It’s never too late to start focusing on your health and wellness. Smoothies are a great way to boost your daily fruit and veg intake, significantly increasing your energy levels and overall vitality. The best part about smoothies, other than their simplicity, is that all the fibre and goodness of fruit and veg are still retained. To get the most out of your new smoothie regime follow these 6 expert tips for smoothies.
Take your smoothie game to the next level.
Tip 1: Fruit Ripeness
The ripeness of fruit affects the flavour and nutritional value of your smoothie. This is because most fruits contain higher levels of vitamins, minerals and sugars when they are fully ripe.
Overripe bananas are the secret ingredient to many great smoothie recipes. This is because bananas reach the peak of their sweetness as their skin begins to turn brown.
Ripe fruits can help to offset the sour or bitter taste of other ingredients, which provides a healthy alternative to high-calorie sweeteners.
Tip 2: Prep & Freeze
Save time by peeling fruit and cutting it into bite-size pieces before storing it in freezer bags. It’s also important to remember to wash and dry fruits, berries and leafy greens before freezing. This process also helps to preserve vitamins and minerals, ensuring your fruit doesn’t lose its nutritional value as it ripens or oxidises.
Tip 3: Buy Seasonal Fruits
Seasonal ingredients are higher in nutritional value than non-seasonal ingredients because non-seasonal produce is picked prematurely to ensure they don’t spoil before arriving in our stores.
Being seasonal also means the fruit and veg are much cheaper!
Seasonal fruit and vegetables support your body’s natural nutritional needs. Summer fruits, provide us with beta-carotene and carotenoids to help protect against sun damage. They also contain more glucose to support our higher energy needs.
Tip 4: Prevent Oxidation
Fruit begins to oxidise shortly after being cut or opened. is cut, the oxygen in the air causes oxidation. Once oxidation occurs the fruit starts to brown and the fruit begins to get bitter. Warmer temperatures in the summer will speed up the oxidation process so keep all cut fruit in the fridge.
There are three common ways to prevent oxidation:
- Dip cut fruit into citrus, either a Vitamin C tablet dissolved in water or fresh lemon/lime/grapefruit juice. Ascorbic acid found in citrus acts as a temporary barrier as the oxidation process will go through it first, before reaching the fruit.
- Tightly wrap cut fruit in plastic so the air can’t reach the fruit.
- Freeze fruit immediately after cutting into containers or freezer safe Ziploc bags.
Oxidation also begins to happen once a smoothie has been blended. A smoothie will start oxidising as soon as it’s been blended as the air is sucked in by the blender. Vitamin C can lose 50% of its nutritional value within a few minutes. As the smoothie oxidises it will begin to turn brown and bitter. Ingredients will start separating with a sludge sinking to the bottom and runny liquid rising to the top.
Tip 5: Portion Control
Ensure every smoothie contains enough of the right calories. When possible try to add more vegetables than fruit, so sugar levels don’t get out of control.
Add proteins and healthy fats to smoothies as well to keep you satisfied for longer. Use low sugar protein powders, natural yogurts or coconut milk.
Tip 6: Add Fats to Green Smoothies
Vitamins A, K, E and D, all found in dark greens are fat soluble. This means fat must be present in your body in order to properly absorb them. Add 1 tsp of fat in the form of hemp, chia, flax seeds, coconut oil or avocado.