Over the last few years, fruit smoothies have seen a huge boom, with a smoothie maker being a staple item in most people’s kitchens (whether or not it gathers dust alongside the breadmaker remains to be seen!) Most people accept that whizzing up fruit, milk and yoghurt in the morning is a pretty good way to start the day. Previously the territory of bodybuilders and gym addicts only, protein shakes also seem to be incredibly popular lately, with lots of people picking up protein powders to throw in smoothies or even mix into pancakes and baking.
I’m definitely a huge smoothie fan, and my staple smoothie recipe usually involves soy milk or coconut milk, banana or frozen fruit, protein powder and a glob of peanut butter. So when Indigo Herbs got in touch about whipping up some smoothie recipes, I was excited to try out a few new combinations. Little did I know that they’d be sending me some ingredients that would change my smoothie making forever!
Indigo Herbs are a family run business based in Glastonbury who are passionate about organic, wildcrafted and quality assured health products, including herbal teas, powders and tinctures, superfoods, whole foods and lots more.
They sent me a hamper full of smoothie ingredients – including a banana and a mango, but also some rather intriguing super-foods to add to my smoothies to really supercharge their health benefits. I’ve listed some of these, along with their amazing benefits (I know this might seem a bit like a yawn-some science lesson but I wanted to include their benefits so you can see just how much of a punch these powders pack).
Wheatgrass ~ is a natural source of Antioxidant vitamins A, C and E, the B group vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6 and panthothenic acid and minerals manganese, zinc, magnesium and iron. Many claim that wheatgrass has a higher nutritional content than any other vegetable, protects against inflammation, builds red blood cells and improves circulation (Wheatgrass Powder, £4.39)
Acai Powder ~ helps to increase your antioxidant levels to aid in neutralising damaging free radicals, boosts your energy levels, supports your immune system and helps to promote a healthy digestive system. (Acai Powder, £7.99)
Spirulina ~ is a nutrient rich blue-green Algae with many health benefits. It is a natural source of functional vitamins & minerals, high in Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6 and a good source of B12. It is also high in protein with 64.2g per 100g, and to add to that a vegetarian source of protein! (Spirulina Powder, £8.99)
Purple Corn Extract ~ contains a variety of plant nutrients including massive amounts of phenolics and anthocyanins. Studies show that a diet rich in polyphenolic compounds is associated with reduced risk of developing cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. Recent research in both animals and humans have shown that increasing polyphenol intake can protect against atherosclerosis, lower blood pressure, reduces blood clots and elevate antioxidant capacity of the blood. (Purple Corn Powder Extract, £9.99)
Banana Powder ~ made from Red Bananas, banana powder includes B vitamins, is a source of carbohydrates, provides an energy boost, and is a good source of potassium (ensuring healthy nervous system, brain and heart function) and a concentrated source of nutrition. (Organic Raw Banana Powder, £4.49)
Beetroot Powder ~ contains high levels of important vitamins, minerals and micronutrients. Rich in iron, potassium, magnesium, A, C, B1, B2, B3, B6, calcium, copper, phosphorous, sodium, iodine, boron, soluble and insoluble fiber. Beetroot is a rich source of carbohydrates and protein. (Beetroot Powder, £7.99)
You can add this powders easily into smoothies – when you think that putting a tablespoon of powder into a smoothie in the morning could help lower cholestrol, improve circulation, promote healthy digestion, reduce the risk of cancer and give you an amazing hit of nutrition and vitamins, I think it’s a bit of a no-brainer!
Here are a couple of my favourite smoothie recipes, adding some ingredients to supercharge them courtesy of Indigo Herbs…
Handful of almonds
150ml coconut milk
1 tbsp wheatgrass powder
1 tbsp banana powder
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
Berry and banana bonanza
75g plain yoghurt
1 tbsp wheatgrass powder
1 tbsp Acai powder
Handful of cashews
150ml almond milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp purple corn extract
1 tbsp raw cacao (or organic cocoa powder)
This morning’s was a chopped peach, a chopped nectarine, coconut milk, strawberry flavoured protein powder, banana powder and acai powder. It was so fruity and delicious – perfect for summer!
What are your favourite smoothie combinations? Have you tried any of these superfood powders? Make sure you check out Indigo Herbs so you too can supercharge your morning smoothies!