Smoothies and juices with a twist

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I must confess, I’m quite relieved Christmas is over. I know, I sound like I’ve gone mad, but hear me out.

Two weeks of eating nothing but red meat, chocolate and cheese is taking its toll. My skin has gone to pot, my jeans are most definitely tighter than they were last month and I am seriously lacking in energy.

This feeling has prompted an intervention, and since 1 January, I’ve been getting back to my usual healthy eating habits. An essential component of my day is usually either a juice or a smoothie. While blitzing fruit and vegetables is a good place to start, I like to add other ingredients to my smoothie to ensure I’m getting all of the nutrients I need.

Depending on the smoothie or juice I’m making, I turn to a few different ingredients to give my drink an added boost. Namely these are spirulina, acai powder, protein powder and turmeric. Each of these products is good for you in their own right. Add them to a juice or smoothie and you have a powerful, nutritious drink. Below, are four different recipes, each using one of the ingredients I mentioned above:

Kale, apple and lime juice, with spirulina

Spirulina is a form of edible algae, which is literally packed with protein. It comes in the form of a green powder, perfect for adding to juices and smoothies. Smoothies are often lacking in protein, especially as they only feature fruit and vegetables. Spirulina solves this problem.

To make this immune-boosting green juice, blend an apple, a good handful of kale, the juice of one lime, a teaspoon of spirulina and 300ml of water. You’ll end up with a stunning green coloured juice that’s 100% good for you.

Mixed berry, banana and acai smoothie

Acai berries are packed with antioxidants and fibre, meaning they pack a serious punch on the health food stakes. I tend to get acai powder, which is available in most health food shops and add a tablespoon or two to my smoothie.

To make the above smoothie I use frozen mixed berries and blend them with half a banana, almond milk and acai. This makes a great smoothie, which I can grab and go on the way to work. If I’m at home, I use the same ingredients to make a smoothie bowl. I simply don’t add any almond milk to make the texture thicker. I top my bowl with chopped fruit and almond butter. It’s delicious.

Mango and Greek yoghurt smoothie, with vanilla protein powder

This is one of my favourite smoothies, as it tastes super indulgent but is really good for you at the same time. Although there’s already a good dose of protein in this smoothie from the yoghurt, if I’ve been working out I like to add a little more. Protein powder is a good way to do this.

When I make this smoothie I blend half a mango with a scoop of protein powder, 200ml of water and two tablespoons of Greek yoghurt. If you don’t do dairy, try subbing the Greek yoghurt for coconut yoghurt. It’s just as good.

Pineapple, banana and coconut smoothie, with turmeric

Google turmeric and you will find an awe-inspiring list of health benefits. But it doesn’t just have to be used in savoury recipes. Adding a mere half teaspoon to your smoothie will net you a whole lot of gains.

My favourite turmeric smoothie involves blending equal amounts of pineapple and banana with a little coconut milk and half a teaspoon of turmeric. It makes for one delicious drink!

Are there any supplements that you add to your smoothies to increase their health benefits?

Chiara is an editor who likes the simple things in life; a cup of tea by the fire, travel, and spending time with friends and family. She also can’t resist the lure of Scandinavian decor and has a penchant for anything warm and cosy. You can find out more about Chiara and follow her adventures on her blog, Wine and Olives.

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