Tag Archives: smoothie

Healthy Vegan Shamrock Shake

Healthy_Vegan_Shamrock_Shake

My friend Emily has been making (and enjoying!) my Shamrock Shake recipe from my book, Smarter Fitter Smoothies. And since today is St. Patrick’s Day, I thought it was about time I share this healthy vegan smoothie on the blog for all the world to see.

I’m not sure what it says about me that I am so nostalgic for a milkshake made famous by a certain fast food chain whose name begins with “M” and ends with “s”. But there you have it. And there’s no need to feel bad about drinking this “milk”shake – it’s totally vegan, relatively low in sugar and full of healthy vitamin-rich greens (the smoothie gets its green color from spinach). Feel free to toss in some avocado for an extra dose of creamy green goodness.

Healthy_Vegan_Shamrock_Shake-2

Healthy Vegan Shamrock Shake

  • 1 ripe banana (preferably frozen, ~120g)
  • 1 cup spinach (~50g)
  • A few sprigs of fresh mint
  • 2 dates
  • 10 cashews (~10g)
  • a few ice cubes
  • water, nut milk or coconut milk for an uber rich Shamrock Shake experience

Combine everything a blender (I use a Froothie Optimum 9200) with enough liquid to blend and blitz until smooth. Garnish with a couple fresh mint leaves if you’d like.

215 Cals, 5g Fat, 44g Carbs, 4g Protein, 5g Fiber

Image credit: Emily L.W. Kern

Smoothie Bowls: Put Away The Straw and Get Out The Spoon

Smoothie Bowl

In this follow-up to Emily’s previous post on chia pudding, I present to you another discovery inspired by our seasonal meanderings: the smoothie bowl.

The concept is nothing new, indeed, I’ve been “eating” my smoothies with a spoon for months. But last February, fuelled by visions of pudding, marmalade, and sheep yogurt, we decided to try serving our traditional breakfast smoothie in a bowl. This was a total smoothie breakthrough! Not life-changing, but definitely smoothie-changing. Why? It’s all about Garnish Potential. A smoothie bowl maximises space for toppings, and also turns your smoothie into something that mentally might seem like a snack into a meal in itself.

A smoothie bowl should be thick and creamy (lest your garnishes sink to the bottom!). You can achieve this a number of ways. Great thickeners include:

  • Avocado
  • Banana
  • Rolled Oats
  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Psyllium husks
  • Thick yogurt

If you’re using seeds, grains and/or psyllium husks to thicken your smoothie, here’s a hefty tip: blend the smoothie for 20 seconds, then let the smoothie “rest” for a few minutes (this gives everything a chance to absorb the liquid), then blend again for another 20 seconds. The transformation is kind of insane – it goes from being a sort of thick but slightly grainy smoothie into something that’s almost like super smooth pudding. This might not suit everyone’s tastes, but for me it makes the smoothie seem more substantial. This is healthy emotional eating!

It also helps to use a good blender if you can – I’ve been working with the Froothie Optimum 9200 which is pretty dang powerful and also has a “20-second” button which is handy.

Smoothie Bowl

However you like your smoothies, I challenge you to try serving your next smoothie in a bowl and eating it with a spoon – you can do this with fresh juices, too. Think about it as an opportunity to slow down and really savor the awesome blend you’ve created. After all, digestion begins in the mouth, so it’s worth taking it slow.

Here’s my go-to smoothie bowl that I have for breakfast on most days.

Pineapple and Lime Green Smoothie Bowl

My favourite smoothie bowl toppings for this blend are berries, oats and coconut flakes, but anything goes – see my 16 Ways to Garnish a Smoothie for inspiration.

