food

Fad or Future: Green Smoothie

Green Cup Image by @theeyecreative_mag

I'd like to start off by saying, I am a big smoothie fan. My little Nutribullet has had its work cut out for it blending me up all sorts of concoctions over the last twelve months. I have added smoothies to my brekky routine which also consists of chia puddings (more on these later!) and oats to add variety.

I have only recently started to add spinach to my smoothies to make it 'green' after reading more and more about introducing veggies into your breakfast. Since veggies don’t really sit well with oats or chia pudding, adding them to my smoothies was my only option.

Veggies are a great addition to your breakfast because they provide us with added nutrients that we usually wouldn’t get from our more one dimensional breakfast diet. But I am not one for cooking breakfast in the morning as I’d prefer to spend my time before work exercising, not over a hot stove.

Green smoothies are certainly a great way to get more veggies into us which is something us Aussies need to focus on! According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics only 6% of people met the recommended daily intake of vegetables (6 serves for men and 5 serves for women) while 52% met the recommended daily intake of fruit (2 serves).

Just to clear things up, a serve of vegetables is half a cup of cooked vegetables or a cup or salad vegetables and a serve of fruit is one medium piece of fruit or a cup of diced fruit.

You may have thought you were hitting these targets with your salad sandwich and steamed veggies at dinner, but five serves per day can actually be quite tricky to achieve which is part of the reason why green smoothies have become so popular!

Try adding greens like baby spinach or kale to your next smoothie which are loaded with vitamins A, C and K plus have decent levels of some B vitamins, iron and calcium. Unlike cooking these greens, liquefying them raw in a blender doesn’t strip them of their potency and they still retain their fiber.

By blending with naturally sweet ingredients like banana or berries (these are packed full of their own goodness mind due) you don’t notice the taste of the vegetables while you still get all the nutrients associated with having a raw veggie. Feel free to still add in your proteins, superfoods, nuts and seeds if you enjoy doing so.

So are green smoothies a fad? Well there are obviously great health benefits associated to introducing them to your breakfast routine, but there are lots of cowboys out there making green juices and smoothies with very little “greens” being present. Make sure you double check the labels of any prepackaged versions or review the ingredients list of fresh made smoothies from your local cafe or juice joint. If they add any extra sugar (coconut sugar, agave, cane juice etc) or fruit concentrate (fruit juice) you should avoid these! Obviously there will be some sugar included from the fresh fruits and milk used but it’s these added sugars that will make it taste sweeter (and possibly better!) but give you a sugar high not dissimilar to that of soft drink or lollies.

Tag #chiefactive to share your latest green smoothie creations and we’ll feature them on our Instagram.