Our smoothie pantry

Our smoothie pantry

By
David Frenkiel, Luise Vindahl Andersen
Contains
0 recipes
Published by
Hardie Grant Books
ISBN
978 1784880460

Here is a short list of the ingredients that we always try to keep in our pantry, fridge and freezer to be able to create smoothies every day. Check out the guide to how to combine these (and many more) ingredients into well-balanced smoothies.

Fruit

Bananas

Bananas are sweet and creamy when blended and therefore ideal in smoothies. They are rich in fibre, magnesium, potassium and vitamin B6. Always use ripe bananas in smoothies, ideally the ones that are just starting to have small brown spots on the skins. You can freeze bananas if they are starting to look too ripe; just follow the method. If you are allergic to bananas, replace them with ripe pears, peaches, mango or avocado.

Dates Fresh dates have a very sweet taste and are absolutely delicious in smoothies. They are high in fruit sugar and should be consumed as a treat. We always buy unpitted dark brown dates that are very soft to touch, about 4 cm long and taste of caramel. Medjool dates are great, but often quite expensive. There are, however, many other similar, but less expensive varieties to look for. We buy our dates in paper boxes (40 in each box) that are sold in the fruit section. They are not to be mistaken for the round green, yellow or red fresh dates that are picked before they get wrinkly and often sold still attached to their branches. You should also stay away from dates that are coated in a syrup; they are sweet enough on their own. If your dates seem very dried and tough, you need to soak them in hot water for at least 15–20 minutes or they will be too hard to blend. Since all varieties of dates are different in size, sweetness and texture, we have left a little leeway with the measurements. The dates we use are quite big so we normally use the lesser amount in the recipes. Always taste your smoothie to see if you think it is sweet enough, and add more dates if needed.

Apples Apples are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and pectin and are one of the healthiest fruits in the world. Crispy, seasonal apples taste like nature’s candy and during the Scandinavian autumn and winter, we always keep them at home. Just like berries, apples don’t affect blood sugar significantly, making them ideal to sweeten green juices and smoothies. Simply wash and core the apples before juicing or blending them.

Mango Mango is alkalizing and contains certain enzymes with stomach-comforting properties. It is also high in vitamin A. When mangos are picked ripe they are incredibly sweet and juicy. However, they are often 11 Our Smoothie Pantry picked while still hard and green to make it through long transportations and they then generally taste a lot less sweet. If your mangos don’t taste sweet or juicy enough for your smoothies, you can squeeze some extra orange juice or add half a banana to compensate. We often keep organic frozen mangos in our freezer and use them if we can’t get hold of sweet fresh mangos.

Berries When in season, our fridge is absolutely crammed with fresh raspberries, strawberries, lingonberries, blackberries, sea buckthorn and blueberries. They are our favourite fruit to eat and add to smoothies and we just can’t get enough. During the rest of the year, we keep our freezer stocked up with them. We either freeze berries ourselves or buy organic frozen berries in the supermarket. Berries are the fruit lowest in fruit sugar and highest in nutritional value, including antioxidants and other phytonutrients. A true superfood! In some countries, it is recommended to pour boiling water over frozen berries and leave to sit for one minute to kill any viruses before adding them to smoothies (especially when served to elderly people, pregnant women, sick people or children). We usually don’t do that with berries that we have picked ourselves or know the origins of, but always check your local recommendations. And do rinse fresh berries in water.

Avocado Ripe avocados are creamy, spreadable and rich with healthy fats. They add a very creamy texture to smoothies and pair well with greens, citrus fruit and tropical fruit. Avocado is an important source of fat that your body needs and is good for cell repair and growth.

Liquids

Nut milks The obvious reason for drinking almond milk, cashew milk or hazelnut milk is because they are dairy-free, but they are also great in smoothies as they add a delicious richness to them and are high in healthy fats and protein. They are quite expensive so we tend to make our own, also because most brands in stores are filled with sweeteners, thickeners and additives. Look for plant milks containing purely nuts, seeds or grains, water, sea salt and maybe fortified with vitamin D and calcium. Or make your own from any of the recipes in the Nut Milks chapter.

Oat milk Oats are one of our most common grains in Scandinavia and we therefore tend to use oat milk more than other varieties. We recommend adapting our recipes to where you live and your specific needs, so if oat milk is hard to come by, use brown rice milk instead or choose a grain-free alternative, like almond milk. Oat milk has a sweet flavour but is naturally unsweetened, just like most rice milks are. We usually buy our oat milk in stores, since delicious, organic pure oat milk is available everywhere for a reasonable price. It can also be made at home by simply replacing the nuts with whole oat groats in our Basic Nut Milk recipe.

Coconut milk Regardless of its name, coconut is in fact not a nut but a seed, part of the palm family. Therefore, it is usually safe for people with nut-tree allergies. We 12 Green Kitchen Smoothies use coconut milk, coconut drinking milk and coconut water as liquid bases in many of our smoothies and we add cold-pressed coconut oil for extra fat and desiccated coconut and chips for toppings.