Serves 1

  • 1-inch slice pineapple
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • handful of spinach or other greens
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1/2 banana
  • 5g flax seeds (~1 tsp)
  • 5g psyllium husk (~1 Tbsp)
  • Garnish

Blender Method: Chop all the veg into chunks and add to the blender with the cucumber and pineapple at the bottom. Add a splash of water and start blending; add more water as needed to get it blending but you should use very little, otherwise your smoothie will be a little insipid (you can also use coconut water or other liquid of your choosing). Blend for 20-seconds, let it rest for a few minutes, then blend again for another 20-seconds. (You can add ice cubes to the second round of blending if you’d like to cool it down a bit.) Serve in a bowl garnished with smoothie bowl toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Juicer / Blender Method: Juice the pineapple, lime, spinach, celery and cucumber (I use an Optimum 600 Slow Juicer). Add the juice to a blender with the banana, flax and psyllium. Blend for 20-seconds, let it rest for a few minutes, then blend again for another 20-seconds. (You can add ice cubes to the second round of blending if you’d like to cool it down a bit.) Serve in a bowl garnished with smoothie bowl toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

More smoothies that would work well as a smoothie bowl:

16 Great Garnishes for Smoothies

Smoothie Bowl

One of the reasons I like smoothies is for their garnish potential! Garnish also helps turn a smoothie from a snack into a complete meal. And I always keep extra smoothie garnishes handy so that I can garnish as I go. Come on, you know your kitchen table has totally been missing a garnish station.

Breakfast of #Imbolc champions. Chia pudding smoothie bowls. All of the garnishes. And tea. #froothie #jumpstart15

My favorite smoothie garnishes are as follows – what would you add to the list?

  1. Pumpkin Seeds – Let’s face it, pumpkin seeds are a great garnish for everything.
  2. Coconut Flakes – What’s not to love? They are crispy tasty fantastic. For some reason most grocery stores don’t seem to stock this (don’t try to substitute with desiccated coconut) but Amazon has quite a few options and it’s not very expensive.
  3. Sea Salt – Salt actually brings out the flavour and sweetness of the ingredients used in the smoothie. You could even get fancy and rim your smoothie glass with salt!
  4. Jumbo Oats – Classic, also good blended INTO the smoothie itself.
  5. Swiss Muesli – A little fancier than straight up oats and usually brings with it other tasty garnishes like seeds and dried fruit. Don’t spend lots of money buying this stuff; make your own custom Homemade Muesli Blend.
  6. Goji Berries – The most overhyped dried fruit in the universe, but they’re pretty and look so nice on green smoothies! Hefty tip: soak the goji berries ahead of time; they can be discouragingly chewy. Goji berries are sold all over the place now, alas, for a hefty price tag; if it’s only the color your after, dried cranberries make a nice substitute.
  7. Bee Pollen – Little crunchy morsels of honey sweetness. I’ve been a little obsessed with this stuff since I discovered it in France last year. I try to stock up whenever I go back, but for those of you who aren’t France-bounce, you CAN buy bee pollen elsewhere (after all it’s not like bees are a strictly French thing!) – there are lots of options on Amazon.
  8. Acai Powder – Allegedly increases energy and “vitality”; I just like it for its bitter berry tastiness. I use Naturya Organic  Acai Powder.
  9. Maca Powder – Malty sweet goodness originating from a tuberous root grown in the highlands of Peru. I’ve been using Naturya Organic Maca however I’ve recently cut back my usage when the company (very responsibly) informed me of unethical business practices and biopiracy which have made maca a bit taboo and difficult (i.e. expensive) to source. Use your best judgement here!
  10. Spirulina – Most people blend this happy protein into their smoothie but I have actually developed quite a taste for the stuff and prefer it as a garnish so that I really know it’s there! I use this stuff a LOT and have been getting my Organic Spirulina in bulk from myprotein.com.
  11. Cacao Nibs – I like these in banana-based smoothies, or in a mint chocolate chip blend. I use Naturya Organic Cocoa Nibs.
  12. Grated beetroot – I use a  Kuhn Rikon Grater & Julienne Mandoline to make cool little beetroot matchsticks (see the picture below, made with golden beetroot).
  13. Puffed Grains – Rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa… I’ve been enjoying Biona Organic Amaranth Pops lately.
  14. Freeze-Dried Raspberries – I discovered these little morsels of crispy tart goodness at Waitrose; they’re kind of expensive, but they look so pretty! You can also buy them on Amazon.
  15. Granola – Try Mardi’s Maple Walnut Granola or go crazy with savory granola.
  16. Fresh fruit – Especially raspberries and blueberries.

Today's #smoothiebowl.

