Zingy Smoothie – for grey spring days

Zingy Smoothie – for grey spring days

In keeping with the yellow theme from last month’s blog post on the FIRE Aspect, I give you another yellow combination. And yes, it’s still a liquid one(!) *Note to self, make the next recipe something that you’ll chew*

But as I’m getting myself geared up for Whole Detox™ in about 10 days I’m enjoying a few smoothies here and there. Though I’m not really one for cold food in cold weather, (and boy is the warm winter we had turning cold and struggling to move out of the way) it can be hard to look past the convenience of smoothies when it comes to simple ways to increase the amount of fresh produce you eat. Eating enough can be such a challenge at times, and who would have thought, since the message that’s mostly thrown around it the one “eat less, move more”.

I’ve even had people on some of my programmes freaking out because of the volume of food on their plate. The beauty is though that when we increase the amount of colourful plant based foods we eat, we get to eat MORE, not less.

I remember doing this simple math’s exercise with a group I had on a weightloss programme a few years ago. Though, as you know I’m not a huge fan of counting calories but for this simple visual experiment they do serve a purpose.

 

So visualise this; One 500 ml bottle of soft drink (minerals / soda / fizzy drink – pick your name) contains roughly 500 kcal. Without having a label in front of me it will give you a fair amount of sugar, probably 10-14 teaspoons (remember this is a completely man-made product so any carbohydrate content will be pure sugar and count as your “added sugar intake”). There will also be some colourings and additives, more or less depending on the type and brand you choose.

Now let’s take those same 500 kcal and see how that translate into vegetables. So (from memory) 500 kcal worth of vegetable is about two full shopping bags worth! Lots of vital nutrients, fibre and volume. I would honestly think you’d struggle to chomp it all down in the course of a day.

That’s why the very handy, yet simple strategy of filling half your plate with vegetables is such a powerful way to reduce the total amount of calories yet maximise the amount of quality nutrition you get. There’s a lot to be said for keeping it simple.

zingy smoothie

 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 7-10 servings of fruit and vegetable a day for any diet to be disease preventable. 5-a-day is actually a minimum. And I see people who are only getting 2-3 at times.

How many portions are you eating daily?

I even know for myself when we did food diaries as project back in college, that upping it to 7-10 actually takes a conscious effort. Perhaps that’s one reason I’m so drawn to smoothies?

Anyway, another thing that I realised the other day is this;  What if we look at the food we eat in a symbolic way? The majority of us want to have more energy so we can do more (and even BE more) and if we have a constant feeling of lack luster and even low mood holds this may hold us back from doing all that we want. It’s seriously frustrating. I can still remember what it felt like some years ago when my energy levels where down on 3-4, out of 10. A lot of the time I just functioned and got through the day, doing what had to be done. I was constantly tired.

So what if we focus on eating more foods that are vibrant and alive? What about adding more colour to the plate? My whole food philosophy is about feasting your eyes as much as feeding your body. In case you hadn’t noticed…

So without a degree in nutrition and if you want to keep it simple, yet knowing that you are getting lots of essential nutrients to fuel your body and mind, think colour! Think rainbow and aim to eat a rainbow of colours every day.

nutritional therapy

So with colour in mind, here is a yellow zingy smoothie that is sure to put some zest and brightness into your day.

If you are feeling brave and have a strong blender, like a Nutribullet, then go ahead and blend the whole lemon! It sure makes for some serious digestive power! Otherwise just use the juice.

And since the sun is still shining with it’s absence I am trying to brighten my days in other ways. This is one such way. Enjoy 🙂

 

Zingy Smoothie for Grey Spring Days

 

Serves 1

1 cup fresh pineapple – peeled, cored and diced

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled

Juice of one whole lemon – or peel (if you have an organic one you can blend the whole one) and use the whole fruit!

