I can freely admit, I’ve never fallen into the stereotypical ‘smoothie junkie’ box, usually running for the hills at the first sign of yet another new health claim of the next best thing! However, since the recent resurgence in blending together anything and everything that has been labelled a ‘superfood’, I thought it was time I brushed off the cobwebs from my blender and gave it a go. This all coincided with a recent project I was working on for British Blackcurrants. The fruit that is shamefully over-looked in my opinion, and is subsequently left in the shadows behind our more favoured choice of fruits such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. (confession time, these have always been my favourites too!) Blackcurrants are uniquely super-charged though. Rich in Vitamin C, they contain more than three times as much as an orange. Tick! UK Blackcurrants’ distinctive profile deserves even more credit though. It’s the anthocyanins in blackcurrants which give them their rich, dark colour and British born blackcurrants are bred to fully maximise this aphotic shade, which indicates higher levels of anthocyanins. (to the likes of you and me, this is a plant compound that acts as an effective antioxidant within the human body)
True to form, I’m fully aware that fruit and vegetables provide a great source of vitamins and fibre, and if research by University College London is to be believed, we should be eating ten portions of vegetables and fruit every day, not just five. I can also confess that the allure of a Nutribullet was proving hard to resist. So with this all in mind, I was excited to begin my journey of devising some deliciously healthy and versatile smoothie recipes using blackcurrants as the common theme, whilst exploring the world of some ‘hot off the press’ superfoods to invite to the party (such as wheatgrass powder, which owing to their high chlorophyll content, these young stems of wheat are often called supergreens!) So without further ado, here I bring you the best smoothie ideas, featuring everything from chocolate to kale, that you can blitz up in seconds. I won’t lie, this process has given me an awakening of the welcome kind and despite my initial reservations, I’ve now been converted for good. Certainly one sure fire way to get that halo sparkling just in time for summer!
All serve 4, no cook
A Fruit Classic
A dairy-free vegan smoothie with fruit and almond milk to power you up at breakfast or provide sustenance for exercise. Add a few oats to the mix if you wish!
300g strawberries, large sliced in half
1 large banana
300ml almond milk
1 tbsp runny honey
a few ice-cubes
Place all the ingredients into a blender, and whizz until smooth. Serve with a few blackcurrants and strawberries on top.
Summer Tropical Smoothie
A tropical fruit blend to start the day the nutritious way – full of vitamin C and low in fat too.
400g peeled & chopped mango
200ml fresh orange juice
200g natural yoghurt
150ml soya milk
2 tbsp chai seeds
75g chopped dates
a few ice cubes
Place the blackcurrants and mango in a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and pour into glasses or jam jars.
Blackcurrant with ‘The Greens’ Smoothie
‘Green’ in more ways than one. The ultimate healthy smoothie.
1 avocado, chopped
1 green apple, chopped
100g kale, lightly steamed
450ml coconut water
1 tablespoon wheatgrass powder, plus extra to serve on top
2 tbsp runny honey
a few ice cubes
Place the blackcurrants, avocado, apple and kale in a blender with the coconut water and wheatgrass. Whizz until smooth and serve in glasses with an added dusting of wheatgrass.
Chocolate, Blackcurrant and Pear Smoothie
‘Chocolate?’ I hear you cry. This is a definitive way to get your sweet kick, whilst also providing lots of goodness and energy to boot.
400ml chocolate soya milk
1 large pear, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (you can substitute with 1 tsp vanilla extract)
30g toasted hazelnuts, plus extra finely chopped, to serve
1 square dark chocolate, grated or chopped to serve
Place all the ingredients into a blender, and whizz until smooth. Pour into tall glasses or similar and serve with some chopped hazelnut and chocolate nibs on top.
All recipes, photography and styling by Natalie Seldon