Sunday, August 24, 2014

Introducing: The Red Smoothie

So I'm back in Sydney, and back in my own home, which means back to the daily grind but also to routines and old favourites. Now, having my blender back at my full disposition, I thought it only appropriate to share a recipe that I created and make on the reg (you can be sure this has been tried and tested a few times).

I'm assuming that most of you have heard of the infamous green smoothie - some of you may love and support the idea and some of you may shudder at the thought of drinking liquid spinach and fruits (personally, I've been caught out making my own green smoothies but you know, to each their own). Well if you fall into the B category and like smoothies, fear not. Here is another healthy (vegetable free) alternative with its own set of mega-nutritious benefits (your foodie/health-freak/hipster friends will be proud).

Note: Recipe can be easily modified to be vegan.

The Recipe:
-1 handful of frozen mixed berries (makes your smoothie nice and cold without watering it down with ice cubes) - the ones I used were organic
of a pink grapefruit (a quarter is pictured, but I do recommend halving that quantity)
-2 tablespoons of dried goji berries 
-1 tablespoon of oats 
-1 tablespoon of honey (or more to taste) - to make vegan, you can replace this with agave nectar
-1 cup and a half of almond milk 

The Health Benefits Low-down:
Ok so let's start with the berries. I used a mix of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Blueberries are such an amazing little fruit, they are rich in the kind of antioxidants that will help you with arthritis, age-related memory loss and various eyesight problems, including cataracts. Raspberries on the other hand contain more fibre and help lower cholesterol and even manage type 2 diabetes. They also have antioxidants such as vitamin C and anthocyanins (these are what give the berries their vibrant pigment) that can aid you in maintaining healthy skin and hair. Strawberries however can do all of the above as well as being a good source of folate and B vitamin (which reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease for example) - so maybe think twice before passing by these babies in the fruit and vegetable section at your supermarket, because they are a lot more powerful than they appear ! 

The pink grapefruit has slightly less mind-blowing health benefits like its berry buddies, but is a hefty source of vitamin C and is low GI as well as low in calories (approximately 40 calories in a medium grapefruit) - and it adds a nice tart citrus flavour to the smoothie. 

The goji berry is kind of like the wise elder in the bunch, used for thousands of years not just in a culinary sense but in medicine too. Branded a superfruit, many have claimed this berry to be rejuvenating, which is probably due to its powerful antioxidant properties and polysaccharides, which together help boost the immune system. This superfruit is also packed with vitamin C and fibre and high in iron, calcium and zinc. 

And finally, the delicious almond milk - which is naturally a little sweeter than other milk alternatives (great for smoothies !). I just buy plain almond milk (no vanilla flavour or anything), which happens to have less calories than light milk by about a third. Not only a source of calcium (and almost 99% percent fat free) it is also naturally free from lactose, gluten and cholesterol.

Now let's get into the smoothie:

First prepare your grapefruit by cutting it into an eighth and slicing away the skin - I just glide my knife right between the skin and the flesh of the grapefruit. Then cut it into smaller chunks so it blends slightly easier.

Next, load up your ingredients into the blender. There isn't really a particular order that you have to do this in, but I like putting my frozen fruit on the bottom so the blade blends through it nicely and putting my liquids in last. 

Blend for about 2 minutes (less if you have a smoothie setting, which I do, and/or a powerful professional tier blender) or until all your ingredients have been blended right through. Do not strain (you'll lose all those nutrients found in the seeds and micro bits of fruit left behind).

The recipe makes enough to fill about 2 smaller glasses or one big glass.

Enjoy and be sure to follow my blog or like my facebook page to be certain not to miss a post. 

xx Margot Ana

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