Very Berry Smoothie
This smoothie, in all honesty, is something I make a lot for myself and the kids but the measurements are fairly fluid and I use whatever ingredients I have to hand. I add extra milk if the mixture is too thick after blending. So feel free to tweak this recipe with whatever berries or yogurt you have to hand. Try and use a low fat yogurt. You can use a fruit yogurt but try and look at the label to make sure it doesn’t have lots of added sugar to avoid a spike in blood sugar. If you use natural yogurt you may need to sweeten a little at the end with a drizzle of runny honey depending on your taste.
It is quick and easy to make and like overnight oats was one of my go to recipes when I knew I needed nutrition to help my brain to heal but didn’t feel like I had the energy to cook. Recipes like this were one of the reasons I wanted to start this site. My eldest often makes himself and his younger brother smoothies too. I even got one for breakfast in bed once!
This smoothie has lots of hidden extra nutrition. The berries contain anti-oxidents whih can help protect the brain from damage by free radicals. Bananas are rich in the fibre pectin which may help moderate blood sugar levels after meals. They also rank low to medium on the Glycemic Index, which measures the speed at which foods increase our blood sugar levels. I try and avoid blood sugar spikes because they can affect my mood and also make me feel more confused and unable to concentrate. The oats are a great source of slow release energy and help you stay fuller for longer. Oats are low on the Glycemic Index so again can help you maintain steady glucose levels.
According to Science World Report, a new study from Japan has looked at the effects of eating milk and yogurt on mental health. It looked at the comsumption of both low-fat and high-fat dairy products and its effect on depression. It found that men and women who consumed low fat milk and yogurt between one and four times a week, had a reduced risk of symptoms of depression compared to those who did not eat low-fat dairy products.
The chia seeds are optional but they are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which is required by your body to produce your happy chemical serotonin. They give the smoothie a slightly nutty taste but in such small amounts are not that noticeable. Just add them at the end after blending, stir in and leave the smoothie five minutes or so before drinking to allow the seeds to soften.
Very Berry Smoothie
Ingredients (Serves 2)
2 cups semi-skimmed milk
1 small pot low-fat vanilla yogurt
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1 medium-sized banana
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
A drizzle of runny honey to taste (optional)
Put all the ingredients except the chia seeds and honey into a large jug. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth. Add the chia seeds if using and stir, then leave for 5 minutes for the seeds to soften. Add a drizzle of honey to sweeten if required. Pour into glasses and enjoy.
Image by Brigitte Tohm via Unsplash.