1 banana

1 small fresh root of turmeric or 1 tsp of turmeric powder

1 tbsp of hulled hempseeds

1 tbsp of pea, rice or hemp protein (I like the Pulsin brand)

200-250ml plant milk of choice

Place all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth. Drink immediately. 

***Note, personally I don’t like really cold drinks (unless the weather is really hot) but if you want a colder drink feel free to add some ice too***

 

Zingy Fire Smoothie

Citrus-Sesame Smoothie

Citrus-Sesame Smoothie

I’m going to continue on with the smoothie them for a little longer. Because I like smoothies. And I also have a nutribullet which I love using on a regular basis. I know, I know, smoothies are for the summer you say or for at least when the weather get warmer. Fair enough. But I happen to like having them all year round…

Since citrus season is almost over, I think I bough myself the last blood oranges for some time to come the other day. It’s kind of funny as I love eating oranges during the colder months but I very rarely buy them at other times of the year. Same with red cabbage for example.

So if you have a few oranges still knocking around in your fruit basket then here’s a cool way to use them up!

In this recipe I’ve paired my orange smoothie part with some sesame milk. As you can see I didn’t blend them together but went for a marble effect instead. Doesn’t it look cool? Making your own nut or seed milk is actually ridiculously easy. Every time I do make some I ask myself why I don’t do it more often. One thing to remember though is that since your own homemade milk, will contain no preservatives or emulsifiers it will separate and also it will only keep for 2-3 days so make sure you don’t make to much each time.

As a change from the usual nut milk, here you have a seed milk. This dairy free alternative is suitable for those who cannot tolerate nuts. Sesame seeds are also a great source of calcium so it makes a good substitute. Though the flavour is very different to cow’s milk. Obviously.

 

homemade sesame milk

 

I’m a little bit behind on the blogging at the moment, but trust me it’s not for the lack of inspiration. I have lots of recipes and ideas I would like to share with you all. It’s just time… There’s been a couple of projects taking up some time recently and that’s why I didn’t manage to get this post out to last week.

One of them was the recent release of my Smoothie Ebook and if you haven’t grabbed your copy yet then feel free to do so now! It will be a nice follow on from this recipe and the lovely sunshine smoothie Agnes shared with us last month too. The other think, which you may have noticed it the addition of a video and a subtle change in layout, banner & footers. I hope you like it as much as I do. It was necessary as my business growing and evolving.

I hope you are enjoying your Easter weekend so far and if you feel like you need to balance your chocolate intake a little, then here’s a simple way to do it.

Citrus Sesame Smoothie

Serves 1

1 cup sesame milk (see recipe below)

1/2 banana – fresh or frozen (frozen will give you a creamier texture)

1/2 fresh mango, peeled & chopped

1 blood orange, peeled – or use a normal one if you can’t get any blood oranges.

First blend the sesame milk with the banana. Once you have a creamy mixture, pour it into your serving glass. Rinse your blender and then blend mango and orange until you have a smooth puree.

Add the orange-mango mix to the sesame part and watch the marble effect unfold.

Enjoy immediately.

Sesame “Milk”

Makes approx 4 cups ( 1000 ml)

2 cups sesame seeds, soaked for minimum of 4h & then rinsed

4 cups of filtered water

2 tbs raw honey or maple syrup

pinch of salt

Soak your sesame seeds in plenty of water, preferably overnight. Once the soaking time is up, drain & rinse them again. Discard the soaking water.

Blend the soaked seeds with the filtered water. You may have to do it in batches if you have a small blender like me. Once blended, strain your seed-water mix through a piece if muslin / cheese cloth or use a nut milk bag if you have one. Discard the pulp. Ideally in a compost.

Blend your “milk” with some honey and a pinch of salt. Done! Store in a glass container in the fridge. As I mentioned above, it will separate so give it a shake before every time you use it. Your sesame milk will keep about three days in the fridge. You’ll now when it’s gone off as it will be sour.

