A great way to use fruits and vegetables is in smoothies. Not only are there lots of different recipes available, they are super easy to make, taste great and thanks to the ingredients used, are very nutritious.
For your basic smoothie all you need is a cup of vegetables, a cup of fruits and a liquid base. To increase the flavour and nutritional value you can also add in protein powders, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Using Ooooby’s products you can create a wide variety of smoothie recipes. This deep red coloured one makes use of the following ingredients:
1/2 a frozen banana – using frozen fruits helps make smoothies thicker, giving them a milkshake like consistency, and bananas work especially well at achieving this.
You probably already know that bananas are an excellent source of potassium; a medium sized one provides you with 12% of your daily requirement. They are also a good source of vitamin B6, a vitamin required for energy production.
Bananas are a digestive aid, and are great to have before working out. The natural sugars that they contain help to make this smoothie more palatable.
1/2 a cup of carrots – carrots are very low in calories but are the best food source of vitamin A. In fact one medium carrot provides you with more than 200% of your daily requirement! The only other vegetable that comes close to having this amount is the sweet potato.
Vitamin A promotes eye health, gives you glowing skin, provides immune support and fights inflammation.
The antioxidant beta-carotene which is found in carrots is thought to inhibit the growth of cancer cells and may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It also helps protect your liver.
1/2 a medium red apple – apples are one of the foods that are most commonly associated with health; the saying literally goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This is because they contain a class of compounds called phytochemicals that help protect against chronic diseases.
Apples are great for your heart because eating them lowers cholesterol levels. A study from The Ohio State University found that eating apples significantly lowered levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.
They are high in dietary fiber which keeps your digestive system in check and helps with weight management.
1/2 a cup of bok choy – any green vegetable such as spinach, kale or Swiss chard can be used in smoothies. They help boost the nutritional power and you can hardly taste them thanks to the overpowering flavours of the fruits used.
Bok choy works well in this smoothie, secretly disguised by the extremely vibrant red colour. Like many other greens, it is a fantastic source of vitamin K and vitamin C, both of which are necessary for many different bodily functions.
1 small piece of beetroot – beetroot has a very powerful pigment and just a small amount can change the colour of a recipe. Beetroot works especially well with carrots and apples. It is rich in folate, manganese, potassium and copper.
One particularly interesting benefit of beetroot is its ability to help increase exercise capacity and athletes sometimes drink beetroot juice before competing. Studies have also shown that beetroots and beetroot juice can help lower blood pressure.
1 small piece of ginger – you don’t need much ginger in this recipe, just a small piece that is the size of your thumbnail will do. The aroma that ginger gives off makes your mouth water and it helps add some zing to this smoothie.
Ginger has lots and lots of health benefits which is one of the main reasons it has been eaten for so many centuries. This is thanks to the substance gingerol which has powerful medicinal properties.
Ginger can treat many forms of nausea, may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease, reduces muscle soreness, aids digestion and fights off infections.
1 tablespoon of chia seeds – these seeds, whilst very tiny, pack a nutritional punch. A 28 gram serving gives you 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein and 5 grams of Omega-3’s. They are also loaded with antioxidants.
Because they are small, they are easy to incorporate into your diet. They can be sprinkled over salads, added to porridge or used in smoothies.
1 cup of coconut water – coconut water adds a natural sweet taste to this smoothie whilst also providing a dose of potassium and magnesium, both of which are essential for heart health.
Use ice cold coconut water to give this smoothie a cool refreshing taste. If you don’t have coconut water, you can also use plain water.
To make this smoothie, add all of the ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. For added thickness, throw in some ice cubes and process further. Enjoy!
Veronica Shah runs the website: www.healthsomeness.com and offered us this recipe and the amazing education that goes with it. It is based on typical produce you will receive in an Ooooby box at this time of year.