What did you have for breakfast this morning? If the TV ads are anything to go by – the typical working girl is either rushing out the door in a pencil skirt and grabbing some kind of healthy* yoghurt (no time, important business meetings to get to!) or sitting serenely on a balcony in yoga pants spooning in more sugary cereal. It’s not quite reality is it?
* Cut the fat, amp up the sugar!
I hope most of us have a bit more sense about how we fuel our body for the day. I also hope we’re not swayed by advertising types telling us a) we have no time b) we can’t prepare our own delicious breakfast and c) we’re only going to be slim/happy/have good digestion if we buy their products. It’s time to tune out.
Everyone has the time and cooking skills (or non-cooking if a blender is involved) to prepare a nutritious and tasty breakfast. Really. My go to breakfasts are usually fruit & veggie smoothies or some kind of oat/chia concoction such as overnight oats, porridge or home-made granola – and I spend approximately 5 minutes in the morning to prepare it. Can you factor in 5 minutes and a little early week prep for a day full of health? Yeah you can.
Super Easy Smoothies
A really quick way to amp up the healthy first thing in the morning is to reach for the blender. I’ve recently got my sister into smoothies (never much of a breakfast eater) and she’s hooked! They’re awesome because you get a wide variety of nutrients in one go, they’re super easy to prepare and you can mix it up (pun!) to avoid the dreaded breakfast-boredom.
To ensure you breeze through the morning, buy fruit and veg in bulk at the start of the week. Essential smoothie building blocks include green apples, bananas, oranges and lots of green veggies (kale, spinach, cucumber, mint, parsley). We chop our bananas into chunks and whack them in the freezer for easy blending and to prevent them from going brown.
If you want to go that next step further, put all your smoothie ingredients into individualised plastic zip-lock bags the night before ready to go in the morning.
Are smoothies better than juice?
This is THE debate in the nutrition world at the moment. Personally I prefer smoothies for a few reasons (although green juices are great!)
- Smoothies are cheaper! You go through a lot more fruit/veggies juicing than blending
- Juicing strips fruit and vegetables of their fibre and bulk; meaning a bigger impact on your blood sugar levels which then turns you into a hungry hungry hippo at 11am. Hello biscuit jar.
- Blending mimics the way your teeth break up food, and I like to think your body recognises what’s coming its way!
Do I need a Vitamix?
Hell no! As much as I lust over these high-powered beauties, a regular old blender will do just fine when it comes to fruit, vegetables and ice. It’s the tough stuff like creating almond butter that you might find a little difficult in a standard machine.
Wake Up Smoothie – why it’s good for you
On my smoothie journey I’ve had a love affair with berries, a seriously green phase and even a few weeks where beetroot was my go-to veg. I’m always on the look out for new and interesting recipes, which is how I came across The Green Kitchen’s Wake Up Smoothie. Green tea and pineapple? I had to try.
Broccoli: Let’s be honest, it’s not a breakfast regular – but sneaking it into a smoothie adds tonnes of health benefits – see detoxing properties, iron, Vitamin C and calcium – plus it creates a creamy consistency.
Green Tea: Helps protect the skin from UV damage, helps prevent cardiovascular disease, helps protect from breast cancer and so on and so on. All hail! If you don’t love a cuppa on its own, sneak some into your smoothie.
Parsley: Did you know parsley comes from the Greek words ‘Rock Celery?’ In other more useful facts our favourite garnish is so much more than a sprig on top of a meal; it’s chocked full of antioxidants and that illusive Vitamin K (important for bone health and found almost solely in green leafy vegetables).
The Green Kitchen’s Wake Up Smoothie
Makes 2 large glasses
- ½ pineapple
- 5 broccoli florets
- 1 cm knib of fresh ginger
- Handful parsley
- ½ tsp green tea powder (just rip open a tea bag!)
- ½ cup unsweetened fresh apple juice (I used the Nudie brand)
- ½ cup water
- 3 ice cubes
How to go about it
Add to blender and blend until smooth – give it a while until the broccoli especially is completely smooth.