I do like to try and be healthy, although I will be the first to raise my hand and say I am partial to some pizza and chocolate cake probably a little too often. I love eating fruit and veg, but I know how difficult it is sometimes to incorporate five portions in to your meals. Today I decided to dust off the blender that has been hiding away in the corner of my kitchen for the past couple of years and start making smoothies again, as they are a really good way of getting your recommended daily allowance of fruit and veg- a smoothie can count as up to two of your five-a-day.
Now, fruit smoothies are pretty versatile, you can just throw in any combination of your favourite fruits and you're good to go! But recently, I was doing a little research in to some good recipes, and came across some that contained an ingredient that I never thought I would put in to a smoothie... Spinach.
I have always loved spinach with my meals, ever since I was little and was convinced that eating lots of spinach would allow me to have superhuman strength, like Popeye. Including spinach in a blended fruit drink sounds bizarre though!
However, I can assure you that it isn't as bad as it sounds. Lots of people include spinach in their smoothies as it is a superfood (meaning it is very good for you), but doesn't have a strong taste, therefore the spinach is masked by all the other ingredients but you are still getting all the health benefits from it. Just a handful of the health benefits from spinach are:
- Vitamin K to help strengthen bones
- Contains anti-oxidants such as beta-carotene and kaempferol, which fight heart disease, cancers and eye conditions such as cataracts
- Improves brain function and protects against aging
Now I know my smoothie isn't exactly a green smoothie, I'm not brave enough yet to put enough vegetables in it to make it turn green. To be honest, a green smoothie probably looks more appetising than the pukey colour that mine turned (do you like my strawberry and raspberry garnishing and brightly coloured straws as an attempt to make it look a bit better?), but I promise you it tastes a lot better than it looks, it is essentially a strawberry and banana smoothie with a handful of spinach thrown in (just throw a few more berries in there to make it turn red haha!). Here is what I used:
- 200g fat-free natural yoghurt
- 1 and a half bananas
- A handful of chopped strawberries
- A handful of raspberries
- A handful of spinach
What is your favourite smoothie recipe? Do you add spinach in yours?