Monday, 19 January 2015

My favourite green smoothies

I have a friend at work who brings smoothies into the office every day. If you have a meeting with her in the morning, she will invariably be carrying her see through cup around.  I remember one particular day when I was looking at the dark green liquid in it thinking it looked disgusting. She assured me that it was delicious, that the banana in it made it very sweet and yummy, and when I still looked unconvinced, she said: "Try it. Have a go". And she was absolutely right, it was delicious! That was the moment when I was converted. It's not that I started drinking them every day, but I started experimenting.

A few months ago I went to Snowdonia with a group of friends for the weekend. We are all from the Mediterranean, so our food heritage is something we can make the centre of our get togethers, and this weekend was no exception. We had some really delicious food, including raclette one evening. I LOVE cheese, but it makes me feel very heavy and sluggish, and so, what was my surprise when the next day I woke up really craving a glass of green smoothie. 

Green smoothies are absolutely brilliant for curing a hangover. Most people will turn to the comfort of a bacon sarnie, but I find a smoothie will energise me and is what my body needs after too many glasses of wine.

I tend to be quite liberal with my smoothie making and pick up anything that is in the fridge/fruit bowl, especially if it looks like it is going off. I also keep some sliced banana most of the time, which makes them super creamy. My favourite go to green smoothie is this spinach and banana.

- 1 medium size banana (or half a large one)
- a handful of spinach leaves
- 2/3 cup of pressed apple juice
 -handful of seeds (I like sunflower and pumpkin)

The banana makes it incredibly smooth and sweet and the seeds give it a bit of crunch. It is delicious! You can try to add a teaspoon of chia seeds as well for some extra goodness.

If you use this as a base, you can create lots of different versions based on what is in your kitchen. Try replacing the banana with pineapple, or the spinach with kale (but make sure you discard the stems... I've made that mistake before!). 

If you want something a bit creamier, then you may love this avocado smoothie:

- 1 apple
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 lime juice
- 1 cup of water

Another two of my favourite ingredients are in this smoothie, pear, spinach and ginger, which is less creamy and more refreshing.

- 1 1/2 cups of water
- 1 pear
- Handful of spinach leaves
- Approximately a tsp of freshly grated ginger

If you find it too pungent, use honey or agave nectar to sweeten it.

As I said, my approach is very slap dash, but if you would like to find recipes to follow, these are my favourite websites:

  • Food Network is full of great recipes, and when it comes down to green goo, they have lots of them!
  • Over the past year I have found a lot of practical recipes from realsimple. I don't normally browse their website, but if I am looking for something on Google, their link will come up and what I have tried so far is delicious. 
  • Oh she glows 
  • I think I look at Deliciously Ella's website at least once a day. I have the app on my mobile and there is a whole section devoted to smoothies and juices. I know this is going off topic, but I tried her banana and date smoothie yesterday and it is to die for.
If you have been a bit reluctant to drink a green smoothie, I would tell you what my friend said to me: Try it. Have a go! You might be surprised and discover a new way to start your day! 


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