I drink a lot of smoothies. Most mornings I’ll whip up a green smoothie jam packed with spinach, spirulina and lots of mean green yumminess! I often pulverise my fruits and vegetables for lunch or dinner if I don’t particularly feel like cooking, or if my digestion is in need of a quick boost of nutritional goodness. Smoothies have become a staple part of my diet over the last two years. I add zucchini, cucumber and kale to my breakfast. I drink blackberries, beetroot, avocado and apple for my lunch. I’ve even made a warm tomato smoothie with dates and oranges for my dinner!
Smoothies are absolutely wonderful for you. They pack in so many essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals which your body can absorb easily. They are full of fibre, unlike juices, and help aid digestion and lower blood sugar. And best of all, they are quick to make and taste delicious.
The primary ingredient for all my smoothies is usually banana. It’s sweet, creamy and masks stronger flavours like kale that tricks you into drinking your vegetables. Recently I’ve been wanting to mix up my usual go to smoothie recipes and have been on the look out for something a little different to use as a base. I’ve tried avocado and white beans, and while they make the texture of my smoothie velvety and luscious, they lack that quick hit of glucose that I desire first thing in the morning.
This week Williams Sonoma invited me to celebrate Smoothie Week with them and asked me to share some of my unusual smoothie tips and tricks with you. Seeing as the first instalment of Smoothie Week is ‘Not Your Average Smoothie’, I decided to experiment with some other staple ingredients in my kitchen cupboards to create a healthy autumnal smoothie without my beloved banana. But what sweet, nutritious item could I use as a substitute?
My vegetable of choice is sweet potato!
Sweet potatoes (also know as yams), are a great source of Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene), and B-Vitamins, like most bright orange vegetables are! I decided to pair it with papaya and a couple of other autumnal ingredients that would give anything pumpkin-spiced a run for it’s money.
Autumnal Sweet Potato & Papaya Smoothie
1 Sweet Potato
1 Cup of Vanilla Soya Milk
1 Cup of Water
1 tsp cinammon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp all spice
Dash of maple syrup (to taste)
Blackberries to garnish (optional)
I baked my sweet potato for about a hour in the oven, let it cool and then I was ready to start blending! You can use raw sweet potato if you’d like, however it won’t be as sweet as the starch won’t have converted to sugar. Simply throw all your ingredients into your blender and stop blending once your desired consistency has been reached. Add more liquid if needed.
A workman is only as good as his tools, and this applies to smoothies too. High speed blenders cut the hard work out of blending your fruit and vegetables. If you use a less powerful blender and intend on blending lots of raw fruits & vegetables, you risk burning out the motor or destroying the blades. High powered blenders break down the cell walls and fibre, which makes your smoothie easy to digest. I usually use a Nutribullet which I got for my birthday from my parents, but my Mum has a Vitamix which I use all the time! Williams Sonoma have a huge selection of blenders to chose from at great prices so if you’re in the market for one, definitely check them out.
My Autumnal Sweet Potato & Papaya Smoothie is one of my favourite smoothies to drink this Autumn, and definitely Not Your Average Smoothie. The combination of vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg warms you up on these cold November mornings, even if this is a smoothie designed to drink cold!! It also satisfies your hunger for hours and keeps cravings at bay. It doesn’t have to be consumed for only breakfast. You can add more maple syrup to make this sweeter for a dessert-style treat. Or to make it even healthier, substitute the maple syrup for a couple of soaked dates!
Move over pumpkin, sweet potato is the new versatile orange vegetable in town!
This Day Last Year: 10th November 2013 – A Heartwarming Sunday
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