Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Kate's Kitchen - smoothies!

At the moment, I’m tweaking my diet a bit, and my trainer has suggested trying a smoothie before my workout and then breakfast after. (Just as well I work from home…)

So there’s much experimenting going on. It seems to be a question of picking your base, picking your fruit, and then deciding if you want some add-ons.

Greek yoghurt is a good base, but you’ll need a little water or juice to thin it down or you’ll be eating your smoothie with a spoon :o)
Whey protein powder is another option – usually one scoop plus 200ml water. Vanilla’s a good base because it goes with most things.
Juice, almond milk and coconut water are also good bases, but you’ll need a banana (or add some yoghurt) to help thicken the smoothie.

This is where the fun starts – do you choose berries and cherries (which are high in anthocyanins and therefore meant to be good antioxidants), or tropical fruits such as pineapple, mango and passion fruit, or something with a bright colour such as kiwifruit? (Or maybe you fancy a green smoothie, made with spinach or kale and green tea plus a banana.)

Oats – for added texture and fibre
Flax seed – good for helping to lower cholesterol
Nut butter – added texture and protein
Spices – I’m a bit of a cinnamon junkie, but ginger and nutmeg are both also good in smoothies

(For green smoothies, adding a teaspoon of powdered spirulina will make the colour amazing, as well as adding vitamins and minerals – the taste can be quite strong, though, so you’ll need strong flavours to mask it!)

My current two favourites are super-easy – and the children like them as well (which is handy if they’re in ‘I’m too stressed about my exams to eat breakfast’ mode). In both cases, just put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz together until smooth.

Vanilla and nectarine: 
1 scoop of vanilla whey powder
200ml water
1 nectarine, stoned and chopped

100g Greek yoghurt
100ml pineapple juice
two handfuls of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, stoned cherries, strawberries)
(you might also need to add a little water as it's quite thick)

Kate’s latest release is 200 Harley Street: The Soldier Prince – part of the 200 Harley Street continuity. You can find out more about the book, and Kate, on her website (http://www.katehardy.com/) and her blog (http://katehardy.blogspot.com/)

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