Since the arrival of “the beast” aka the Vitamix, my morning smoothies have become more and more adventurous, and I have slowly been upping the amounts of green vegetables in them. By increasing the proportion of my diet which is raw I feel healthier and more energetic. When I am away and skip my raw green smoothies for a day or two I quickly notice an energy drop and tummy grumbles.
This is a gentler smoothie, entirely fruit based, that any blender should be able to handle, although the final result might not be as silky smooth as you would get from a Vitamix. If you use chilled, rather than frozen fruit, and grind your chia seeds in a spice grinder a stick blender will be able to handle this one.
My chia seeds, from Chia Bia, have a large number of health benefits. As well as being a good source of omega 3 oils, they are hydrophilic, able to absorb 10 times their weight in liquid, making you feel fuller for longer and slowing absorption of sugars. You can buy them from health food shops, including Holland & Barrett. I find flax or linseed, available from most supermarkets is a good substitute, as with the chia grind them as you use them.
Although coconut oil is high in saturated fats it is delicious and a little goes a long way. Adding fat to my smoothie makes me feel fuller for longer. Amongst many reported health benefits, new studies suggest coconut oil may help in slowing the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Mine was from the Groovy Food Company.
I’ve written about pesticide free Good Natured Fruit and Vegetables before; they use biological methods rather than pesticides to keep bugs at bay. Sold in Tesco, ASDA and Morrisons they provide an affordable and pesticide free product that is cheaper than organic. (There are several posts that I want to write about this, as I firmly believe there needs to be a middle ground between farmed with chemicals and full on organic with an associated smaller price premium). I tried their new winter strawberries which although not as sweet as the summer variety were pretty good, and also packed full of vitamin C.
Recipe: Strawberry & Coconut Smoothie
2 tsp chia seeds (or flax / linseed)
1 cup red grapes
1 cup strawberries
1 tsp coconut oil
1 cup water
Grind the chia seeds in a spice grinder or your blender, depending on its power.
Add the other ingredients (my strawberries and grape were frozen) and blend until smooth.
For a thicker smoothie add some oats which you have soaked overnight in water or apple juice.
Many thanks to Vitamix for my machine, and to Chia bia, Groovy Food Company & Good Natured for samples.