Power smoothies are fast, fresh and packed with nutrients. A good smoothie can set up your energy levels for the day.
In the mornings, I'm often pulling out my blender and whipping up a healthy power smoothie for breakfast. It's a great, convenient way of getting a good intake of fresh fruit and veg as well as a good antioxidant, protein and fibre hit before I start work for the day.
I try to vary them to fill me up with plant-based fibre. Fibre speeds up the movement in the intestinal tract and is great for treating digestive disorders. It also delays glucose absorption, keeping blood sugar more stable. I often make them up as complete meal replacements and boost them with extra nutrients such as omega 3 and protein. For sweetness, add natural stevia, honey or dates.
My top smoothie boosters
1. Omega 3 Found in fish oil, linseed (flaxseed), chia or walnuts. Essential to reduce inflammation, nourish the brain, aid fat loss and protect the heart. Add one teaspoon.
2. Probiotics Good bacteria that help protect immune and digestive systems by allowing healthy nutrients to be absorbed better. Found in yoghurt or as a powder. Add one teaspoon of probiotic powder or 100 grams of natural yoghurt with live cultures.
3. Protein Milk and yoghurt, as well as nut milk and silken tofu are a great addition, as are whey or vegetable-based protein powders from pea, soy or rice.
4. Berries Low in calories and high in antioxidants. A British Journal of Nutrition study found adding strawberries to meals slowed insulin responses by delaying the absorption of sugar in the digestive tract. Insulin is an anabolic hormone that increases storage of fat, protein and glucose. Throw frozen or fresh berries into any smoothie.
Combine all the ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately and enjoy.
250g (2 cups) mixed frozen berries
1 tbsp goji berries
100g natural yoghurt with live cultures
1 tsp ground linseeds
1 small red apple chopped with the skin still on
150ml cold water
A little sweetener such as honey or stevia if required
Nutrition per serve: protein, 10.5 grams; total fat, 3.8 grams (saturated, 1.1 grams); kilojoules, 773; fibre, 9 grams; carbs, 28 grams. Gluten-free, low GI, protein-rich.
For recipes, see thehealthychef.com.