Coconut water Coconut water is the liquid that is extracted from fresh coconuts. It has a naturally sweet and slightly tropical flavour and is a natural source of electrolytes, which you lose when you sweat. This makes coconut water a good choice of post-cardio drink to prevent dehydration. Bottled coconut water is always pasteurized to last longer, unless it says raw on the bottle. You can also buy a fresh young coconut and use the liquid inside. Fresh coconut flesh is great for thickening smoothies, but we haven’t used it in this book since it can be quite difficult to find in many parts of the world.

Yoghurt We add yoghurt to smoothies for the addition of healthy good bacteria, the fresh flavour and creamy texture. We always use plain unsweetened yoghurt. When we layer yoghurt with smoothie, we often choose Greek or Turkish since they are deliciously creamy and high in fat. Check the label to see if the yoghurt contains live and active cultures, which means that the yoghurt has probiotics. Probiotics are good bacterial strains that benefit your health and are important to keep in your diet regularly. Other sources of probiotics are sauerkraut (or other lacto-fermented vegetables), kimchi, kefir, kombucha, miso, tempeh or probiotic supplement powders (which can be added to smoothies).

Nuts & seeds

Nuts and seeds are rich in mighty minerals, vitamins, healthy fats and fibre. And we are addicted to them. We try to always keep an assortment of cashew nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, sesame seeds and flaxseeds in our pantry. Apart from that, we also keep nut butter, tahini (sesame seed butter) and coconut oil there. It’s an incredible luxury to simply grab a few nuts and seeds to top our smoothie bowls, add into smoothies, to make nut milk, to bake nut and seed bread or to make nut butter. Choose natural nuts and seeds, with no added salt or oils.

Vegetables

Beetroot The purple-coloured vegetable should be on your most-often-eatenvegetable list. It is extremely healthy. It helps the body to fight inflammations, cleans the liver, enhances performance, builds your blood and helps prevent chronic diseases. It has an earthy and sweet flavour and is delicious paired with berries, other roots or even chocolate! When we use beetroot in this book, we always refer to raw beetroot, not the cooked and peeled ones that can also be found in supermarkets. Beetroots vary vastly in size and this affects the flavour and texture of smoothies quite a bit, so we have included weight measurements in these recipes.

Carrots We always, always have carrots in our fridge. They are great to cook with, good in juices and smoothies and both our kids love snacking on them raw as well.Carrots are not expensive either, which is always a plus. Carrots are good for your skin, hair, immune system and eyes.

Spinach We usually buy organic baby spinach when we use fresh. But we also always keep frozen spinach in our freezer. Frozen vegetables (and fruit) are actually full of nutrients and are often available. They are usually picked, cleaned and frozen within a very short time span, which means they contain more nutrients than some of the supermarket vegetables that can stay on the shelves for weeks. Spinach is a good source of folic acid, and is rich in iron and plant protein.

Kale and broccoli (cruciferous vegetables) Plants from the brassica family (kale, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, rocket leaves, collard greens, romanesco, bok choy and cabbage) are superhealthy and we try to eat a lot of different kinds throughout the year, and use a majority of them in our smoothies too. They are antiinflammatory, lower oxidative stress in the cells and have detoxifying properties. Buy them organic, fresh or frozen.

Fennel This liquorice-tasting vegetable adds a nice twist in flavour to juices, green smoothies or berry smoothies. Choose a creamy white and hard bulb with green top fronds attached (which can also be blended). Fennel is particularly high in vitamin C and potassium, which is important for your overall health. It is also known to aid digestion problems.

Ginger Ginger is a marvellous root with many healthy benefits that you can purchase in almost all supermarkets around the world. It is a key-ingredient when making smoothies and juices as it adds a hot and fresh flavour that balances the sweet fruit and savoury vegetables.

Super food powders & protein powders

Powders are popular add-ins to smoothies as they are basically highly concentrated nutrients that can be absorbed by the body easily. When we have them at home we use them to boost smoothies, sprinkle over food, stir into porridge or add to raw truffles. The super green powders (barley grass, spirulina, wheatgrass, matcha) have an alkalizing effect in the body, which is good for optimal health. The powders made from berries, roots and fruits (maca, lucuma and mesquite) are high in antioxidants and phytonutrients and are good for your hormonal balance.

Protein powders can be useful to ensure optimal protein intake and are good to add to post-workout smoothies. It is important to choose a quality brand made from hemp, brown rice, pumpkin seeds, peas or whey. Talk to a nutritionist in a wholefood store to get a good product that suits your needs.

Good-quality powders are generally very pricey and we have therefore not used them a lot in this book. They are not a necessity, but definitely an easy option to get a concentrated amount of healthy nutrients at once. If you have any powders at home, they can of course be added for an extra boost to any of our recipes. If you are looking to buy superfood powders, it’s best to get one green blend and one red blend and alternate them in your smoothies. And perhaps one protein powder for when you are working out.

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