Aside from feeling either hot or cold, the seasons also dictate how we should spend our time and what we eat. During Autumn and Winter we spend more time indoors, resting and enjoying slow-cooked warm foods, and during Spring and Summer, we gravitate towards spending more time outdoors, enjoying the sun and we crave raw, watery and hydrating foods. When it’s 30ºC outside, I could live on ice blocks and cold fruit, but unfortunately these foods don’t provide all the nutrition needed to run and swim all day long. Enter the smoothie, or more accurately, enter the blender. In seconds, you can pulverise a huge amount of vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds and good fats for a balanced, chilled meal in a glass that will keep you keeping on.
I’m a seasoned smoothie-drinker, but I have had my fair share of failed blends. One particularly enthusiatic morning, in an attempt to up the protein in my smoothie without using protein powder, I put a generous handful of mung bean sprouts into the blender… The smoothie was undrinkable. Then, in an attempt to not waste the whole cup, I shared it with my dog (who is referred to as the vaccumn cleaner of the family) who took one lick and walked away. Don’t let my history turn you off though; I promise that this smoothie is delicious and does not contain any sprouts whatsoever!
I know there are many green smoothie sceptics out there, but know this; DO NOT put kale in your smoothie. You can taste kale even amongst a sea of bananas and lime, but you can’t taste spinach. Spinach is light, watery, blends easily, digests well and despite it’s vibrant green hue, is completely harmless. Smoothie newbies can be pretty fearful of avocado too, but it creates the most luscious, creamy texture that anyone will love on the first sip. Lime and cardamom add zest and fragrance, and banana really sweetens the deal.
Make sure you drink this deliciousness slowly to ensure you don’t overload your stomach and put a strain on your digestion. Cold drinks take a long time to digest by nature, because the body has to work hard to warm the drink up and commence digestion. Another tip is to chew each mouthful of smoothie, as this activates the first stage of digestion and allows the mouth time to produce the enzymes needed for digestion, and gives the stomach time to prepare for the oncoming food.
Hemp and chia seeds pack a punch of nutrition considering their size. Hemp seeds contain 35g of protein and 10g of Omega-3 fatty acids per 100g, and chia seeds contain 16g of protein and 17.5g of Omega-3 fatty acids per 100g– Who know tiny black and green, oily seeds could provide such figures! As somebody who relies on plant based sources for these two nutrients, these amazing seeds have become a part of my daily diet, but they’re an incredible addition to any balanced diet. If you don’t have them on hand, you could just as easily include a scoop of protein powder, or a handful of cashews, sunflower seeds, or raw buckwheat (I can also vouch for these combinations). Feel free to also use whichever milk you have on hand– I’m sure almond or rice would be delicious, as would coconut water.
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 an avocado
- 1/2 a lime, juiced
- 2 handfuls of spinach or other leafy greens
- 1 tblsp hemp seeds
- 1 tblsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup cold water
- Using a high speed blender, whizz all ingredients on low initially, then increase the speed to high for 60 seconds
- Feel free to add more liquid if you like a thinner smoothie– this one is quite thick