 

Sesame milk

Sesame smoothie

Sunny Buckwheat & Orange Smoothie – by Cashew Kitchen

Sunny Buckwheat & Orange Smoothie – by Cashew Kitchen

I’m so delighted to have the opportunity to share this beautiful immune boosting and vibrant smoothie recipe. Just what is needed as we slowly transition into the next season. I’m sure we can all do with a little more colour and sunshine in our lives. And if the Sun prevails, you just have to get a little more inventive in the kitchen instead.

This week I have invited the beautifully talented lady Agnes who blogs about food and stuff over on Cashew-Kitchen. If you are not following Agnes on Instagram or reading her blog, you should. It’s worth it for the photos alone 🙂

But I’ll let you Agnes tell you all a little more about herself.

Hi Agnes! Can you tell us something about yourself and your work? Cashew-Kitchen

Sure! My name is Agnes and I live in a small apartment in central Stockholm (Sweden) which is also my hometown. I recently moved back here after spending a couple of years on the west coast studying. Since september last year I’m running the food & photography blog Cashew Kitchen, although I’ve been food blogging since the spring of 2013. I also do some photography and recipe development on a freelancing basis. But my main occupation is my studies in Human Ecology in which I’m currently writing my bachelor thesis. I started my studies in Human Ecology and my food blogging about the same time, so initially it was an interest in sustainable food and lifestyles that pushed me. I’ve been hanging out in the kitchen experimenting since I first became a vegetarian  when I was 14, so the interest in wholesome, nourshing food has always been there I guess, I just never thought about blogging about it before 🙂

I have a background in Fine Arts, so when starting blogging about food I quickly noticed that working with the aesthetic aspects came pretty natural to me. Using colorful ingredients and spending a lot of effort on the styling and photography is very important to me, so when I launched Cashew Kitchen I simply decided to call it ”a foodie photography blog”. Although the sustainable aspects are still there: I only post vegetarian recipes and I mostly use seasonal, whole and organic ingredients.

No wonder you can great the most magical of images!

I’m curious about that education of your: what is Human Ecology? And how do you wish to use that education in the future?

Well, you could say it is environmental science from a social sciences’ perspective. In Human Ecology we study the relationship between social, ecological and economic factors and how those interact with for example issues of power, resource management, poverty, urban development, climate change, population growth and social dynamics. It’s everything from city planning and food production to eco philosophy or complex adaptive systems.

In my thesis I study possibilities and limitations for citizen participation and co-management in city planning to help build social resilience in society. When I decided on the topic I think I was a bit tired of food haha. It was in the aftermath of the Swedish election and the increased social unstability we see here in Sweden (and out in the world too) worried me. In the future I want to work with sustainable food in some way. It could be inspiring people to make sustainable food choices, which I kind of already do through my blog (I hope!) hehe. It could also be working for a food or agriculture company with sustainable development issues. The possibilities are endless, really! I just know my passion is food, happy people and a healthy planet 🙂

How would you describe your food philosophy?

I want it to be simple! My aim is to inspire as many people as I can to incorporate more vegetarian or vegan food into their diets and cook more from scratch using seasonal ingredients, and thereby bringing us one step closer to living environmentally friendly lifestyles. Therefore I don’t believe in using too many obscure and expensive ingredients, or create difficult or fancy recipes. My recipes often consist of just a few, simple ingredients and are usually quick to assemble. I want to show that it can be both wholesome, fun and easy to eat seasonal and vegetarian. Also fresh produce or a lovingly cooked meal can really make my heart melt! It’s everything I need to be happy. That simplicity and appreciation of food is something I want to share with others.

Couldn’t agree with you more.

How did you come up with the name Cashew Kitchen?

Um, I was just playing around with different names that sounded ”catchy” haha. I always have cashew nuts at home and love to use them in raw desserts, granola, smoothies etc. so it felt suitable with a name steaming from one of my favorite ingredients 🙂

How does your process from idea to finished recipe and blog post look like?

