The Art of the Smoothie
By Roberta King| Nutritionist, Yoga Instructor and Massage Therapist
Not a desperately novel trend, but one that is often adapted, the smoothie has made its mark on the health conscious individuals of today, viewing these nutrient compact liquids as a healthy meal replacement, made quickly and easily to accompany their fast-paced lifestyles.
The smoothie has been moulded in many ways and takes the form of smoothie bowls, protein rich smoothies for the gym junkie on the go, and now of course the sea vegetable smoothie, known to boost health through its high mineral and probiotic content.
But when considering all these smoothies, how easily are they actually made? And do they always turn out to be delicious and nutrient rich?
I myself had always assumed that making a smoothie was particularly simple and required no real skill. Yet my repertoire of failed attempts was beginning to look rather lengthy. One disastrous, and somewhat revolting smoothie that stands out in my memory, has to be the smoothie I whipped up using spinach, spirulina and cherry tomatoes. I’d figured that the more vegetables I added from the fridge, the healthier it would be, and the less food I would waste. It had quite the opposite affect however, and I deemed it completely undrinkable, throwing the brown gritty substance down the toilet.
So many of us tend to make mistakes like this one. For example, we often like to blend our vegetables instead of juice them, a common smoothie faux par. The taste and texture is quite unpleasant. Overloading our smoothies with as many super foods as we can possibly squeeze in, is yet another, assuming that it is more beneficial for our health this way, when really we couldn’t be further off the mark. Drowning the body in antioxidants, and making them more difficult for us to absorb.
So what is the art of making a good smoothie? And is there a formula that we can follow to ensure our smoothie always taste good, as well as does us good?
It wasn’t until I attended the Deliciously Raw Culinary school, with raw food master chef Deborah Durrant, that I discovered that there was. The principles are very simple:
Find a Base. The base provides nutrition, a fruit or vegetable juice, nut milk or coconut water.
Decide on a Core. The core defines the texture taste and character of the smoothie, and could be fresh or frozen fruit, a particular vegetable or a frozen banana.
Include a Superfood or Seasoning. For added nutritional value. Try maca, baobab, cacao or lavender.
Finish with a Sweetener. Dates, honey, lucuma are a good accompaniment.
I followed this method in class, and produced the most divine tasting smoothie. It contained very few ingredients.
Coconut water as the base, a frozen banana as the core and coconut mana as the superfood introduction. I’d decided at the end that it was sweet enough, and didn’t require an additional sweetener. Less is more in the smoothie making case. I called it the Phi Phi Island smoothie, named after my favourite tropical island in Thailand.