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Boost Your Smoothie

Boost Your Smoothie

pink smoothie
pink smoothie
Photo: MOCHNI.COM

It wouldn’t have been that long ago that the words ‘smoothie’ and ‘healthy’ would never have been used in the same sentence. These days the once humble smoothie is now a hero of the health and wellness world and is slowly extending its popularity out to the wider public also. You only need to search #smoothie on Instagram and you will be flooded with over 6,645,369 images and counting! These photos range from a grainy image of colored liquid to incredible, vibrant works of art, layered with texture and flair. The bottom line is, no matter what it looks like, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Used by many to increase their intake of nutrients, smoothies have the ability to do this through including lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. They are an easy and quick way to ensure you are receiving enough servings of fruit and vegetables a day, especially your greens! For many people getting out the door in the morning can be stressful so smoothies ensure you have a nutrient-dense breakfast that you can drink on the run if need be. Kids and adults alike can enjoy smoothies as a snack option too and they provide a fun way of experimenting with taste combinations for those who are a little more adventurous.

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Smoothies are not just for those who are busy, health conscious or like something quick and easy to prepare; they are also a popular way to include more protein in your diet. This is not just a ‘fad’ by gym junkies looking to build muscle or those passionate about fitness and exercise either, it is also becoming a mainstream trend to add protein powders to smoothies as a way provide the body with this essential macronutrient. Protein is essential for general health and helps to sustain the body and keep it full for longer. A smoothie without the protein would still be delicious but not enough for a satisfying meal option, you would probably find your tummy growling an hour or two afterward!

Creating a smoothie full of protein is a great idea for a meal option or snack, however, there are a few things to be aware of when creating your nutrient dense masterpiece. Often because something is labeled ‘smoothie’ or is drinkable we think it is good for us, but beware of ingredients that could be included in the smoothie you are drinking that might not be offering your body the vitamins and minerals you think it is! These are things such as ice cream (blending it doesn’t make it healthy), flavored yogurt (high in sugar) and flavored syrups or powders (processed and often unnecessarily sweetened).

All of the additives mentioned above are not only high in sugar and other processed ingredients but problematic to the skin also, causing congestion and premature aging. If you are out and about, ask the ingredients of the smoothie and feel free to swap something out that you don’t want in it. If you make your own smoothies remember instead to use ingredients such as fruit (one piece per serving), vegetables, nuts, seeds, plant-based milk, spices, and water. Go for organic where possible, especially if you are leaving the fruit and vegetables unpeeled. Most importantly make it nutrient dense by including some form of protein to keep you satisfied for longer and giving your body what it needs to stay strong and healthy.

There are many ways to include protein in your smoothie without using a powder that often includes sweeteners, flavorings or colorings and can be highly processed. These days there are numerous companies selling protein powder but even those that are organic and plant-based can still cause congestion in the skin and let’s face it – using whole foods is cheaper, easier and just makes more sense. Using a whole food form of protein also guarantees your body will be receiving not only protein but an amazing amount of other vitamins and minerals from that food also.

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For those who are new to the smoothie, the thing keeps it simple by including pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, or oats as a source of protein. Some of you who have been making smoothies for a while now and looking to branch out with your ingredients could add almonds or almond butter, kale, avocado, tahini or gelatin for an animal based source of protein. Then of course if you are really looking to take your smoothie to the next level add some white or black beans or edible insect flour!

Some of these suggestions might seem a little far-fetched or crazy but be encouraged to give it a go, branch out and try something new, go on! We have even given you a head start by including some recipes below for you to try some of the whole food protein options for boosting your smoothie. Create one of the below recipes or make your own up, tag us on social media and #mochniproteinsmoothie for us to check out your creations! Remember we don’t mind if your smoothie doesn’t look pretty, it’s what is in it that counts!

Black bean dream

Serves 1-2

80ml of coconut cream
200g of black beans, cooked (1/2 can)
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 avocado
1 tablespoon of rice malt syrup (optional)
Water (if needed)

Blend all ingredients in a blender and add water until desired consistency is reached.
Top with cacao nibs and chia seeds.

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Pink and pretty

Serves 1-2

1 beetroot, cut and steamed
1 cup of raspberries, fresh or frozen
½ cup of oats
1 cup of plant-based milk
2 tablespoons of almond butter
½ teaspoon of turmeric
1 tablespoon of honey (optional)
Water (if needed)

Blend all ingredients in a blender and add water until desired consistency is reached.
Top with slithered almonds and pumpkin seeds.

Choco-nana treat

Serves 1-2

2 small bananas
1 cup of spinach
½ cup of tahini
2 tablespoons of cacao
1 tablespoon of maca
1 tablespoon of gelatin or edible insect flour
1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup (optional)
Water (if needed)

Blend all ingredients in a blender and add water until desired consistency is reached.
Top with buckwheat groats and coconut threads.

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