Since I have been working from home quite frequently I have found that I tend to snack quite a lot more throughout the day as my “desk” (read: dining room table) is a mere metre from the kitchen. To combat this habit I like to make a healthy but filling green smoothie to get me through the morning. It’s a delicious and bright alternative to your other typically filling breakfast foods that consist primarily of empty carbohydrates.
Here’s what I put in my smoothie:
Pineapple & Mango
As a base for this smoothie I use a combination of frozen pineapple and mango. When I have a smoothie it needs to look as good as it tastes, so I find using this fruit as opposed to the classic frozen berries provides a neutral base that allows the green elements to shine through (whereas berries combined with greens make a muddy brown colour – yuck). I get my fruit from Loblaws where they go for around $3.00 per bag, which is a bargain compared to most frozen fruit. I use a small handful of each in my smoothie, which is enough for one person.
Kale & Mint
This is where the green comes in. I add about two stalks of kale to reap the nutritional benefits and then I add A LOT of mint for flavour. It makes the smoothie taste bright and fresh and really perks it up. I know that adding herbs to a smoothie is a bit unconventional but I definitely recommend that you try it – it changes the game!
I sometimes forget this step, but I often add a two inch-long piece of cucumber to my smoothie as it adds a refreshing, spa-like quality. Anyone who likes cucumber in their water will enjoy the subtle flavour this adds.
Banana or Avocado
This step is not necessary, but using an ingredient like banana or avocado makes your smoothie nice and, well, smooth(ie). I usually prefer to use banana as I think using a ripe avocado in a smoothie is sacrilege. A fruit that perfect (yes, avocado is a fruit – Google told me so) should be the star of the show, not buried in a smoothie. But I know some people don’t like bananas and this morning the ratio of avocado to banana in my fruit basket was like 6:0 so I gave it a try and can say that it works just as well. Typically I will use a whole regular-sized banana or half of an avocado.
Orange Juice, Lemon Juice & Water
The liquid component of a smoothie is very important, particularly with my blender, as all of that goodness above won’t have a chance of blending without it. One day the Vitamix will be mine…one day…
Anyway… if I have juice in the fridge I will use about half a cup of OJ and then supplement with water and the juice of half a lemon. But with all the flavour & goodness from the produce above you don’t really need it. Given the excess sugar that’s in juice using just water combined with lemon juice, which adds a nice zing, is probably quite a lot healthier. Once I’ve juiced the lemon I put the rind in a glass filled with water and this will be with me all day. Waste not!
So, there you have it: the best smoothie to kickstart your day. If you are more of a juicing person I bet this combo (minus the last two steps and using fresh fruit) would be great when put through a juicer too.
Do you have a favourite smoothie recipe? I’m always up for trying new combos, so let me know!
[p.s. I apologize that this “eats” post is yet another that is really more like a “drinks” post. I just can’t bring myself to have an official “drinks” category on my blog…]