Lockdown winners: 4 easy and healthy smoothie recipes

June 1, 2020

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Move over banana bread, sourdough loaf, and add smoothies to your mix (literally). They’re a great way to get in a mix of nutrients from different foods, and to get your kids eating fresh fruit and veg that they might not eat otherwise.

They’re also a means to eat (or drink? fruit or veg that you might not enjoy on their own, but which taste good in a smoothie. I don’t like kale or passion fruit for example, but pop them in a smoothie with some other ingredients, and I barely know they’re there. It’s also World Milk Day today (1 June), so another excuse to remember to get your healthy dose of daily calcium.

Smoothies are easy to make, and you generally don’t need to follow a recipe to the T – you can add more of an ingredient, or take out anything you don’t like. You can enjoy in a glass, or make a smoothie bowl with some muesli and seeds sprinkled over. I often add a protein supplement and add some milk or yoghurt for a great protein punch.

In lockdown too, smoothies offer a good health boost, in a time where we might be doing lots of comfort eating, and consuming more banana bread and Peppermint Crisp pudding than our greens (basically I’m referring to myself). Carbs increase the feel-good hormone serotonin, but did you now that another way to boost these levels is by consuming an amino acid called tryptophan, which is found in milk and dairy products.

The body uses tryptophan to produce serotonin, and it also makes melatonin, another biochemical that helps to promote sleep and relaxation. There’s a reason why sleep experts often recommend a glass of warm milk before you go to bed. A glass of warm milk at night, can contribute to your serotonin and melatonin levels and help you to feel less stressed. You will also sleep more peacefully.

Milk is also known to help you keep fuller for longer and can help limit unnecessary eating. Below are four dairy-rich smoothie recipes. You can tweak quantities and ingredients as you go, and even add things like peanut butter, oats, seeds and nuts if you feel they would be a good addition. I usually add chia seeds to all my smoothies – they’re a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, and have iron, calcium and fibre. All the nutrients found in milk helps your body to take up even more calcium and protein from the ingredients in the smoothies while giving it that smooth texture and delish taste.  

Tip 1: I read once that if you want a smooth blend, you should put the liquid ingredients into the blender first, and then the solid ingredients.

Tip 2: Use full-cream or double cream yoghurt for better consistency

Berry smoothie

  • Half a cup vanilla or plain yoghurt
  • 2 cups mixed berries – fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds, optional
  • 1 teaspoon honey, if you want some more sweetness

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and puree.

Pineapple and passion fruit smoothie

  • 1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup passion fruit or pulp
  • 1 or 2 bananas
  • 3/4 cup plain yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and puree.

Kale, spinach and mango smoothie

  • 1 cup packed kale leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup packed spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pineapple pieces
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup plain or vanilla yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter
  • honey, to taste, optional

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and puree.

Strawberry and banana smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • 6 – 8 strawberries – fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup milk

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and puree.

Get tips and information

Head over the to the Rediscover Dairy Facebook page for great dairy recipes and news.

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