Perfect Summer smoothies
Summer: “That time of the year” where the green smoothie is celebrated and for many devotees, is honoured through daily practice and consumption.
Typically, smoothies are made up of blended frozen ingredients to create the ultimate thick, cooling and nutritious beverage. However, as smoothie popularity increases and its place as a “daily meal” becomes the status quo, I hope to challenge some of its qualities.
It is important to recognise that the health benefits of a smoothie rely wholly on the quality of ingredients and the ratio to which they are blended; green smoothies generally consist of half vegetable and half fruit. Fibrous vegetables such as kale and spinach need moisture in order to breakdown and can be difficult to digest when they are eaten raw. Take time to feel the difference between eating kale when its been massaged in oil or cooked compared to eating it raw. In addition to this, blending fruit into liquid form can be an accidental way of over-consuming sugar. Of course, these sugars are natural and beneficial to us in moderation, however, if you are susceptible to sugar cravings be cautious of how much fruit you add to your smoothie; drinking a cold sweet smoothie in the morning can weaken our digestion, cause our yang characteristics to create too much coolness in the body and too much sugar as our first meal after sleep may lead us through a day of craving more. It is important to ensure we approach our smoothie ritual with an awareness of variety and balance.
There are many ways we can be more in tune with our smoothie consumption:
Warm It Up: Rather than combining frozen fruits and vegetables with ice, try moderating the temperature of your smoothie by choosing one element to be frozen and the others to be at room temperature - keep it cool but not freezing!
Use Fresh Produce: Seasonal. Organic. Local.
Spice It Up: Add lemon, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom or cinnamon, all of which have actively warming qualities and will assist the other ingredients in being more digestible.
Minimise Sugar: Use less fruit and avoid the tempting sweet taste – you will be surprised how little sweet our bodies need.
Keep It Simple: Use a few veggies and maybe one type of fruit rather than filling up on the “super foods” – start with one and see how your body feels.
Get Fatty: Good oils such as coconut oil and avocado oil help slow down the absorption of nutrients, therefore act as great hosts to all the healthy ingredients.
Befriend Your Digestive System: If you have a fiery, fast digestion, chances are that you will be able to digest a green smoothie pretty easily. If your digestion however is slower, or more variable, you may need to increase warming herbs and also make a lighter, simpler blend.
Intuitive Eating: We are always tuned into our surroundings – feel into them and decide for yourself whether drinking a cold smoothie is suitable to the climate (warm or cool), your body and your energy needs.