Sometimes a get an idea from surfing around the food blogosphere or pinterest that I write down on my little list. It can be anything really that triggers the idea to a recipe – a combination of colors, a long forgotten ingredient, a memory. But more often I find myself standing in front of an half empty fridge trying to think of something I can make out of the little I have. Honestly that’s where the best recipes come from! If I just happened to create something utterly delicious I try to photograph it right away if I have the time, but mostly I plan to cook/prepare the night before and then style & shoot the next day. Quite often I have tried the recipe a couple of times by then. Editing photos I do on my spare time in the evenings. I never plan what I’m gonna write about on the blog, I just write what pops up in my head that particular day.

I love your creativity!!

Which 5 ingredients will one find in your pantry? 

Hehe my pantry is smacked with stuff… In the back you’ll probably find some rarely used superfood powders, but what I always need to have at home (besides cashews) are almonds, rolled oats, coconut milk, tahini and bananas. And a thousand more things. Gosh I’m so spoiled with having good food around.

Do you have an all time favorite recipe you keep coming back to? 🙂

I have different favorite recipes in different periods of my life. Right now the only thing I wanna have for breakfast is my Coconut & Vanilla Oatmeal. During weekdays I eat similar salads every day, at the moment with a millet base, random veggies and a honey & dijon mustard dressing I’ve made countless times!

Tell us something about the recipe you are sharing today! Why this particular recipe?

This recipe is a perfect example of how I roll 😉 It happened the day before pay day and contains literally everything I had left in my fridge that day. I can tell you my expectations for this smoothie wasn’t that high, but oh how surprised I was when I tasted it!

I love the creativity that comes from restrictions. You don’t really need to have a perfectly stocked pantry to make delicious food. I hate to throw away food and always save the little bits and pieces left to use for something else. Smoothies is a great way to use up that last squeeze in the yoghurt package or half a frozen banana from the freezer.

I make smoothies almost every day to drink in between meals, and I especially like to add some seeds or grains and something fat like coconut milk or yoghurt to make it more filling and long lasting.

Despite citruses typically are winter ingredients, to me this is a recipe flirting with spring 🙂 I even added birch straws, see! As if the weather gods heard my plea when photographing this recipe, the sun came out from the clouds just long enough for me to catch it.

For this recipe I used yoghurt, but you can easily make a vegan version using coconut milk + a little extra lemon juice.

orange buckwheat smoothie

Sunny Buckwheat Smoothie

Serves one

Preparations:

2 tbsp raw buckwheat groats

water to cover

***soak for minimum 1 hour***

To mix:

1 large orange or 2 small

1 small banana

1/4 lemon

1 inch piece of fresh ginger

1/2 cup natural yoghurt

2 small pitted dates or 1 medjool date

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

water until desired consistency

+ the soaked and rinsed buckwheat

Prepare by soaking the buckwheat in lukewarm water for minimum one hour. This can be done the night before or in the morning. You soak the groats to get rid of harmful enzymes and start a sprouting process for optimal digestion and nutritional content.

Rinse buckwheat thoroughly. Drain and set aside.

Peel orange and lemon with a knife. Try to get rid of as much of the white parts as possible (it’s bitter). Remove any seeds. Peel ginger and coarsely chop.

Put orange, a quarter of the lemon, banana, ginger, buckwheat, yoghurt, dates and turmeric powder in a high speed blender and mix until completely smooth. Add water if nessecary. If you have a not so strong mixer or an immersion blender you might wanna squeeze out the juice of the orange and lemon beforehand, grate the ginger and perhaps soak the dates if they’re dried.

Serve right away with seeds, berries, granola or simply with a (birch) straw!

Thank you so much Agnes for sharing this beautiful recipe with us here at Straightforward Nutrition! I sure know what I’ll have for breakfast next week 🙂

If you want to check out the Millet & Linseeds Porridge which I shared on Cashew-Kitchen click here

straightforward nutritionstraightforward nutrition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*All photographs on this post is by Cashew-Kitchen.

