothie
This hangover-cure smoothie, created by registered dietitian and nutrition consultant Jessica Cording, aims to address the effects of too much alcohol — such as dehydration, low blood sugar and a delicate tummy:
8 ounces unflavored coconut water
1/2 medium-size banana
1/4 cup rolled or instant oats
1/4 cup pumpkin purée (or sub 1/4 cup leftover cooked sweet potato or butternut squash)
1 scoop whey or other protein powder (about 3 tablespoons)
1 large handful spinach (about 2 cups)
1 cup ice
Optional add-in: 1/4 of an avocado
As Cording points out, coconut water, bananas, avocados, pumpkins and spinach provide potassium and magnesium — which are among the nutrients needed after a body-punishing night of drinking. Blood sugar will be low too, she says, so the natural sugars and carbs in bananas and oats are important. And protein is always vital to keeping you feeling steady.
The Sniffles-Fighting Smoothie
According to Dr Adam Simon, this Immune Boosting Smoothie for Colds and Flu is a great home remedy for fighting the common cold, upper respiratory tract infections and coughs:
1 whole kiwi (preferably gold)
3 tsp runny honey (three teaspoons)
1/3 of a lemon (juiced)
The kiwifruit, Simon says, is a potent source of vitamins, potassium, fiber and phytochemicals; it’s also been found to shorten and prevent colds. Honey, he adds, can improve cough symptoms even more than some medications, and Vitamin C from lemons helps to fight the common cold.
Simon recommends blending lightly, leaving “fleshy bits’ to help your body absorb the nutrients.
The I-Can’t-Handle-Another-Cheese-Platter Smoothie
The holiday season is approaching. This means all the baked and fried and wrapped and dipped foods you’ve resisted all year will be suddenly omnipresent and irresistibly presented.
So, you may to want to memorize this detox smoothie from the Nutrition Twins and sip on it regularly for the next few weeks:
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1/2 banana, frozen
2 cups chopped fresh apple, skin removed
4 ice cubes
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1 teaspoon minced ginger (optional)
Spinach and apple provide fiber (fiber staves off hunger in a relatively low-calorie way and helps to fight constipation) and phytonutrients (which help to fight inflammation). Potassium from bananas helps your fluid balance and spinach helps just about everything.
Speaking of Spinach . . .
My whole life, my mother has said that at least half your problems can be solved by eating a green vegetable every day — so I keep bags of chopped spinach or chopped kale in my freezer at all times. With nearly every smoothie I make, I throw a handful of those frozen greens into the blender instead of ice cubes. Voila! Every smoothie is frosty and green. Try it. My mother’s a smart lady.
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