A few serious trends have broken through in the health food/blogging world in the last few years. One of the most notable, I think, has to be the popularity of “green” smoothies.
The idea is incredibly simple, blending spinach or kale into a smoothie and adding whatever else you want to it to make it palatable. For quite a while, my recipes involved a fairly consistent mix of spinach, strawberries, blueberries, milk and honey. The need to honey slowly receded as I grew used to the taste of the spinach, in fact, it is something I now crave!
Now that I have my own modest income, I have been making small efforts into exploring the world of previously ridiculous-sounding health foods. Investing in ingredients such a chia seeds and flax seed, I have begun to add spoonfuls of these to my smoothies. They don’t actually change the flavour, but provide a mixture of fibre, protein, vitamins and minerals, and I think are an overall great addition to a diet if you’re making a more conscious change toward eating natural foods.
One of these superfoods which I have been more sceptical of is Spirulina powder. To give the most basic description of it, as per my unscientific memory, Spirulina powder is some kind of algae compound that has so many amazing health benefit s that people have decided it is worth trying to add into your diet. I’m not going to lie to you and pretend otherwise, but in this circumstance I have totally fallen victim to an internet fad, and while I would have stopped short of purchasing it online, I did get a little excited when I saw an attractive, shiny, forest-green pouch of the stuff sitting on the shelf in Holland and Barrett.
So, determined as I am not to let any of my new ingredients (and money) go to waste, I decided to add some Spirulina into my smoothie last Sunday. This also might have something to do with the fact that I had indulged in some Saturday night behaviour the night before, and drank half a bottle of red wine and ate a deliciously greasy pepperoni pizza, and felt like I needed something extra wholesome balance that out. I initially started out following this recipe from Deliciously Ella – one of my new favourite blogs – trusting her instructions with these ingredients more than my own guesswork.
However, I guess I got a little nervous about the entire teaspoon of green powder I was throwing in, and decided (without tasting) that the smoothie might need a little extra sweetness and added in a big splurge of agave syrup. Unsurprisingly, the whole thing ended up being a little too sweet. A bit annoyed at myself for being so hasty and ruining a perfectly good recipe, I tried to think of something I could add to the smoothies to offset this sweetness and my eyes landed on the avocados I bought the night before but hadn’t used (because of the pizza – whoops).
I have heard of using avocados in smoothies before, but never tried it myself, firstly because if I’m eating healthily, avocados will usually make an appearance somewhere later in the day, like in the Sweet Potato and Quinoa salad I usually make for lunch. Secondly, avocados can be quite expensive and since my sister eats them a lot too, our house is not usually overflowing with them, so I don’t always have a whole one at my disposal.
However, as a treat, I will definitely be adding this into my recipes in the future! The texture it adds is seriously amazing, it is just so luxurious, and the flavour was just perfect to balance out the syrup. I’m not even usually a massive fan of blueberries with spinach, but I honestly haven’t enjoyed a smoothie as much as this in a long time! In addition to this, it is always a great feeling eating/drinking something that you know is 100% good for you. And all-around winner!
Spinach, avocado and blueberry smoothie.
Adapted from this recipe by Deliciously Ella.
Once again, this “recipe” is mostly for guidance! Add things in the quantities that you think you’d enjoy them in.
– 2 handfuls of spinach
– Large handful of blueberries
– 1 banana
– 1 avocado
– 1 tablespoon liquid sweetener (I used agave – but again, I’ll probably try to cut down this amount when I try this again)
– ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk (full disclosure, this is a complete estimate, I just pour this straight into the blender guessing the amount based on my usual smoothies. I would suggest adding about half a cup and building this up based on how thick you like your smoothie.)
– 1 teaspoon Spirulina*
– 1 tablespoon ground flax*
– 1 tablespoon chia seeds*
Simply peel the banana, scoop out the avocado flesh and blend it all together. Then enjoy the goodness!
*These ingredients aren’t necessary, and I don’t think they actually affect the flavour. Feel free to omit them, I’m sure the smoothie will still be delicious.