This time of year, I love a good smoothie. I always try to make mine filling so they can substitute entire meals. Over the years, I’ve tried many different recipes and combinations and I have come to find a couple that I like the most.
Of course you can keep things plain and simple and just chuck your favorite fruits together in a blender with some liquid and you’re done. I used to make smoothies with yoghurt, but I have found that coconut milk is the best option out there. It isn’t overly sweet or sour and goes with many different flavor combinations. So that’s one thing I always keep in my fridge: a couple of cans of coconut milk.
To truly turn a smoothie into a meal, I like to go beyond just fruit and liquids. Those I still like for snacks, but if I truly want to make it count, I always add in some raw vanilla protein powder. It works great with fruits and adds a little bit more flavor. At the same time it bulks it up the smoothie into a full meal. My preferred protein powder are vegan: I feel they mess with the texture of your smoothie the least. Rice protein powder is the best I tried.
The reason why I prefer making smoothies in the summer is the abundance of fruit that is around. From loads of different berries, to juicy peaches and even more exotic fruits like papaya: summer fruits are simply the best if you want to make a fruit smoothie. My favorite combinations are blueberry/ raspberry or strawberry/ mango. But I will never say no to a good peach smoothie. I love the flavor of a good ripe white peach thrown into a blender.
But as you can tell by the pictures in this blog post, I don’t only drink fruit smoothies. On the contrary, most of my smoothies contain some form of veggie most of the time. The best veggie to sneak into a smoothie without anyone noticing is a zucchini. If you peel it first, it can substitute bananas in your smoothie. It will add the texture and thicken the smoothie, but not the sweetness and sugars that come with a banana.
My most favorite combinations however are the following:
- spinach / pineapple
- mango/ kale
- courgette/ berries
- beetroot / blueberries
- courgette/ pineapple/ raspberry
- carrot / apple
When using vegetables in smoothies, it is good to bear in mind a little bit of color theory. If you don’t, your smoothie will end up brown, which will make for one unpleasing looking smoothie. You can add liquids and protein powder to taste. I generally add a splash of water if my smoothie is too thick.
If you’ve never had vegetables in your smoothie than it is a good idea to ease yourself into it. Start by having 25% veggies and 75% fruit till you can go 50-50. That’s usually what I aim for.
To add even more nutrients into this wonderful little package, I sometimes add in oats, flax seeds or chia seeds. It is a great way to add in some more fibres and omega 3. So if just protein, veggies, fruits and fats (from the coconut milk) aren’t enough, you can amp it up even further.
How do you like your smoothies?