I’m definitely someone that prefers to chew my food thoroughly but occasionally, I love homemade smoothies. My partner drinks a smoothie every morning as a plant-based breakfast option as he loves how versatile and easily digestible they are.
Are you a smoothie person? Let me know your favourite combinations in the comments below!
1. Easy Way to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake.
Smoothies are so versatile. Got leftover fruit or vegetables? it’s the perfect way to use up half a banana, strawberry tops or wilted spinach If you have bought too much produce, just freeze it for later. Rotate your greens and add in fresh herbs – mint is my favourite. Aim for 50%-70% vegetables in your smoothies. I love green smoothies especially this recipe by my mother Dr Nitu Bajekal.
2. Great Vehicle for Protein and Fats
Do not replace smoothies with meals when they are nutritionally inadequate. It’s a recipe that will leave you feeling hungry and unsatisfied. Smoothies should be more than just vegetables, fruit and water. Healthy fats such as plant milks, avocado, soy yoghurt, ground flaxseed, chia seeds and nuts are all great additions. These boost the protein content but for an extra boost, you could even use silken tofu or an organic vegan protein powder (if you’re especially active). Spirulina or wheatgrass could also be another nutrient-dense addition. Drizzle nut butter on top and add some homemade granola for crunch or fresh fruit and seeds.
3. Easy to Digest – Remember to “Chew” Your Smoothie
If you want something that’s easy on your digestion, a fruit and vegetable smoothie with a plant-based milk could help. When you blend ingredients, you break down plant cell walls, which makes many nutrients even more digestible. However, it’s important to “chew” your smoothie rather than gulp it down. This helps activate the first phase of the digestive process. Chewing actually helps you absorb nutrients and is beneficial for health – take around 30 minutes if possible. Using less liquid and making a smoothie bowl as well as eating with a spoon helps ensure that you take your time.
4. Can be Helpful to Alleviate Nausea or Morning Sickness
Smoothies can help quell nausea and may help with morning sickness if you’re finding it hard to keep food down. Iced smoothies with frozen fruit and vegetables may be especially helpful. Add in ginger which studies show can reduce nausea and vomiting and a frozen banana for energy. Sip your smoothie slowly.
5. Good for Smaller Appetites
For those with small appetites or anyone who is underweight, a smoothie can be a healthful snack in addition to meals. They can be a great way to provide additional calories. They are also an excellent way to add some greens into children’s diets. You can hardly taste spinach in a banana, soy milk, peanut butter and spinach smoothie. Some children might fun the idea of a green smoothie appealing whereas others won’t so try and introduce it in a fun, playful way – perhaps in mini glasses.