The sun is rising and the temperatures are heating up; summer is officially here and its about bloody time. Gone are the days shivering in the freakish hailstorms and grayish rain and instead we open our doors to the blaze of the summer sun, tickling our limbs and coaxing them into relaxation. And while all good things must come to an end I am holding out hope that this summer will be one to remember, where the world is shown through rose tinted glasses. And speaking of roses, when it comes to summer there is nothing I enjoy more than a refreshing smoothie, berry flavoured of course, sprinkled with an array of beautiful roses assembled in a love heart pattern, before I gulp it greedily down my throat. The birds would be singing a merry shanty, as the gentle sea breeze fluffs my hair into a tangled halo, tendrils of hair curling down the side of my face. But what does vegan smoothies have to do with the summer I hear you ask? Well it’s simple; veganism is the most googled trend of 2018 and it has been scientifically proven that eating a plant rich diet contains vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients such as phytochemicals which is essential for glowing skin, strong nails, and luscious healthy hair.
Furthermore, whether you are a vegan, vegetarian like myself,a flexitarian or meat eater, introducing more colourful fruit and vegetables into your diet not only cleanses your skin and purifies your hair according to scientific research, studies have found that that people who consumed a fruit and vegetable smoothie rich in carotenoids (a vitamin A derivative) every day for 6 weeks developed a “food tan,” giving the skin an extra glow. And if that is not enough to convince you to introduce more plant based foods into your diet, vitamins and minerals also function as co-factors for enzymes and as antioxidants to fight free radical damage which not only helps to heal the skin i.e. if you have facial and body scarring like myself- but it also allows you to develop a stronger immune system in the process.Which is why anyone who is new to plant based foods, should start with something as simple and as high in nutritional value as vegan smoothies, as they are filling, full of antioxidants and above all taste delicious to boot. But when it comes to making smoothies, what exactly should you use to make tasty and delicious smoothies that will bring some sunshine into your life?
Stop all the clocks because to me there is no better way to make delicious vegan smoothies this summer than with the ‘Blend Active‘ an innovative bullet style personal blender, that is ideal for those who need delicious meals, without taking up too much space. Traditional blenders are often quite pricey,which as someone who is on a budget would not be able to necessarily afford something like a ‘Nutri Bullet’ whereas the Blend Active is now priced at £32.99 and even comes with an extra 500 ML bottle to get more value for your money. With a simple,black design and minimalist branding, the Blend Active Pro Blender, is ideal for those who want vegan smoothies that look as good as they taste, without having to fork out loads of money for an over-hyped and over-priced smoothie maker. And it’s not just delicious vegan smoothies such as Berry Delight that you could introduce into your diet, but you can also make make soups, sauces or if you work out (which I don’t, naughty!) you could also make protein shakes to build up muscle mass while you train. Easy to use, all food is evenly blitzed and if you fancy something more extravagant like a nut roast or toppings for a coconut vegan pavlova, the choices are endless when it comes to how you use your smoothie ‘bullet’.
From ‘Berry Licious’ a blend of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries with coconut milk to give that added ‘creaminess’ to juxtapose the tartness of the raspberries to a desiccated coconut and nut cluster with berries smoothie bowl, here are 5 vegan smoothies that will make your summer come alive. Question is which smoothie tribe will you be a part of?
To me nothing is more evocative of summer than a delicious berry smoothie that draws inspiration from the open courts at Wimbeldon and makes the most of the ‘strawberry season’. Which is where the smoothie I have lovingly named as the ‘Berrylicious’ comes in. Tart yet sweet, this vegan smoothie will keep you on your toes, boost your immune system and above all get your taste buds tingling. While most smoothies that are non-vegan use yoghurt or Kefir to create a ‘creamy ‘smoothie base’ a great vegan alternative is coconut milk , which you can blitz with raspberries, blackberries and strawberries, topped with a sprig of mint for that fresh summer loving feeling. Alternatively you could also use honey, with soy yoghurt and use blueberries instead of blackberries if that is your preferred taste. This smoothie is best drunk to accompany your breakfast, especially since blackberries are a great source of brain food and vitamin C, while raspberries contain strong anti-oxidants such as quercetin and gallic acid that fight against cancer, heart and circulatory disease and age-related decline. They are also high in ellagic acid, a known chemopreventative, and have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
1 cup of frozen raspberries
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 cup of frozen blackberries.
