breakfast smoothieThe Breakfast Smoothie

The breakfast smoothie can be a great tasting start to the day. Smoothies are simple to prepare and you can easily mask the flavours of nutritious superfoods that may not be to your liking with the addition of sweet fruits or spices such as cinnamon. Your digestive system is at its strongest in the morning, providing you have allowed it time to rest overnight.

Vary your ingredients depending on what is currently in season. Soft fruits such as apricots, peaches, pears and plums in the summer. Add berries and apples in the late summer and early autumn, and bitter greens in the spring to enliven your digestive system. Bitter oranges contrast nicely with sweet ripe bananas to stimulate digestion during the winter months.

Nuts and seeds

If I am going to use nuts and/or seeds I soak them overnight and strain off the water before adding to the mix. They add proteins and a wealth of vitamins and minerals as well as omega 3 & 6 essential fatty acids. I most often use pumpkin, sunflower, hemp and sesame seeds, along with Brazil nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds—while I often use a mix of seeds I generally use only one type of nut in a single smoothie. Soaking activates the digestive enzymes in seeds and makes the nuts easier to digest. Alternatively, a tablespoon of dark tahini will add a satisfying creamy texture. I also add milled linseeds and chia seeds for their soothing and cleansing actions on the intestines and colon. Adding nuts, seeds, oil or an avocado will increase your uptake of fat soluble vitamins.

Cereals

For a filling smoothie soak oat flakes overnight, they make for a very creamy base. Millet and spelt flakes also taste good this way.

Fruit

At present I am using a lot of the soft fruits such as apricots, peaches, mango and berries as they are plentiful right now. Other options include  a banana or pear, or use soaked Goji berries, figs, raisons or prunes etc. or frozen fruit when fresh fruit is not available, all of which will keep your bowels moving. Avocado adds a creaminess that is unmatched by anything else in my humble opinion, as well as being the best fruit source of Vitamin E.

Green leaves

Use spinach (not too much as it is laxative when broken down), cabbage (very healing for the stomach), dandelion leaves (great for the kidneys and liver), parsley (again great for the kidneys, one small handful of fresh herb will be enough), kale or any greens you have fresh and handy. Fresh mint combines lovely with melon and cucumber for a light smoothie. Lemon balm, lettuce and borage are nice options if you are feeling stressed.

Superfoods: nutritive powders

Add powders to the middle of your smoothie rather than at the bottom or top of your blender for even distribution and to prevent any clumping. Spirulina and chlorella are blue-green algae that generally contain 50 – 55% pre-digested protein plus a host of phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Maca root is popular for its reputation in balancing hormones, increasing energy levels and regulating immune response. Other popular additions include: barley and wheat grass, rosehips, cacao nibs and camu berries.

Filtered water

I prefer using water to adding any kind of milk and really the soaked nuts, seeds and cereals make a milk and add all the creamy smoothness I like in a smoothie. Occasionally I will opt for herbal tea in place of plain water, you could also use coconut water for deep hydration and electrolyte balance.

Related: Green smoothie

Fresh berries

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