Homemade Elderberry Syrup – To Banish Any Autumn/Winter Bugs

Homemade Elderberry Syrup – To Banish Any Autumn/Winter Bugs

Before the winter bugs hit and before it’s too late to pick ripe elderberry off the trees, have a go at this simple recipe and make your own immune boosting remedy. This was the first time I’ve tried making elderberry syrup myself so I used another recipe as a base and then went on to improvise a little. The result is a fairly sweet, dark purple liquid which tastes almost like mulled wine. Perhaps one could pare it with some brandy for a double whammy? Let me know for sure if you go down that route!

Funny thing is, while it is a few Sundays since I was preparing this concoction, as I currently write this I am struck down with a cold. So I suppose this is my opportunity to put the syrup to the test… (Thank you Universe.) When you are used to having tons of energy all the time, any level of decline is rather frustrating as it kind of stops you in your tracks. Well at least it forces you to take the foot of the the throttle for a little while. There I was, just returning to the running group in town and back to a 2-day-week Pilates schedule (one of my favourite ways to exercise). Typical. I’m thinking the lads in the running club, who has not seen me for months, must think I am a bit soft if I don’t turn up again this week… Well I suppose I just have to remind myself that “what other people think of me is not my business”. Easier said that done though. But in the end of the day it is important to listen to our bodies as they always knows best. I’m not sick enough to feel the need to  cut out my training altogether but I will bring it back a little, so I can recover faster.

homemade elderberry syrup

 

September has been amazing here and extended summer by another month. Which in turn means, woolly hats, cosy fires and warming soups have been put on hold for little while. No complaints here. It has also meant that there has been a savage supply of blackberries this year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many of them. We have been picking berries over the past few weeks and my freezer is full of the little black gems. They are sure to be featured here on a later stage. But for now I let some of the other beautiful black berries take center stage.

Have you ever thought about how amazingly wonderful it is that just as we move in to colder months, when colds and flues seem to more easily take hold, nature has provided us with a solution right here in front of us? Like elderberries.

They are jam packed with antiviral-busting nutrients! These tiny little gems are full of Vitamin A, B and C as well as the antioxidant proanthocyanidins, which gives the berries their dark purple colour. Vitamin C together with zinc has been shown in some studies to help shorten times it takes to recover from common colds so it is well worth eating foods that are high in Vitamin C on a regular basis. Vitamin C is also one of the water soluble vitamins, which means the body doesn’t tend to store it in any larger capacity so you will need to keep your stores replenished on an ongoing basis if you want to keep your deference high. Some limited studies have shown elderberries to be particularly efficient against the usual winter viruses. Some sources seems to point that the natural compounds in elderberries activates the immune system to respond better and stronger, helping the body to clear and recover from viruses / influenza much quicker. That it actually tastes nice is an added bonus.

If you go looking you will probably find a lot more than elderberry growing along the hedgerows. When I opened my eyes and became a lot more mindful about what was naturally growing around me, I found blackberries (of course), but also rosehips and a tree full of damsons (wild plums).

Straightforward nutrition online health programmesStraightforward nutrition online health programmes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This recipe yields about 2 cups of syrup so if you want to keep a full supply for the entire winter you will probably need to double it. Picking the amount of berries needed shouldn’t prove too difficult, as long as the birds didn’t get there first!

* A word of warning – Raw elderberries are actually poisonous so please resist the temptation to taste test while you are picking them, or you might end up in A&E. Probably not what you had in mind for a Sunday afternoon…

 

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

Makes roughly 2 cups finished syrup.

2 cups freshly picked elderberries, stems removed

2 cup filtered water

1/2″ of fresh ginger, peeled

1/2 cinnamon stick

5 cardamom pods

4 cloves

1/2 cup of raw honey, preferably local

When you pick the elderberries go for the darkest coloured ones, which still looks fresh and plump. To remove the stems gently separate the berries with a fork. I say gently here as if you are too keen, your berries will scatter everywhere! Discard any berries which are swiveled or not ripe. Give the rest a quick rinse.

Add berries and water to a large pot. Take all your spices and gather them up in a little cloth of muslin. Tie your parcel with a string and add it to your pot. Bring the whole thing to the boil and then reduce heat to a gentle simmer for about 20 min. Allow the mixture to cool a little before straining through a sieve lined with muslin. Use the back of a wooden spoon to press gently on the berries to release as much liquid as you can. Once you have gathered all the liquid, discard berries, muslin and spices. If you have a compost bin, by all means put it in there. By now your kitchen will probably smell like Christmas. How bad.

Add in your honey and stir until it has combined with your lovely purple liquid. Then carefully store in some sterilised jars in the fridge. Take a table spoon of liquid a few times over the course of a few days if you feel a cold or flu coming on and hopefully it will not amount to anything.

 

Straightforward nutrition online health programmesSpices for homemade elderberry syrupHow to make homemade elderberry syrup

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Smoothie for Beginners – Part 1

Green Smoothie for Beginners – Part 1

Are you part of the Green Smoothie Club? If smoothies are a very recent addition to your daily menu, making it a green one may still feel a little daunting. Or if having liquidized greens still seems a little ‘too out there’ for you, yet you are curious about trying out one – then this recipe is for you.

The Green Smoothie for Beginners is the first part in my upcoming smoothie series. I have a couple more refreshing raw drinks in the pipeline for you while the season is still primed for indulging in raw foods. Smoothies, particularly green ones is such a simple step to increase the amount of raw food in your daily diet, and your intake of vegetables over all.

I don’t own a fancy blender like a Nutri-bullet or a Vitamix (I wish I did though…). The basic blender I had, which had a good glass jug I broke by putting something too hot in it. Kitchen mishaps… So these days I’m back to using my trusted hand blender (actually I wore one out and had to replace it as I couldn’t do with out!) I’m not one for (too many) fancy kitchen gadgets but my hand blender is one gadget I certainly couldn’t live without. I’ve even taken it on holiday with me. How sad it that?

Ever since I broke my blender jug, green smoothies has been off my menu, as I believed my little hand blender would not be strong enough to blend the green leaves. The key to a really good green smoothie is to make sure that the leaves are really well chopped up. You simply won’t have that fabulous of an experience if you have to chomp through chunks of leaves. I mean, it’s called smoothie for a reason. Right? Anyhow, we have been getting some great fresh produce here lately which included both spinach and the utterly beautiful rainbow chard. So I though, let’s put the hand blender to the test and see if it is possible to make some kind of green smooth(ie) goodness with it.

Success! Here you are. My basic green smoothie recipe for beginners, using only a hand blender. No excuses now, not to try out these greenies.

 

Straightforward Nutrition Healthy green smoothie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of the smoothies I make includes two of my favourite ingredients, banana and avocado. Both of them add a lovely creaminess to any smoothie and the healthy fat from the avocado helps to counteract any possible blood sugar spike from the fruit. Having smoothies as oppose to juices means you will get all the fibre from the fresh produce too.

 

Green Smoothie For Beginners

Serves 1

1/2 an avocado

1 small banana or 1/2 of a big one, peeled & chopped

a fist of soft green mild-tasting leaves, like chard or spinach – washed

1 kiwi, peeled & roughly chopped

a squeeze of lime – optional

200ml of filtered water or plant milk of choice

Scoop out the flesh of the avocado and add together with the rest of the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. Pour your smoothie into a glass. Top with some Chia seeds, bee pollen or any other fancy super food you can think of. Or do what I do when not styling for a photo shoot – have it straight from the container…

Congrats! You are now well on your way to a healthier, more wholesome lifestyle. Don’t worry if your tastebuds protest a little at first. Practice makes perfect.