1 sprig of fresh mint
2-3 Tbsp of light coconut or almond milk
2 Tbsp of Coconut Yogurt
1. Add your cup of mixed berries into your active bullet (or an alternative smoothie maker) and blitz until smooth, making sure that the fruit becomes pulverized. Add in the 2-3 Tbsp of light coconut or almond milk depending on your preference, until its smooth and creamy.
2. Once the berries have been creamed, add in 2 Tbsp of coconut yogurt to ensure that the smoothie is as creamy and delicious as possible, so that the smoothie almost looks like it has a marble effect,with the base of the smoothie white, juxtaposed under the layer of berries on the top.
3. Pour into a mason jar, bottle or cup depending on where you are planning to have your smoothie and finish it off with two sprigs of mint to add a freshness to the ‘Berrylicious Smoothie’.
The Tropical One
If anything can get me in the holiday mood and ready to vacate the country immediately it is the sweet sweet taste of tropical vegan smoothies, interlaced with passionfruit, mango and almost akin to a ‘juice’ as opposed to a smoothie. Not as thick as the ‘Berrylicious’ but infinitely sweet, ‘The Tropical One’ is for those who have been dancing to Camilla Cabello’s Havana all summer long ,dancing as energetically as they live their lives. Layered with oodles of fresh summer fruits like passionfruit and mango, this freshly made vegan smoothie can be created with the desired thickness in mind, depending on whether you prefer your smoothies to be creamy or a thinner consistency that makes it a more refreshing vegan smoothie that can even be made into a juice. Despite being a ‘sweet’ vegan smoothie, it is surprisingly healthy as did you know that Passion fruit is highly rich in Vitamin C, beta-cryptoxanthin and alpha-carotene that boosts your immunity? Plus good news for those who have iron deficiencies and are anemic as passionfruit is also a great source of iron, which increases haemoglobin in our red blood cells.
1 Large Mango peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 a cup of fresh passion fruit puree and pulp
1 cup mixed fruit juice
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 teaspoon Chia Seeds
- Add the cup of mixed fruit juice and combine with the fresh passionfruit puree , mango and frozen pineapple to the active bullet and blitz until smooth.
- Add more passionfruit pulp to the vegan smoothie and sprinkle a teaspoon of chia seeds for an additional crunch.
The Coconut And Berry Smoothie Bowl
What better way to start your morning than with a delicious smoothie bowl designed to feed your mind and soul. With descicated coconut mixed with fresh berries, this tantalizing smoothie bowl is full of antioxidants and nutrients that will make you have the best day ever. While we know that raspberries and blackberries are full of quercetin and gallic acid which ward against heart and circulatory disease, the addition of cranberries (which you can substitute with ligonberries if you prefer) is an extra source of Vitamin C as well as protecting against urinary tract infections, while the flavanoids in the cranberries decrease the chances of developing atherosclerosis, which is a condition that restricts the arteries with the accumulation of plaques which can cause a lack of oxygen rich blood flow, leading to a heart attack or even a stroke. So cranberries are a great way of being mindful and proactive about your cardiovascular health, but if this wasn’t enough, the coconut is also a ‘super food’ with coconut flesh being rich in fibre, vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6 and minerals including iron, selenium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorous.
2-3 Cups coconut milk
1 cup of walnuts or mixed nut to top the smoothie bowl
3 cups of frozen mixed berries
Fresh berries and desicated coconut for the smoothie bowl topping
- Pour the coconut milk into your active bullet and add the frozen berries.Blend until smooth.
- Pour the smoothie mixture into a bowl and sprinkle desiccated coconuts and walnuts (or other nuts) on the top of the smoothie bowl for some added texture. You may also want to add some fresh berries to the smoothie bowl topping as well.
The Detox Blend
Now normally I am more of a mixed berry’ smoothie type tribe as opposed to green kale , but the addition of green apple and coconut milk lends a decidedly creamier and sweeter taste than your typical green vegan smoothie. With delicious green ingredients like kale, green apple, spinach and cucumber, like the other smoothies on this list, this vegan smoothie is full of nutrients that will give you an energy boost throughout the day. While spinach is a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin K, kale is even more impressive as it is loaded with powerful antioxidants like Quercetin and Kaempferol which can help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body. If these green veggies were not enough to whet your appetite then green apples will perk you up as not only do they taste delicious but they also contain a lot of fiber, which helps clean the system and increases our metabolism rate too.
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cucumber sliced and thinnly chopped
1 green apple sliced and de-cored
2 cups baby spinach
1 cup kale
1. Add all the green fruit and veg into the active bullet and pour the unsweetened coconut milk over the top. Blitz all the ingredients until smooth. For additional flavour you might choose to add avocado and chia seeds.