Ever since we were kids it’s been drilled into us that we need ‘five a day’ to keep us functioning properly, but did you know we’re actually in need of more like ‘twenty a day’ if we’re to be in tip-top health and get all the nutrients we need? Obviously this message is slightly intimidating and much harder to achieve, but there are simple ways in which you can inject much more fruit and veg into your diet without inhaling a vegateble patch alongside every meal. Fruit and vegetables are a great source of essential vitamins and minerals (including folate, vitamin C and potassium,) as well as being an excellent source of dietary fibre (which helps maintain a healthy gut and prevent digestive problems.) Consuming a respectable amount of fruit and veg can help reduce the risk of bowel cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity, so why are we not shovelling as much as phsyically possible down our throats at every given opportunity? Put simply, because it’s quite hard to do so. Juicing and smoothie making has become incredibly popular over the last year, thanks to the adoption of celebrities and mainstream press, and for good reason – it isn’t just a fad, but an easy way of ensuring a decent level of goodness in your diet with very little effort.
I was given a Breville Blend Active Smoothie Maker for my birthday and I can honestly say it’s my most-used present ever. From the day I opened the box it’s been in constant use, being filled with everything from apples and pears to ginger root and baobab powder. It’s so easy to use too, which is the biggest hurdle with any new piece of kitchen equipment: the base unit comes with two bottles which you add your ingredients to, seal with the blending blade base, turn upside down and click into place. There’s only one button to press, which whips the contents of your smoothie up into a lightweight liquid that you can drink directly from the bottle in which is was made. It takes me five minutes to cut up loads of fruit, chuck it in to the bottle and whizz myself up a tasty drink to start the day, knowing I’ve already had a huge hit of goodness before I’ve even left the house.
My favourite smoothie recipe include six ice cubes and a drop of almond milk (to keep the smoothie cold and add a bit of texture) mixed with an apple, pear, kiwi, banana, half a mango, handful of blueberries, chunk of fresh ginger root, sprinkling of baobab powder and a squirt of honey. You can include as much or as little as you like, but I love the fact I can get six portions of fruit (sometimes more if I add further fruit and re-blend) into one drink. I’m currently fascinated by the benefits of natural supplements and additives such as baobab powder and chia seeds, so a smoothie is a great base in which to chuck a sprinkling and know you’re getting the benefits even if you don’t do anything else for the rest of the day. You don’t need to buy expensive juices from health food shops or smoothie bars when you can whip them up in minutes from the comfort of your own kitchen!
Want to know my top five reasons why I love homemade smoothies and juices?
1. You get all your goodness in one hit: If making a smoothie is the only thing you do that day, at least you’ve consumed a decent amount of nutrients and don’t need to panic if you get to 6pm and have eaten a whole packet of biscuits.
2. They’re quick, convenient and easy to make: You don’t need to spend hours preparing, just chuck it all in and whip it up. You can even use browning bananas or wrinkly apples that you don’t want to eat to clear the fridge; when they’re mashed up you won’t be able to tell the difference!
3. There are endless possibilities and concoctions: It’s so fun to formulate your own smoothies and find out what works for your tastebuds; experiment and have fun, adding in anything you think may work and adjusting accordingly the next time around.
4. You can add all those pesky powders and seeds: I’ve long tried to integrate them into salads, soups and breakfast granolas, but it never quite works. Adding sunflower seeds, chia and boabab to a smoothie ensures they’re eaten, but without detection or a powdery ceasar salad.
5. It’s a tasty treat and great way to start the day: Even if you’re not a breakfast person a tasty smoothie is a great way to kick-start your metabolism. When you’re in a rush you can even take it with you and sip on your smoothie while jumping on the tube.
Why not be good to yourself this coming February and invest in a smoothie maker?
The Breville Blend Active is available online priced £24.99.
SIGN UP TO THE LBQ FORTNIGHTLY NEWSLETTER HERE!
BLOG POSTS, NEWS, EXCLUSIVE OFFERS & COMPETITIONS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX.