• Smoothies have never been so popular: they’re a quick and easy healthy food option to make at home, they’re portable and convenient enough to take to work or on the school run, and their bright jewel colours make for gorgeous social media posts. But while they should be packed with all the good stuff as a healthy addition to your daily nutritional intake, they can be loaded with hidden kilojoules, so you need to watch out for a few things.

    Here are some smoothie tips to make sure you get as much benefit from them as possible:

    1. Check the size of your smoothie 

    Don’t throw in two bananas, a whole mango, a tub of yoghurt and then drink it all down! If you wouldn’t typically eat those large volumes of food in one sitting, you shouldn’t be drinking them, as your kilojoule count will be sky high. Measure out your quantities carefully, and use just enough ingredients in your smoothie to fill you up.

    1. Keep it natural

    We’re all for convenience but you don’t want to be throwing artificial ingredients packed with E numbers into your smoothie. Use pure fresh fruit juice with no added sugar, like the flavours from Clover Krush, and choose fruit and vegetables in their most natural state (i.e not tinned or sweetened. As a bonus, using Clover Krush means you’ll be spreading goodness not just within your family, but within your community too, as they’ll be donating 20 000 pairs of school shoes to children across SA who needs it most when the 2020 school year kicks off.

    1. Make friends with your freezer

    Freezing fruit is another handy smoothie tip, as it makes it lovely and icy cold; frozen bananas add a particularly tasty creaminess. Buy strawberries, blueberries and even dragonfruit in season and then freeze them to spice up your smoothies in later months. Are your bananas a bit on the brown side? Pop any fresh fruit that’s near its expiry date into the freezer so you don’t waste it. Your smoothies will thank you later!

    1. Don’t ignore veggies

    It’s easy to load up on fruit as it’s sweet and delicious, but for variety and health reasons, you shouldn’t forget the veg when making smoothies. Things like baby spinach, beetroot, kale and celery can all be added to smoothies to up your “five a day”, and they add a whole lot of goodness to your diet as well.

    1. Remember the protein

    Protein fills you up for longer, so it’s a vital element of any smoothie. If you don’t add any protein you may be hungry by 10am which helps no one! Think yoghurt, seeds, almond or peanut butter, coconut flakes or hemp powder. You could also visit your nearest health shop and pick up a good quality protein powder that tastes great and is good for you as well.

    1. Picky eaters? Get the kids involved. 

    If your child won’t even look an apple in the eye, know that you’re not alone. Picky eaters are the bug bear of many a parent, but there are ways to get some good stuff down their gullets (and getting them to help you make smoothies is one of them). Ask them to peel the fruit, fetch items from the cupboard and decorate the tops of their smoothies with brightly coloured berries. Buy some bamboo straws, stick it all in a cup and hey presto: you’ve got a healthy and portable breakfast they can eat on their way to school!

    ALSO SEE: How to make a green juice or smoothie

    How to make a green juice or smoothie

    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com