Ah hello April!
Spring is definitely here. Thank goodness! I am loving the lighter mornings, the slightly warmer days and all the pretty flowers bursting into life. Around this time of year I start moving away from warming bowls of winter fuel like porridge and stews, and towards big fresh bowls of salad and energising smoothies!
Smoothies make such a great breakfast. Don’t get me wrong – I love porridge, and toast, and eggs…OK so I love breakfast in general. But smoothies are great for a number of reasons: they are super quick to make, they are portable, they fill you up and you can pack in lots of fresh, healthy ingredients.
You can use any good blender to make smoothies. I love my NutriBullet. It is super powerful and makes quick work of tough kale or frozen bananas.
There are certain ingredients that really make smoothies taste amazing. I definitely tend to use them in most of my recipes. So I thought that I would share them with you! These ingredients are relatively cheap to pick up, especially if you buy in larger bags it tends to work out cheaper.
- Frozen Bananas
For those of you familiar with my recipes, you will be aware that I am a bit obsessed with bananas. I mean they are just magical. They can be made into ‘nice’ cream, cakes, smoothies, fudge… the list is endless. Naturally, they make the list of my favourite smoothie ingredients. The trick here is to ensure that you freeze them before adding them to your blender. Not only does the frozen banana add some all important chill to your smoothie, it also make it super creamy. Check out how I used frozen bananas in my Chocolate Maca ‘Thickie’ shake recipe!
2. Matcha Green Tea Powder
This makes a great addition to pre-exercise smoothies. Matcha green tea powder is made from drying matcha tea leaves and grinding them into a fine powder. It is packed full of nutrients and antioxidants. I add a teaspoon to smoothies for an energy boost. On warmer days, I also love using matcha powder to make Iced Matcha Green Tea latte.
3. Bee Pollen
I love bee pollen. It has a subtle sweetness that lends itself to smoothies and power bowls. Bee pollen is packed with nutrients and minerals, and is a great natural source of protein. I always add it after I have blended the other ingredients as blending can destroy the nutrients. I love how pretty the golden bee pollen looks on my Berry Burst Smoothie!
4. Cacao Powder
For a self-confessed chocoholic, raw cacao powder for me is a MUST. You only need a little bit to make your recipes super-duper chocolatey. Because it is raw, unlike cocoa, it means that it still contains all the nutrients and goodness that are normally destroyed by heat processing! Fruit flavoured smoothies are great, but for me chocolatey cacao is normally one of the first ingredients I put in my smoothies. It also goes really well with Chia, as seen in my Maca, Chia and Cacao power bowl!
Oats are a must in my pre-exercise smoothies. They add bulk and sustenance without affecting the taste. You only need a spoonful, but it makes a huge difference to my energy levels. I find the best ones to add are rolled oat flakes!
6. Fresh Berries
Fresh berries are a great way to add natural sweetness to a smoothie. My favourite berries to add are strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries. These can sometimes be quite pricey, so we tend to visit the discounted section of the supermarket and pick up berries that are on offer. It doesn’t matter if they are reaching their use-by-date, you can divide them into portions and freeze them. Perfect for adding to smoothies when you are ready!
Seeds are so so good for us, but lots of people don’t really know when or how to use them. Smoothies are PERFECT for using seeds. Add a teaspoon of seeds before you blend and away you go! My favourite smoothie additions are hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and chia seeds! Check out my Pear, Spinach and Cashew smoothie recipe.
These are just SOME of my favourite ingredients that I love putting into my smoothies. I hope this list helps inspire you to up your smoothie game. Naturally, I buy all my favourite ingredients from http://www.HealthySupplies.co.uk. Super affordable and come in handy big bags. I tend to decant all my favourite ingredients into mason jars. They look super pretty on my kitchen shelves! Having my favourite ingredients on display also reminds me to use them, as opposed to letting them languish unused in the cupboard.
Happy Sunday everyone! Let me know in the comments, what are your must-have smoothie ingredients?