Beautiful Blends!

Blending is a process by which whole fruits and/or vegetables gets both annihilated and consumed and an occasional blend (limit yourself to maximum one/day) can certainly be a handy and enjoyable way to top up to your micronutrient and fibre intake. For more information, please refer to our article Blending vs Juicing – does either live up to the hype?

With much experimentation (my family and friends have often been subjected to very suspect concoctions) I have found that the best blend ratio – both from a health perspective but without tasting like you’re drinking a blended salad – is a vegetable to fruit ratio of 2:1 or 3:1. However, by all means – if your tastes allow, increase the vegetable component! If you make a blend with a higher fruit content, it’s highly advised to add extra fibre (for example, chia seeds/gel ground flaxseed or raw oats) as this will help slow that sugar release – or if you like thinking of things in GI terms, this effectively will lower the blend’s GI. You also need to be aware that if a blend is used as a ‘meal replacement’, it’s best to also include some protein and good fats – avocados, soft tofu or nuts are commonly used.

Each blender will be slightly different and you may need to experiment what works best for you, but the following approach works for us:

  1. Blend ingredients first with only a little water for at least a minute, then add your liquids/ice (a good 2-3 cups worth of ice– there is nothing worse than a warm blend!) and blend some more until everything has been pulverised and is smooth.
  2. Some people literally blend the whole fruit – pips, rind, stalks – but I find that this often gives the blend a really bitter funny taste and leaves your blend gritty – even with a good blender. However, a few small pieces of citrus rind (including the pith!) can add flavour and contain great oils, vitamins, flavanoids and anti-oxidants) –  but definitely include skins on apples, pears, peaches and other fruits and vegetables
  3. Sweeten it to taste with a low-calorie sweetener like stevia liquid. Stevia is naturally derived, mixes in well and is easy on your digestive tract. Others prefer Xylitol though watch out for increased possibility of gastrointestinal issues with that one. Don’t use sweeteners like Agave Nectar as due to the high fructose content, this is worse for you to have to metabolise than standard white sugar!
  4. If I’m doing a really ‘green’ smoothie – adding ginger, lemon or lime juice and/or rind and basil, lime leaves or mint really helps palatability and adds variety and interest.

So, the following are a few of my favourite recipes – addgreen smoothie whichever greens you prefer or have on hand (spinach followed by kale are probably my favourites and even frozen peas can be great – a funny idea I know, but something that I found out quite by chance when I was mid-prep a few months ago and found myself without ice!) Adjust water, ice and sweetener volumes to your preferred taste and consistency and sometimes replacing water with coconut water, green or peppermint tea can add a really healthy, yummy twist. All of these will give around 3-4 large serves, so adjust quantities as often blends don’t keep well in the fridge (they tend to lose their smooth consistency and nutrient quality will decline once the fruits and vegetables are exposed to oxygen.

 

Blend 1: Green bananas,

  1. 2-3 good handfuls of greens

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    Banana’s are a powerhouse!

  2. One small-medium fennel bulb – trust me on this – or use a few sprigs of basil if you don’t have fennel
  3. Kids packet of sultanas
  4. One ripe, peeled then frozen banana
  5. Juice from one small-med lemon
  6. 1 apple
  7. Chilled water, ice, stevia to taste

 

 

Blend 2: Tropical refresher

  1. 1 cup of frozen pineapplepine-apple
  2. 1 ripe pear or orange
  3. 2-3 large handfuls of greens
  4. 2 cups of chilled peppermint tea (make the night before)
  5. Few sprigs of fresh mint
  6. Chilled water, ice, stevia to taste

 

Blend 3 – Ugly Duckling. Weird name, I know – but if you make it you’ll see why. Given this will undoubtedly be the most hideous concoction you’ve ever made or seen, I dare not take a photo of it – but your bravery in trying it will be well rewarded!

  1. 2 cups or so of frozen watermelonspinach
  2. ½ a cup of frozen raspberries
  3.  Cucumber – about a 10cm chunk
  4. Two large handful of greens
  5. At least 6-8 basil leaves
  6. Juice from a lime,
  7. Chilled water, ice, stevia to taste

 

Blend 4: Refreshing and lightginger

  1. Two ripe pears
  2. Three sticks of celery and about 10cm of cucumber
  3. A large handful of greens
  4. 3-4 pitted medjool dates
  5. A few sprigs of mint and a thumbsized knob of ginger
  6. Chilled water, ice, stevia to taste

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