By Andrea Cullen, June 26th 2014
This is a nice little recipe that I created the other day after a nice long bike ride. There really aren’t any magic secrets when it comes to making smoothies, as pretty much anything goes into a blender and will blitz with success.
If you are a cyclist the route that I cycled Tuesday past was wonderful! I started in Newport and cycled through Ballinahinch, towards Nenagh, up past the Silvermines, and home via Killoscully and the back road across the Ballyhourigan woods and Doonane entrances to Keeper Hill. If you wish to see this route it is available on mapmyrun.
When making smoothies I do recommend the following rules as a guideline:
Avoid adding too many higher in sugar fruits unless this is a recovery from training drink and the sugars are required to support muscle glycogen replenishment and the adaptive and repair mechanisms. Home-made and pre-prepared smoothies can be the source of far more sugar calories than you realise if you add several portions of fruit especially if bananas and/ or dried fruits are added. Lower in sugar fruits that I recommend using in smoothies include berries and melon.
- Keep it colourful; colour pigments hold the antioxidant rainbow.
- Aim to add some greens; these keep the sugar hit lower by reducing the volume of fruits used and also add valuable nutrition from vitamin k, magnesium and calcium in particular. Plus they add their own personality in antioxidants. Spinach, rocket, watercress and kale work well; start low and slow and work your taste buds up to larger volumes gradually. Victoria Boutenko’s webpage is super for further inspiration and I highly recommend her book the Green Smoothie Revolution.
If you are recovering from a longer or more intense workouts and require 50+g carbohydrates then I suggest boosting your carb intake with the addition of a banana and a few pieces of dried fruit such as figs, dates, apricots, prunes or recovery boosting Montmorency cherries (Cherry active dried cherries). Carb powders such as Vitargo and Quadricarb will also add nicely to the mix for endurance peeps hungry muscles.
- Not many people think to add papaya; it is a super source of Vitamin E (as are raspberries and avocado); make sure to remove the peppery seeds or you will be in for a nice surprise!
Although many persons choose to use only fruits and ‘milks’ or yogurt in their smoothies, if you wish to create a better balanced smoothie that is lower in glycaemic load and higher in protein then I suggest the addition of protein from a whole raw egg (NOT the white only; yolk only is cool but not that high in protein), whey or casein protein powder, or vegan protein powder. Make sure that you choose quality brands. I like ROS and Kinetica for dairy proteins and Garden of life, Pure encapsulations, SunWarrior, Jarrow formulas, Pulsin, Thorne research, Plantfusion, and Vega Sport for vegan proteins. You may need a practitioner account to order some of these brands for example Thorne Research; please email the office if so.
The addition of healthy fats from avocado, nuts, seeds or coconut flesh or milk further slows the release of sugars into your blood stream (slower sugar spike), improves the absorption of the plant antioxidants which are fat soluble, and raises your intake of healthy, healing and anti-inflammatory omega 3, 6, 9 and MCT (medium chain triglyceride) fats.
If you are brave the addition of root ginger or turmeric adds anti-inflammatory and antioxidant clout.
I prefer to stay dairy free so I usually add almond milk or coconut milk; you may prefer to use whole organic milk or Greek yogurt instead. Not everyone needs to go dairy free but I will say one thing about dairy…. choose organic or farm fresh; especially if you live in the USA.
- Smoothies are higher in fibre as they use all of the fruit or vegetable so this keeps a nice balance in the diet; I don’t recommend exclusively juicing. Shake it up a bit alternating juices with smoothies with juices. Juices are handy in the countdown to endurance events as they remove bulk from the diet when you are carb loading.
- Using ingredients from the fridge makes a nice cooling smoothie; the addition of frozen fruit or ice-cubes creates a thicker and more creamy consistency.
Summer Smoothie Ingredients:
Psyllium husks x 2 teaspoons ( I wanted to add some fibre to my day 🙂 This is helpful when supporting colon health or detoxification)
Small strip of zest from an unwaxed and well washed lemon and dash of its juice
Optional protein powder
Wash all your ingredients