Gone are the juice days, make way for the new craze…green smoothies! For good reason too. Whilst juices are great cleansing drinks, and give you a smack of nutrients, they miss out on the good stuff hidden in the pulp of fruit and vege, like fibre. Juices can also leave you feeling hungry soon after. Smoothies, on the other hand, are a great way of eating the whole fruit or vegetable without having to pick away at a salad – plus, smoothies are also a sneaky way of getting some greens into your kids! Made in creative ways, they don’t necessarily have to be heavy on the fruit and you can easily add in some hard to swallow extras that you won’t even taste, such as protein or green powders.
With my morning sickness period occurring during those first few months of summer, I craved cold drinks to ease my tummy. However, there are only so many iced chocolates, milkshakes and banana smoothies you can have, and with the amount of dry crackers I was munching on too, the empty calories started to weigh me down. Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a “weight” issue, I was just conscious that not much of what I was putting into my mouth to make me feel better was actually better for me, or bubs. Smoothies became a bit of a lifesaver. Not only are they a thick consistency (like the good ol’ icecream smoothies I love) and therefore sustain you for longer, but they can be just as sweet and yummy, ie you actually want to drink them. The difference being that it’s all natural sweeteners, so you’re not filling up on icecream or dairy for that matter, plus the added fibre of whole fruits and vege are beneficial for the digestive system, which takes a battering during pregnancy. Freeze or refrigerate some of the fruit prior to making your creation and you get a cooler drink for summer. If you’re clever with your ingredients it’s like popping a 100% natural multi-vitamin…I’m not suggesting you give up the prenatal multi-vitamins, but it’s nice to know you’re supporting the overall cause. Been told you need to up your folate intake? Well, spinach is your secret weapon and the base of your green smoothie. Not only is spinach a good source of folate, but it takes care of your calcium, vitamin A (also good for breastfeeding mums) vitamin C, fibre & iron needs too (and that’s just to name a few – a later blog on this…) – it’s basically the pregnancy go to superfood! So, hands up who’s grabbing the bag of spinach leaves when the cravings hit…hmm, not me. Green smoothie to the rescue!
Let’s talk postnatally – I’m breastfeeding so I’m hungry all the time and I’m still reaching for those damn crackers! For some reason, when I’m ravenous whipping up a salad just doesn’t get me excited. Granted I’m a bit of a carb addict, which I’m working on, but smoothies have been my safe haven. I’m not fiddling around with peeling fruits (and certainly NOT cleaning a complicated machine afterwards), the first batch fills me up and the left overs go into the fridge for a later snack. The best bit, my toddler loves them!
Whilst I’m obviously a fan of the humble smoothie, it’s important to mention that chewing is an important part of the digestive system, so don’t pulverise every meal (or maybe bits in your smoothie are not so bad) I’m not dissing the ol’ juice either, but for a long term lifestyle choice, the smoothie is definitely the winner. So, for the smoothie fans out there, try this yummy prenatal concoction and don’t forget to tell me what you think!
The green “baby bump” smoothie
- 1-2 cups spinach
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 banana
- 1/2 mango (pre-frozen)
- 1/4 avocado
- A handful of strawberries
If ginger is your thing, add a little to taste, as it helps with morning sickness. Whip it all up in a blender (you might want to invest in a good one if you like it super smooth, but my MagicBullet does the trick) and enjoy! Makes a fair bit so put it in a sealed container and finish it off later. In the interest of consuming the freshest of foods and reducing risk of contaminants during pregnancy, don’t keep it longer than 24 hrs.
Click here to check out more prenatal smoothie ideas from Jadah & Jen of Simple Green Smoothies!