 

Tropical Spirulina Yogurt Smoothie

So it seems spirulina makes smoothies look like something out of Ten Forward. This is cool to me. #trekkie

The Neptune green appearance of this spirulina yogurt smoothie would make it a fitting item on the bar menu at Ten Forward (or the Chalmun’s Cantina if you’d like). The super sci-fi color comes from – you guessed it – the combo of yogurt and spirulina. Meanwhile, the addition of pineapple and banana make it delicious and refreshing.

Why this is good for you:

  • Banana is loaded with potassium
  • Spirulina adds iron, magnesium, protein and B12 to the party
  • Yogurt adds more protein, plus live cultures, calcium and vitamin D
  • Just half a banana and a small slice of pineapple means this smoothie isn’t a sugar bomb

This smoothie is inspired by the Passion 4 Juice Master, one of the highlights of Juice Feast. This smoothie uses whole pineapple rather than juiced pineapple so it can all be done in the blender (I use a Froothie Optimum 9400).

Spirulina Yogurt Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 200g plain natural yogurt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1-inch round slice of pineapple, skin removed and cut into chunks
  • 5g spirulina (about one heaped teaspoon; I use Naturya spirulina)

Method

  1. Put everything into the blender (I use a Froothie Optimum 9400) and blitz until smooth. Serve on ice and enjoy!

 

Ultimate Evergreen Spirulina Smoothie

Ultimate Evergreen Spirulina Smoothie

This is one of my go-to post-swim breakfast smoothies that gets its awesome coniferous color from spirulina, a blue-green algae that I’ve been enjoying in my smoothies lately. Spirulina is touted for its high concentration of plant-based B12 and protein, making it a pretty cool supplement for vegans and vegetarians. Now, this could all be in my head, but I actually feel better for it – this spirulina smoothie after a swim seems to give me enough oomph to power through til lunch (including a pre-lunch CrossFit session as is my routine these days).

How does spirulina taste? Let’s be honest here: it’s an algae so it tastes a bit like seaweed and takes some getting used to. I’ve actually grown to like its flavor. Plus, this spirulina smoothie has a lot more stuff going for it: pineapple, lime, avocado… serve it in a salt-rimmed glass, garnish it with some flaked coconut and make an event of it.

Ultimate Evergreen Spirulina Smoothie

This spirulina smoothie features prominently in the 7-Day Juice Feast. It’s made by juicing pineapple, apple, cucumber and lime then blending it with avocado and spirulina. Yep, you need a juicer and a blender for this one. But as the song says: it takes two to make a thing go right. And this spirulina smoothie is so so right. I’ve been using an Optimum 9400 blender and Optimum 600 Slow Juicer to get the job done and I can’t recommend them enough.

Ultimate Evergreen Spirulina Smoothie

  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1/2 lime, peel removed
  • 1 tsp spirulina (I use Naturya spirulina)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 heaped tsp psyllium husk (totally optional)

Method

  1. Juice the pineapple, apple, lime and spirulina.
  2. Blend the juice with the avocado, spirulina and psyllium husk until silky smooth.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Hemp Protein Post Workout Smoothie

Hemp Protein Green Smoothie

This has become a favourite smoothie of mine as of late, especially after a good swim or a tough workout. Even without the hemp, it’s pretty killer. The base ingredients are pineapple, banana, spinach, celery, cucumber, lime and avocado, which when blended together taste like a tart-and-tangy treat, almost margarita-esque in its sweet and sour balance (hello salt-rimmed glass?). This is also good with a bit of fresh mint.

As far as post-workout nutrition is concerned, the smoothie has lots of good things going for it. The obvious element of good carbs, vitamins and nutrients from all the fruit and vegetables. Celery and banana in particular contain electrolytes (sodium and potassium) which you lose when you sweat. Meanwhile, the hemp and flax seed add a boost of protein. The avocado add fiber and make it creamy delicious.

When I swim in the morning, this is my go-to breakfast. It’s filling, nourishing, refreshing and super tasty. And to really splash out, garnish with coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, bee pollen and – my favourite – a pinch of good salt such as Maldon Sea Salt or some of that fancy Himalayan stuff.

Hemp Protein Green Smoothie

I make this smoothie by juicing the veggie bits then blending with the hemp protein powder, avocado and flax seeds, but you can just as easily put everything in the blender with a bit of water and blend away. The juicer and blender I’m using at the moment the Froothie Optimum 400 Slow Juicer and the Optimum 9400 Blender, which together have been cranking out super silky results, but other blenders and juicers will work, too.

