When Elsa is at preschool, David and I sometimes drink our meals instead of eating them. Spinach, avocado, sprouts, pear, lime and pumpkin seeds might sound like a delicious salad to most people. But add a splash of plant milk and some ice and you have turned it into a creamy and groovy green shake. The advantage is not only that it’s quicker to prepare and easier to consume. It also comes with endless possibilities and variations. Add a banana and some extra hemp powder and it’s perfect after a workout. Don’t have almond milk at home? Not a problem, try coconut milk instead. There are no limits or rules.
Smoothies have become a way for us to keep a few of our meals lighter and simpler (which can feel very nice when you work with food all day, like Sara also pointed out). Smoothie can be our breakfast, lunch or anything in-between. And it’s always our first choice after working out. If we are on a detox, a smoothie can even be a pretty fulfilling dinner. The smoothies we mainly talk about today differ from the ones you often find on dessert menus in restaurants, as these have vegetables in them. They still have a sweetness to them, but are more nourishing. It truly is a meal in a glass.
Look for color!
Call us bananas, but we actually prefer to choose ingredients for our smoothies depending on color. It feels a bit more civilized not drinking a brown mess (unless it’s a cacao smoothie). Keeping your smoothies in color scale is not only pretty, but also one of the easiest way to keep track of their health benefits. The colors of fruit and vegetables are directly connected with what nutrients they are rich in. It’s always good to eat (and drink) plants with lots of color, as the color is an indicator that they are rich in the natural chemicals phytonutrients, that help prevent disease and keep your body working properly. So, searching for these disease fighting components is not difficult at all, simply go hunt for colors. The specific colors also indicates what minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients they are rich in. Dark green vegetables are for example rich in iron, carotenoids and chlorophyll. Yellow and orange fruit are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids. Red and purple vegetables and fruit contain anthocyanins and lycopene. So try to vary different colors on different days for best result.
Another secret behind a good, nutritious and nourishing smoothie is to find a balance between fruit, vegetables, proteins (nuts or nut butter, seeds and protein powders), spices and add-ins (spirulina, turmeric, bee pollen, etc.). Try to make sure that you have something from every category for best result. And make sure to choose organic ingredients if you can find and afford it.
Below, we have listed three of our favorite smoothies in different colors. Use the smoothies as inspiration and add in or replace whatever you have at home. Just follow the color trail ;-)
Be Better Beetroot & Strawberry Smoothie
Nitrogen rich vegetables like beetroots increases the blood flow to the muscles, which means that you get more energy and better performance when you are working out. Cool right!?
1 handful frozen strawberries
1 raw beetroot, peeled (shredded if you don’t have a high-speed blender)
3 tbsp pomegranate seeds
2 tbsp dried goji berries, optional
2 fresh dates, pitted
2 tbsp chia seeds or flax seeds
1 inch fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 pinch ground vanilla or extract
1 cup almond milk or plant milk of your choice
Mix all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Add more liquid if it feels too thick.
Green Recovery Smoothie
Celery and banana are rich in the electrolytes Sodium and Potassium (which you loose when you sweat). Together with the proteins in the hemp powder and nut butter, they are the perfect ingredients in a recovery drink. Keep hydrated and drink this Green Recovery Smoothie after a workout for best result.
1 celery stem with leaves
1 small handful kale or spinach
1 ripe banana, peeled
1 kiwi, peeled
1/2 avocado, stoned
1 lime, juice
1 tbsp hemp protein powder, optional
1 tbsp almond butter or soaked almonds
1 cup coconut water or plant milk of your choice
Mix all ingredients in a blender with a few ice cubes until smooth.
Super C Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie
Vitamin C is found in citrus fruit, rosehip and mango, and is in fact a strong antioxidant, helping repair and protect the cells in our bodies. Turmeric has highly anti-inflammatory and healing properties. Add 1 tsp to your daily routine.
1 mango, peeled and stoned
1/2 orange, peeled
1 raw carrot (shredded if you don’t have a high–speed blender)
1 handful soaked cashew nuts
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp bee pollen, optional
1 tsp rosehip powder, optional
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup water