This brings us to the final part of our Let’s get Healthy series – smoothies and juices.  So far we have introduced you to smoothies and juices, we’ve given you the basics and why.  We’ve also given you helpful pointers to mix and match the perfect ingredients, for a fully nutritional drink.  We have teased you along the way with some fantastic recipes as an introduction; especially for those looking to break into health drinks.  This week we share a few more recipes with you which you can all print them off and try them later.


In Part 2 we mentioned that smoothie and juice drinks can be categorised into one or more of the 5 wellness areas; weight loss, longevity, healthy heart, immune system and cleanse/detox.  Different ingredients can improve and strength your body.  With this in mind, you will find the key used below as a guide (in the recipe notes section of each recipe).  We’ve tried to balance out the ingredients and type of smoothies; covering vegetables AND fruit.  All ingredients can be varied for your own personal tastes.  We have also given you a nutrition grid (per serving), so that you can balance ingredients by nutrition against the wellness area.  Ingredients can be changed as you’ll continue to read, but don’t use ingredients that group, such as too much calcium or all Vitamin C.  Try and keep a balance of ingredients to cover multiple wellness areas.

nutritional-ke-webWhat makes a good smoothie or juice?

I talk a lot about smoothies (I currently don’t own a juicer).  The difference?  Well a smoothie is made in a blender and a juice is from a machine that just extracts the juice and leaves everything else behind.  It will come down to personal preference, which one you prefer. Personally I prefer a smoothie as you don’t lose any goodness.  However, the smoothies can be very viscous, which won’t suit everyone.  If you have both, then great!  You can extract the juice and add with the other ingredients and put it all in a blender.  If you just have a blender, fine.  You might want to add extra water, coconut water or almond milk for example to thin out the ingredients.

What makes a good smoothie or juice, well, part of the answer depends on the purpose for drinking the smoothie; general health, weight loss, boosting the immune system etc.  In general it is suggested that a 70:30 ratio in the vegetable’s favour works best for nutritional values.  The reason being is that we don’t want to overload our bodies with too much sugar, albeit natural, rather than processed sugar.  Fruits and vegetables and for that matter let’s not forget fresh herbs, spices, nuts and seeds all have different nutrients to benefit different ailments or strengthen areas of the body.  For example pears act as a mild laxative, with anti-inflammatory flavanoids, pomegranates help fight fatigue and boosts energy levels, while preventing hardening and clogging of arteries.  Ginger boosts the immune system, while the humble parsley aids weight loss by aiding digestion and absorbing food.  Nuts often get a bad press because they have a degree of saturated fat.  However, their benefits far outweigh this with high sources of vitamins and minerals, such as magnesium and omega-3.  Nuts work on a traffic light system in terms of fat, with almonds, chestnuts and hazelnuts as the lowest.  Finally seeds – flax seeds can actually suppress high blood pressure, while regulating appetite.

So as you can see, they can all play a part in maintaining one’s healthy lifestyle and boost nutrition.

There are four main areas you should consider when it comes to health and diet; protein, carbohydrates, fibre and healthy fats.  The diagram below will help you remember:

perfect smoothie infographic

You will notice that I’ve based several smoothies in the list below, around similar ingredients.  That is deliberate for the quality of ingredients and the purpose of aiding weight-loss.  Not everyone will want a smoothie for this purpose, so to help you out, there are four main areas to consider.

With this in mind, we have carefully chosen TWELVE smoothie recipes (some of which can also be produced as juices – your choice).  Ranging from 290 calories per serving, down to under 80 calories per serving.  Each recipe will cover at least one of the wellness areas shown above.  We have given you the opportunity to interchange ingredients with alternatives, as you become more familiar with matching ingredients.  You can then rotate the recipes, without them becoming monotonous.

Now it is over to you…

If you wish to read our previous posts, part of the Let’s get healthy series, click this link.

Do give us FIVE minutes to rate the recipes if you’ve tried them, comment about which ones you enjoyed the most and if you have any of your own smoothie/juice recipes that you wish to share, you can upload them to Chilli Jam for everyone to read and try!

Once this series is finished, we will be producing a whole e-booklet with all the information you need to know from the series, all in one place!  Look out for this on our blog in the coming weeks.  Feel free to share with others and we hope that you enjoyed reading.

For more recipe ideas, visit our Recipes page, or subscribe to our FREE monthly newsletter Bitesize for recipes, reviews and cooking tips to help you get smarter in the kitchen. Just enter your email address below.