Morning is the best time to blend up a healthy smoothie. It kicks your body into gear, sets your metabolism and gives you the energy your body and brain need to start your day. Here are some tips and my fave ingredients to add into my breakfast smoothie!
- Add lots of fruit!
- Add produce that is fresh and local
- Don’t forget the greens
- Add some weeds such as dandelion or plantain
- If you like it smooth and closer to juice texture add lots of water
- Add seeds
- Go organic and non GM if possible
- Buy a Vitamix!
Favourite ingredients to add to my smoothie:
Finding you need a little more sweetness added to your smoothie? Dates are a great way to get that sweet kick while keeping it healthy! Dates are very high on the glycemic index BUT the sugar content is not the same as artificial sugars or sweeteners. Studies have shown that dates have no adverse effects on blood sugar levels or weight and they are super rich in B1, B2, B3, B5, A1, C, proteins, fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, copper, manganese and magnesium.
Fruit and lots of it!
I love my fruit but to be honest I still don’t eat enough of it. Without a smoothie I’m lucky if I remember to eat an apple a day. Fruit is beneficial for obvious reasons but I think it’s more important in our diet than we think. Afraid of the effects it may have on your blood sugar levels? Check out this amazing documentary called Simply Raw Reversing Diabetes In 30 Days. A group of people with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are put on a raw vegan diet consisting of raw fruits and veggies for 30 days. After only a few days they are completely off their insulin and after 30 days completely free from Diabetes.
You heard it right! Weeds. Straight from your yard. Back yard preferably where there’s a lesser chance of pollution from car exhaust or dog pee.
Plantain is a plant you’ve probably come across many times walking along sidewalks or through your backyard. It is a common and very hardy weed. It is high in iron and other vitamins and minerals and has many other benefits that include skin repair because of it’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. The young leaves are yummy in salads and the more mature leaves are great in a smoothie because they are more fibrous and harder to chew.
Dandelion is a super hero weed. It is ridiculously high in so many vitamins and minerals such as Calcium, Iron, K, C and A. It’s high in antioxidants, boosts the immune system and supports healthy kidney and liver function. Note: it is a diuretic so be careful consuming in larger quantities. It is also super bitter (a good sign it’s high in vitamins) so add only a small amount to your smoothie. They’re also super yummy in a salad and can be found at your local grocery store!
To learn more about edible weeds Markus Rothkranz is one of my favourite backyard pickin, free food finding, raw vegan guys to watch! His story is incredible, his life is inspirational and he is just full of knowledge when it comes to wild edible plants. Here is a link to his edible wild plant book that I purchased and I use year round. It is amazing!
As with all new foods you are trying take caution! Do your research and ask reliable sources to make sure you are picking the right plant.
Seeds and Oils
Protein is super important in any diet whether you’re a meat eater or a vegan. A big misconception is that we need protein from meat and that it’s hard to get it from any other source. In reality protein can be found from every plant, fruit, nut and seed. Proteins are created from amino acids and foods that grow from the earth are much more digestible. For example did you know that romaine lettuce is a complete protein?
My fave sources of health omegas and proteins come from seeds and oils such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds and hemp seed oil. I add this to my smoothies and cereal in the morning. Hemp seed oil can be pretty strong in taste but you don’t need a lot and it hides easily behind all the sweet fruit!
Gut health is super important especially if you have certain foods you need to detox form. Lord knows I need to fix my body from the damage I’ve done with wheat, dairy and espresso (can you tell I’m Italian?). Fermented foods are amazing for healthy gut flora but you might not want to go adding kimchi or sauerkraut to your smoothie 😛
My favourite way to get lots of healthy bacteria back in my gut is by adding coconut kefir to my smoothie. It’s also fantastic as a yogurt substitute and easy to make! I prefer to buy mine at my local health food store.
My favourite part and the most important! I LOVE blending smoothies. The colours are just incredible as it mixes!
The key to having a great smoothie is how good your blender is at blending. I spent years and tons of money using crappy blenders that made crappy smoothies and ended up in the trash a year later. One day I said enough is enough and splurged on a Vitamix. It was the BEST decision I ever made! It cost me roughly $500 through Costco but this baby could blend rocks and doing some research on the life span the average length of time before a part needs to be replaced is 30 years. There is no reason for you not to get one of these. Just do it.
Here’s a simple recipe for my smoothie I made this morning
- 2 Large Apples
- 2 Large Oranges
- 15 Pitted Dates
- 2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
- 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
- 1 Tbsp Hemp Seed Oil
- A bunch of garden fresh Swiss Chard
- 1 large garden fresh Beet (beets also add sweetness)
- 1 Liter of spring water
Do you have a favourite smoothie recipe? Leave me yours below!