Hemp Protein Post Workout Smoothie

Serves 1

  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1/2 lime, peeled (or juiced if you’re using a blender)
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 15g hemp protein (I use Naturya Hemp Protein Powder)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tsp flax seeds

Method

  1. If you have a juicer, juice the celery, pineapple, cucumber, lime and spinach. Blend the juice with the hemp protein powder, avocado, flax seeds and a few ice cubes until smooth.
  2. If you don’t have a juicer, make sure everything is cut into blender-friendly pieces. Put the pineapple, cucumber and lime juice at the bottom of the blender, then add everything else. Add a enough water to blend everything to a smooth happy consistency.
  3. Serve with your choice of garnishes.

250 Calories | 8g Fat | 13g Fiber | 38g Carbs | 12g Protein

Pear and Avocado Smoothie

Green apple smoothie

As I ramp up for the imminent release of my new book, Smarter Fitter Smoothies, I’ve been playing around with new smoothie recipes. The ultimate test of whether a smoothie works is whether I can’t resist making another one the very next day.

Such has been the case with this pear and avocado smoothie, which I’m calling “Pear and Avocado Thickie” in the book. Fresh pear and avocado go really well together. The avocado, combined with the flaxseed, make this smoothie super thick and creamy. You can substitute the flaxseed with other nuts or seeds, or omit completely if you don’t have it to hand. What I like about this smoothie is that you know the avocado is there, and the pear gives it just a little sweetness (if you like it even sweeter, you can add a few dates, but I prefer the less sweet version; it allows more of the avocado and pear flavours to come through).

Taste aside, the smoothie is full of all of the good stuff that makes it balanced and wholesome. It’s got loads of fiber from the pear, flax seed and leafy greens, plus lemon which aids digestion and avocado for healthy fats and delicious creaminess.  Eat one of these for breakfast and it will totally set you up for the day; sugar crashes be gone!

If you like this smoothie, me a huge favour and subscribe now for updates on my upcoming smoothie book. I’m giving away free copies of the ebook to 10 lucky subscribers so you have nothing to lose and only health, happiness and perfect blends to gain!

Pear and Avocado Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 1 large pear (~150g)
  • ½ avocado (~50g)
  • ¼ small lemon, peel removed
  • 1 handful of kale or spinach (~1 cup)
  • 1 heaped tsp flaxseed (~5g)
  • 1-2 dates (optional)
  • A few ice cubes
  • Small pinch of salt

Instructions
  1. Combine everything in the blender and add a little bit of water. Start blending and add more water as needed (the less water, the thicker the smoothie!).

 

I’m sending this to this month’s breakfast club where the current theme is fruit.

Smoothie Book Coming Soon!

Smoothie eBook Sign up for updates about Smarter Fitter Smoothies
(And a chance to win a free copy!)

If you’ve been following me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, then you know I’ve become quite addicted to smoothies as of late. It all started with the detox, which got me into the habit of having a smoothie for breakfast every morning. And now, I can’t stop. I crave these smoothies. They taste great. They make me feel awesome. And I find smoothie-making as enjoyable as smoothie-eating – I get to start my day with a bit of creativity. It’s an experiment with ingredients and flavour combinations in my quest for the best ever fruit and vegetable blends!

Strawberry Mint Smoothie

I’ve been taking notes on the process and have decided to turn it all into an smoothie book (both electronic and print), due to be released in just a few weeks! I know there are loads of other smoothie books out there, but my smoothie recipes are a little different.

