It’s very easy to make unhealthy choices when healthy alternatives aren’t close at hand.
Smoothies are my favourite mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack. All the ingredients can remain fresh in the fridge and freezer for weeks. Smoothies are also a great way to ensure that you’re getting all the required nutrients for the day and obtaining those nutrients from their natural source, as opposed to popping a supplement/pill that is often lacking fibre and enzymes.
The following smoothie ingredients are those that contain high nutrient density and that also last long in the fridge/freezer/pantry. They are not recipes to follow strictly, more so a variety of options to inspire and adjust according to the flavors you enjoy.
STEP 1: BASE Always start with a liquid base such as rice milk, hemp milk, almond milk, quinoa milk.
STEP 2: FRUIT Next add your fruit. I like adding fresh berries, and always contain a number of bags of frozen berries in the freezer: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries. All these berries are high in antioxidants and vitamins.
STEP 3: NUTS and SEEDS Next add half a dozen almonds, walnuts or Brazil nuts. Then add a dessert spoon of flax, chia, sunflower and sesame seeds. Flax seed is the only really omega 3-rich seed (with exception to the hemp seed, but I don’t think they are available in Australian grocery stores yet). Most seeds contain some omega 6 so it’s great to combine flax with other seeds to raise the omega 6 balance. Or add a tablespoon of Udo’s Omega 3:6:9 Oil Blend. Without a doubt the best balanced omega 3:6:9 seed oil on the market.
STEP 4: OTHER Personally, I like to include ALL of these ingredients, but I take my smoothies seriously, so please don’t feel compelled to do so too. They are all wonderful to experiment with and have remarkable health benefits. You might like to start with just one or two of the following ingredients and experiment with the others as you finish the jar of the previously bought product.
Greens: I tend to always revert back to Udo’s Choice Green Blend as it is a brand that I trust – premium greens from organically grown barley, alfalfa, oat and rye grasses, plus spirulina, chlorella, broccoli, parsley and kale, all rich in detoxifying chlorophyll, and naturally balanced vitamins, minerals and protein. It also contains a blend of essential fatty acids, fibre, phytonutrients, antioxidants and digestive enzymes. There are many other brands, some just as good and some not so good. It’s up to you to choose.
Hemp Seeds: one of nature’s best sources for plant-based protein, containing all the essential amino acids the body needs. It is also a fabulous source of fibre and essential fatty acids (omega 3 and 6).
Maca Powder: Traditionally known to support hormone balance, increase libido and energy.
Coconut Oil: I could literally write a book on the number of health benefits associated with certified organic unrefined virgin coconut oil including support to the immune system, improving cholesterol, digestion and metabolism and helping to protect the body from breast, colon and other cancers, just to name a few.
Aloe Vera Juice: Aids digestion, improves circulation, strengthens the immune system, helps to detoxify the body and cleanse the colon, among other things.
other ingredients to experiment with in your smoothies include (but not limited to) camu camu, slippery elm powder and fossil shell flour.
** use organic and biodynamic ingredients where possible **
NUTRITION NOTES: FLAX SEEDS
Flax seeds are one of the richest sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, that help to reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. Flax seeds also contains a phytoestrogen that is beneficial in helping to prevent estrogen related breast cancer and decrease the symptoms of menopause, as well as helping to prevent bone loss, and promote shiny hair and silky smooth skin. Remember to always store your flax seeds in the refrigerator in an airtight opaque container.