 

Healthy lifestyle nutrition

Peanut Butter & Raspberry Smoothie

Peanut Butter & Raspberry Smoothie

It looks like Spring has finally arrived. Yay! And I have a confession to make… I’ve just ordered my very first gardening book. Oh my, I wonder where this is all heading? Those green fingers seem to have skipped a generation and I doubt I’ll ever be an avid and as an accomplished gardener like my grand-mother, who at 94 is still out in the garden keeping it weed-free and flourishing. Perhaps it’s the fact that the sun has finally come out to play and the rise in temperature that has brought on the temptation of having a crack at growing (well at least trying) something edible? I’m not sure really.

The more you delve into eating REAL food, packaged as nature intended, the more it make sense to take care where that food comes from. So having a go at trying to grow at least a few of the vegetables you eat makes sense. Well worth a go anyway. Since I’ve always maintained that I would starve to death if I had to rely on my own home grown stuff, I’m grateful if I manage to grow enough for a meal or two. Time will tell.

Since the temperatures has finally risen into double figures, smoothies are back in! I eat them all the time, but even more so in the Spring and Summer months. Especially as a quick meal when I’m pressed for time. Or as a quick breakfast. Or sometimes as a recovery snack after a heavy work out or training session.

Then I usually add some extra protein to it. I have found it to be the breakfast which will keep me full the longest. If heading out for a couple of hours on the bike or a hike in the mountain, this is what I start off my day with. Everyone is different though, so test out a few different options to find out what works for you. Is it the old reliable bowl of porridge? A power smoothie? Or perhaps an egg based breakfast?

Peanut butter smoothieDSC_0858

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My smoothies almost always contain two base ingredients. Banana and avocado. The banana serves as a great natural sweetener and the avocado gives it a creamy texture. Avocados also offers amazing health benefits being a great source of monounsaturated fat, potassium, B-vitamin and fibre. In the previous fat phobic era, avocados would have been considering a no-no. However we now know that the type of fat in avocados are easily used as energy, can actually lower cholesterol and are also important for both good skin health and proper brain function. Healthy fats also keeps us full for longer.

I first started adding avocados to my smoothies a few years ago after reading a book about raw food for children. Before that it had never really occurred to me. This was obviously before the constant influence and inspiration of Instagram! Since then they are my constant smoothie companion. It makes so much sense to use them as apart from the lovely texture you get, they will also balance the naturally occurring sugar from the fruit, and make it a more slow release form of energy. Hence it will keep you full for longer.

Having smoothies are an excellent way of increasing your intake of raw food. Something a lot of people could do with. Including at least some raw food in your daily food intake will maximise your intake of live enzymes and nutrients in an unadulterated way. Raw food is literally alive and hence makes us feel more vibrant! An added bonus to making smoothies are you don’t need any fancy gadgets to make them either. A simple hand blender (immersion blender) will do the job perfectly. Simple to clean too.

 

Smoothie

This smoothie is super decadent and would also work as a healthy dessert. Or a fancy pants lunch, eaten outside while enjoying the beautiful Spring weather. Bound to lift the spirits every time! Naturally dairy, gluten and refined sugar free.

 

Peanut Butter & Raspberry Smoothie

Serves 1

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries, thaw if using frozen

1/2 ripe avocado

1 medium sized banana, roughly chopped

1 tbsp raw cacao powder – raw will give you the highest nutritional value, but for flavour you can use a god quality cocoa powder instead

1 tbsp pure peanut butter

250 ml milk of choice

 Bee pollen, fresh raspberries or cacao nibs to top – Optional

Place banana, avocado, peanut butter and cacao powder in the blender container. Add the milk of your choice. Blend everything until smooth and creamy. In a glass, mash your fresh raspberries then add your peanut butter smoothie mix on top. Garnish with a few raspberries, some cacao nibs or bee pollen. Eat outside in sunshine with a spoon. Enjoy feeding all your senses for immediate pleasure and satisfaction 🙂

 

Peanut Butter smoothiePeanut smoothie