First, all of my smoothies are

Vegan, Gluten-free, Soy-free and Dairy-free

Also…

  • Fruit AND Vegetables: My smoothies aren’t all about the fruit; you’ll find lots of veg too, and not just the usual suspects. Look out for ingredients like beetroot and pumpkin, veggies that pack a supremo nutritional punch but are frugal, too.
  • Not a Total Sugar Bomb: In line with the above, my smoothies are nutritionally balanced; you’re not going to have a sugar crash within minutes of drinking one of these. They are designed for sustained feelings of awesomeness.
  • Healthy, wholesome and detoxing: My smoothies are free of soy, wheat and other common allergens. Instead, they’re full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and loads of other good stuff your body needs in an easily digestible form.
  • Dried fruits as sweeteners. I used dates, prunes and other dried fruit rather than syrups, sugar or other artificial sweeteners.
  • Reliant on real food rather than “superfoods”: You can make my smoothies without having to spend lots of money on chia seeds, bee pollen and other “superfood” supplements
  • Innovative combinations of ingredients and flavours. For example: pumpkin apple and ginger; double beetroot with apple and mint; pear and apple with cashew and cinnamon; strawberry and avocado with cashew and mint; melon, cucumber and avocado with mint and dates.
  • Vitamix not required. Although it helps to have a super amazing blender, it’s not necessary – most of these smoothies can be made with a conventional blender. The book also gives suggestions for blenders that don’t cost the earth but still make a great smoothies.

The book is coming out in just as a few weeks, both as an eBook and in print.

Subscribe now to hear when it’s released.

I’ll be giving away free copies to 10 randomly chosen subscribers. So what do you have to lose? You have only smoothies to gain!

Pumpkin & Apple Smoothie

Here’s a taste of what you’ll find in the book, a super seasonal smoothie recipe that I’ve really been enjoying lately: Pumpkin, Apple & Ginger. This smoothie just sings of autumn (and extreme tastiness). The pumpkin and cashews make it creamy, while the apple and ginger make it super refreshing.

Pumpkin, Apple & Ginger Smoothie
Recipe type: Smoothie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree*
  • 1 apple
  • 2 dates
  • 15g cashews
  • 1in piece of ginger, peeled
  • ~1 cup ice
  • enough water to blend
  • cinnamon or nutmeg to garnish

Instructions
  1. Put everything into the blender and blitz on high for about 30 seconds (or as long as it takes to make a silky smooth blend). For those of you without a Vitamix or similar super-power blender, you can soak the cashews for a few hours or use cashew butter to make it easier on your blender.
  2. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg.

Notes
You can use canned pumpkin here or make your own pumpkin puree: take a pumpkin, cut it in half, take out the seeds then put in a roasting pan cut side down. Bake at 375F/190C for 45-90 minutes (depending on the size of your pumpkin) until perfectly soft inside. Let cool then scoop the pulp into a blender and puree. You can freeze in small batches (I do this in ice cube trays).

 

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Clean Detox Day 13: Greens, beans and more crispy kale

Clean detox day 13

Breakfast: “Green smoothie” with mango, peach, kale, avocado, fresh ginger & mint.

Lunch: Black beans, quinoa, mexican slaw, avocado. Could have used some salsa!

Dinner: Pureed carrot and chickpea soup with crispy kale and tahini sauce.

I really feel like I’m on a roll with the soups and smoothies. Also, I could probably eat crispy “kale chips” every day.

Clean detox day 13

Related Links:

Black and Blue Avocado Smoothie

Black & Blue Avocado & Mint Smoothie

This smoothie has become a staple of mine in recent weeks, largely thanks to the abundance of blackberries in the hedgerows at the moment. If only avocados grew so readily, alas, I have to rely on Lidl for my avocado fix (yes, Lidl, where avocados seem to be both cheaper and tastier than those from other supermarkets, the exception being The Organic Farm Shop which occasionally has organic avocados from Mexico which are pure bliss).

But I digress. I like to add interest to this smoothie with mint and orange flower water, but if you don’t have those it’s not the end of the world. This is really all about the berries, and the avocados and dates make it creamy sweet deliciousness.

Black and Blue Avocado Smoothie
Recipe type: Smoothie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

Up the dates if you like a sweeter smoothie – this comes in handy if the dates are particularly tart. Go easy on the orange flower water – a little bit (we’re talking drops) goes a very long way.
Ingredients
  • 150g blackberries, blueberries or a combo of the two
  • ½ avocado
  • a big handful of kale
  • 1 date
  • a few ice cubes
  • water, nut milk or rice milk
  • a couple sprigs of mint, stalks removed
  • a few drops of orange flower water (go easy on this)

Instructions
  1. Put everything in a blender and add enough water, nut milk or rice milk to blend. Blitz on high for a minute or so to make sure the date and everything else gets chopped up well. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information
Calories: 268 Fat: 16 Carbohydrates: 33 Fiber: 14 Protein: 6 Cholesterol: 0