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Yesterday I learned something surprising – miracles do happen!  My vegetable-hating teenage son scarfed down 1/2 pint of smoothie containing amongst other things spinach (and not just a few leaves either).  This is the soon to be man who sits at the dinner table heaving when I make him eat a sliver of kale, or indeed any other vegetable than a carrot.  Result!

So what’s my secret I hear you ask?  I bought a new toy.  One of those nutrient extractor smoothie makers (Nutribullet).  You fill half the cup with green leafy veg (we started with spinach because it’s pretty tasteless, but you can use what you like), then the rest with fruit.  Add in some ‘superfoods’ (nuts, seeds, flaxseed, goji berries) and water and press go.  It claims to extract the nutrients from the fruit and veg you put in (by this I guess it means it breaks down the cellular walls so your digestive system doesn’t have to, but maintains the fibre that you would lose if you just juiced them).  And it takes about 5 minutes to throw together.

So this is going to be my breakfast for a while (still on the breakfast theme here!)  But I can’t just have a load of fruit and veg for my breakfast, as that wouldn’t keep my blood sugar levels steady, thus giving me sustained energy for a few hours (and if you’ve been paying attention you’d know that 😉 )  Each day I experiment with something new, but here’s what I had yesterday morning, and it kept me going for about 3 hours before I started to feel hungry:

1/2 cup kale
handful blueberries
handful raspberries
1 apple
1/2 avocado (to give it a creamy texture)
1 carrot
1 inch ginger
mixture of water and coconut water
large handful almonds
1 tbsp ground flax with goji berries

I put plain bio yoghurt in it the day before, which is another way to get protein in.  Today I’m going to try some cashews.  It’s an exciting journey, all this experimentation, and I’m hoping my vegetable-hating teenage son is going to start reaping the health benefits of this sudden increase in nutrients.  Me too, because although I already eat plenty of vegetables every day, I intend to keep doing so as well as the addition of the smoothie.

In the one above I gave myself a range of vitamins and minerals: kale and carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, C and K; avocado contains vitamin E, zinc and essential fatty acids (EFAs); blueberries contain anthocyanidin (potent antioxidant); almonds contain protein and EFAs, plus a good dose of calcium, magnesium and potassium; flaxseed contains omega 3 EFAs, iron, vitamin B6; ginger can be very calming on the digestive system (good for nausea, not that I needed it!); apples contain a good dose of potassium and folate; and coconut water can help rebalance electrolytes, so is a good way to help maintain hydration levels.  Yup, I’m feeling well nourished after drinking that.

And ok, it doesn’t look like those smoothies you get out of tetra-packs in the supermarket.  It’s got texture and it’s a kind of green, sludgy colour.  But it tastes good!  For the kids I put a bit of manuka honey in, plus I swapped avocado for banana, as it’s sweeter (baby steps with these anti-vegetable teenagers).

This is going to be one of those purchases that turns out to be money well spent I feel.  Going off to make today’s concoction 🙂

green smoothie

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