Green Smoothie Goodness
Here are my winter warmer tips to make breakfast nutritionally delicious with green smoothies and porridge – yum!
My husband is a whiz at juicing! Ever since I decided to become vegetarian we’ve started having green smoothies every morning. This was partly inspired because I have a tendency to be anaemic. I also have a blood trait called Beta Thalassemia, which means my blood iron stores are generally low as well, so it’s really important I keep those iron levels topped up. So I wanted to know how I can gain extra iron in my diet through nutritious foods as opposed to mineral supplements. We found out that there are some incredible things you can add in to a smoothie which means you get almost your total daily nutrition in one luscious green smoothie in the morning!
Balance is key
Obviously a balanced diet throughout the day is essential too, but what a great way to kick start the morning by knowing you’ve nourished your body with lovely things! Basically anything green seems to be pretty good for you and that’s because of the chlorophyll it contains. Plants use chlorophyll to gain their nutrients from the soil and so some of this goodness is harnessed when we eat those plants. It can predominently help boost energy and fight illness.
Superfood Supplements for Smoothies
Spirulina is a fantastic supplement to add to your morning smoothie. This has high levels of iron and happens to be the most nutrient dense plant on the planet. It’s also a great source of protein and omega-3 oils and is a strong antioxidant. Wheat Grass is also a super supplement boasting that it can boost your immune system, help eliminate toxins and aid digestion. If you’d really like to boost those nutrients try adding Chia Seeds as well. They are also antioxidants, high in fibre to aid the smooth functioning of your gut and a high quality protein (so good for me now I am vegetarian).
All of these supplements can be bought in powder form or liquid form. We tend to use powder and add about a teaspoon to our mix of vegetables when making our smoothies.
Try Different Combos and Start Juicing!
So, get your juicer to the ready! Start by adding a banana, handful of organic spinach leaves and another type of fruit or vegetable you fancy, for example pear. Next add a teaspoon of Spirulina, Wheat Grass and Chia Seeds. Pour in coconut water to cover the contents and give it all a good whiz.
It’s fun trying different combinations. Some people may prefer a lighter start to the experience and use cucumber or lettuce leaves instead of the spinach. If you’re really brave add kale or broccoli, although I’m working up to those as they can be quite strong in flavour! Also ginger root is a really great addition to experiment with in different strengths – great for aiding digestion, an anti-inflammatory and can even ease menstrual pain. Either way, once you establish the morning smoothie routine you will I’m sure start to feel the benefits. I was surprised, but I definitely feel ‘light in energy’ and somehow more ‘nutritionally maintained’.
My second winter warmer tip is porridge. But this isn’t any old porridge, this is special porridge! Here are some pointers to follow and you’ll be amazed at how filling, sustaining and warming it is. I even have it in the summer now because it is such a good start to the day.
Porridge at lunchtime!
Sometimes, if I don’t have time in the morning I’ll drink my green smoothie with half a banana and then make my porridge at lunchtime. This works wonders as unintentionally I’ve lost a stone in weight! I came to realise that my body didn’t feel truly ‘awake’ for food in the mornings and that my green smoothie was enough. I prefer to have proper hunger by lunchtime and that way I really enjoy and value the porridge. I’ve also noticed that my energy levels have been better. Porridge has a slow release due to the oats. This means my energy keeps on a constant level in the afternoon as opposed to that awful dip some of us experience after a typical lunchtime meal.
Here’s how to make perfect porridge:
1. Pour 1 cupful of rolled oats into a sauce pan (you can used gluten free oats if required). Add flaked almonds and sultanas and flavour with a cap full of almond essence (or vanilla if you prefer).
2. Choose a chopped fruit to add to the mix. I like mango, as it goes well with the almond flavour, as does raspberry. Blueberries, pear, and strawberries are also good combinations.
3. Add enough milk to cover the mixture. I like to use half almond and half coconut milk.
4. Finally bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes or until the mixture becomes more glutenous.
5. To serve, chop some banana into the base of a serving bowl and then pour the porridge mixture on top. I add a little extra coconut milk for moisture around the edges too. I like to add the banana because it becomes caramelised with heat and it also adds natural sweetness. You do NOT need sugar… trust me!
I’ve also used desiccated coconut instead of almond flakes, which goes well with a little vanilla essence and raspberries. Also, if you want more sweetness try using Manuka honey as it have anti-bacterial properties so is even better than standard honey.
The combinations are endless! Do let me know how you get on and if you have tried any other amazing combinations for your porridge! Happy breakfasting!