There are mixed reports about whether fruit smoothies are good for you or not, but it’s hard to ignore the fact that a quick drink on the go is a great way to get a variety of fruits and vegetables into your diet. It is vital that we each nourish our bodies with a mix of healthy vitamins and minerals every day and adding fresh vegetables to a home-blended smoothie is an easy way to squeeze some of these into your daily routine. Check out what we, at Me Time Away, believe are the best vegetables to add to smoothies along with some delicious recipes that will make you want to start your day with a smoothie or juice.
Leafy greens such as kale and spinach are fresh, colourful and delicious and they are a simple way of packing body-loving nutrients like iron and Vitamins A, K, C and B6 into your diet. Kale is also loaded with antioxidants like quercetin and kaempferol which are thought to have anti-inflammatory and heart-protective properties!
While some greens like kale can have a bitter taste in a smoothie if used in large quantities, when mixed well with water and fresh berries or some almond milk and cinnamon, your drink will be full of flavour and will be the perfect addition to your daily intake of fresh produce. It is definitely out favourite veggie that can be added to the shakes or smoothies!
Avocados can be a great smoothie alternative to milk as they offer a rich, creamy flavour but without the dairy content. Avocados are known for being a healthy source of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) like omega-3, that not only help you keep you feeling full and satisfied but also support healthy skin, hair and immune systems.
While it is not necessarily recommended to eat large portions of avocado every day (as their calorie content is quite high), they are thought to reduce cardiovascular disease risk factors so adding half an avo to your smoothie every few days will do wonders for your health!
Another one of our green favourites for smoothies is the humble zucchini. These vitamin-rich veg are very low in calories and have a high water content which means they are easily blended up into a juice or smoothie. As they have a mild flavour, you’ll barely notice they’re there, but your body will thank you for it as they are full of antioxidants and digestion-aiding qualities like vitamin C, fibre, potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and riboflavin.
If you’ve got some zucchini lying around that you’re worried you won’t use up in time, cut it into cubes and pop it in the freezer and it will be ready to put straight into a smoothie. This ensures you don’t lose out on the vitamins and makes your smoothie cool and fresh!
Pumpkin or squash may seem like quite chunky vegetables to add to a smoothie but trust us when we say this really works! Most of the squash family has a fairly sweet flavour (especially when roasted) which means you can tickle your sweet-tooth-tastebuds without having to add fruit, sugars or honey to your blend. Roast and purée your pumpkin ahead of time and put it in the fridge or freezer ready to use at a later date.
Turmeric, orange, cinnamon and ginger go really well with pumpkin and squash and will give your smoothie an acutely autumnal flavour!
Just like zucchini, cucumber is light, fresh and extremely hydrating which helps to make it the perfect addition to any smoothie. The peel and seeds of a cucumber are packed with beta carotene so make sure you leave these in to reap the most reward. According to Angela Lemond, a Texas-based registered dietitian nutritionist, “Beta carotene is an antioxidant that helps with immunity, skin, eye and the prevention of cancer”.
Even if you don’t have any time to blend up a smoothie, add a few strips of cucumber to your water bottle and you’ll still get some of the freshness and nutritional benefits!
Aside from the rich pink/purple colour produced by beetroot which will make your smoothie look stunning, these vegetables are known to provide a whole host of health benefits. Beetroot features fibre, antioxidants, immune-boosting vitamin C as well as folate and manganese which are thought to help with your brain, nervous system and many of your body’s enzyme systems.
In order to get the most from your beets, roast or boil them up beforehand so that they are soft enough for blending and won’t leave you with bits that get stuck in your teeth! Pair beetroot with orange, spinach, almond milk and perhaps a dash of vanilla protein powder for a sumptuous vegan smoothie to start your day.
Carrots have long been a superfood loved by juice and smoothie experts as they are colourful, nutritious and slightly sweet which makes them both healthy and versatile. The vitamins and minerals in carrots include fibre, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, iron, copper and folate.
Even just a simple smoothie blend of carrots, oranges and ice cubes can be a great pick-me-up when you’re starting to feel that four-o-clock slump.
While tomatoes are technically a fruit, it’s safe to say that these round, red bursts of flavour have enough health benefits that make you think they’re a vegetable! With vitamins A and C as well as fibre, folate and lycopene, tomatoes can help to fight diabetes, promote eye health and even keep your skin looking young and fresh.
Channel the flavours of a Bloody Mary (it’s all about balance, of course!;) with a tomato, tabasco and celery-based smoothie.
Hopefully, this article has given you some fresh inspiration of what veggie can be added to a smoothies to ensure you are getting as many immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory properties as possible! It really is easier than you think to incorporate fruit and vegetables into your daily diet.
Let us know what your favourite smoothie ingredients are in the comments below, or what recipes you’d like to see on the menu at your next retreat!