So we all know we should eat healthily right? We know about the ‘five a day’ fruit and veg right? So we’re all doing the right thing and getting our RDR (that’s daily recommended to you)? Well apparently some of us are not – you shall be eternally named and shamed when we find out who you are. And if we find out where you live we’ll be there at midnight thrusting frozen peas through your letter box!
Seriously getting your 5 a day isn’t always that easy – although jalapeños on your pizza do count. But now summer is here it’s easy to up the fruit count by blending-up a smoothie or two. No cooking or even preparation time required really. All you need is the raw materials and, of course a blender.
If you don’t have a blender at home don’t worry, they needn’t cost an arm or a leg. Your first stop should be to go onto e-bay where you’ll be able to pick one up in the auction for under a tenner, or buy a new one for around fifteen quid. It’s a good investment but we recommend a proper blender rather than one of the hand jobbies – if you’ve never tried it you’ll be amazed just how far raspberry juice can fly.
With so much soft fruit around you can make a really sustaining smoothie for peanuts – certainly well under a quid and probably around the cost of two boiled eggs and soldiers. But that’s not the only thing to think about peanuts – adding peanut butter pushes the goodness factor to the stratosphere and tastes super-yummy into the bargain. Use crunchy if you want a bit of bite to it, or smooth if you want it to slide surreptitiously over your tonsils.
There are a whole load of other things you can add to bulk it up. Fine oats (think Oat so Simple) give it substance and staying power through the morning. Yoghurt is another favourite – regular, Greek or even a shot of probiotic if you’re feeling really righteous. If you want more chew factor go for some sunflower seeds.
You don’t need anything too powerful as summer fruits are soft. You can put just about anything you like into the mix – strawberries, raspberries, currants of all colours, blackberries (although they’re a bit slow this season). Red fruits are particularly high in anti-oxidants so they’re really really good for you. If you have a decent street market near you it’s best to shop at the end of the day as the fruit will be cheaper and some may be going soft anyway.
All those fruits tend to have pips in them but they won’t do you any harm and you can always sieve your smoothie before drinking. Of course real men don’t sieve but, if you’re trying to impress a lady you might want to get positively pushy in the spatula department.
Alternatively you can go more exotic – mango and papaya have great mushy fibre and thicken up a smoothie like a dream. So too do bananas. Between the three of them they have so many health benefits we simply don’t have room to list them – although potassium, iron and enough vitamin E to perk up your sex life are three worth noting.
The perfect way to boot up your smoothie after one of those long hot summer nights is to make it with frozen fruit (works a dream for a hangover too!). You’ll find frozen fruit in the frostier bits of most supermarket fridges – it’s good value and means you can have summer fruits all the year round.
The one important piece of advice hear is to put a little boiling water on top of the fruit in your blender otherwise you stand a risk of knacking-up the blade. Then just proceed as before. Alternatively pour some fruit juice over and wait until it’s softened up. There’s no better way to start the day.