A Smoothie a Day Keeps the Blues Away

I am a smoothie addict. I have one on most days and mostly after a workout so it is like my treat after sweating it out. I chose this title because I do think a healthy dose of vitamins helps our mental well being. There are whole books on nutrition and depression for example. Even if you don’t believe that a smoothie helps with physical or mental health, if nothing else, a smoothie tastes great and, depending on the ingredients , can be very filling too (if you add protein powder or cereal for example). It makes a perfect snack on the go as well since you can sip it anywhere.

I have tried a lot of variations, but I always come back to a very easy, quick and delicious green and vegan smoothie. These ingredients are affordable and widely available so no need to run to an exclusive shop. Just throw the following ingredients into a blender and enjoy!

Green smoothie

My favourite basic smoothie:

1-2 cup of cold water

1 banana

1 cup of frozen spinach cubes

1 cup of frozen strawberries

1 tsp cinnamon

A few drops of vanilla essence

 

My favourite protein smoothie:

I often have my raw vegan protein powder in a smoothie too:

1-2 cup of water

3 tbsp raw vegan protein powder vanilla flavour

1 tsp raw green powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp maca powder

1 big kale leaf with stem removed

1 cup of frozen strawberries and/or blueberries

A smoothie is also a great way for me to use up any leftover vegetable or fruit, like a kiwi, watermelon, a plum, cucumber, lettuce leaves, celery or a few grapes, so I don’t have to throw it out (I am very bad at throwing out food). There are thousands of smoothie recipes out there, and really, anything you fancy can be mixed into a smoothie. Some of these super blenders can process whole avocados (seed included)!

I really like using frozen vegetables and fruits in this as they are super convenient. And much has been said and written about frozen produce having more vitamins than the “fresh” fruit and vegetables from your supermarket. Frozen fruit and vegetables get frozen the moment they are harvested, thus retaining their vitamins. The “fresh” variety most probably have been harvested before they were even ripe, then packed, shipped and cooled (or even frozen), then repacked again and put on a shelf until, finally,  it is sitting around your house or fridge for a while. If you do use fresh fruit and vegetables, add a few ice cubes to make the smoothie thick and cold.

One word of caution though. There is also a lot of criticism out there with regard to consuming a green smoothie daily. Mainly because often there is a lot of fruit (which equals sugar) in them, so they tend to be calorie dense. So a smoothie should be considered more of a treat than a staple, unless it replaces a meal or a couple of snacks. However, many people would never eat the required daily servings of fruit and vegetable if it wasn’t for a smoothie.¹ So my recommendation would be: If you can chew your way through the required portions of fruit and vegetables a day, then eat them. If not, have a smoothie and drink them.

 

¹ According to the US Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020, a healthy eating pattern includes 2.5 cups of vegetables (cut, raw or cooked; half a cup of cut vegetables corresponds to 1 cup of leafy greens) and 2 cups of fruit, based on a 2,000 calorie level, daily.

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