Creamy Green and Bean Smoothie

 

  • What is it? This smoothie looks pretty normal however if you look at the calories and macronutrients it is pretty nutrient dense. Those numbers could easily pass as a standard sized meal. It’s going to fill you up with a decent hit of protein, fibre and fat.

 

  • Why have it? Now I almost always prefer to eat my food and not drink it! You generally get more fibre content from foods if they are not blended up. However I use something like this as an on-the-go meal when I’m too busy to sit down and eat and need something that’s going to hit the spot. Sipping on a smoothie allows you to keep doing what you need to do whether that’s working or commuting.

 

  • How to do it? So how does this smoothie have the potential to be so filling? Because it’s full of beans! I know it sounds weird but really tinned beans in water are actually quite tasteless but have a great creamy texture when blended (think bean dip or hummus). But why would even want to put them in there? Well check out all of their benefits below. Also you will notice the high amount of fat that comes from the seeds and avocado, not only is it satiating but also helps you get more micro nutrients out of the other ingredients (1)

 

Macronutrients: Calories: 545 Protein: 25 g Carbs: 52g Fat: 21 g Fibre 24g

 

Ingredients

·         1 Tin of butter beans or any other white beans(drained and washed)

·         50g spinach

·         1 kiwi

·         1 tablespoon milled linseed/flax seed

·         ½ avocado

·         200 ml of water

 

Benefits of beans

Beans and other legumes like peas and lentils are actually highly underrated superfoods with some impressive benefits, here are just a few

  1. Loads of micro nutrients such as folate, magnesium, zinc, calcium and iron
  2. High in fibre
  3. 1 tin is 2 of your 5 a day
  4. Some of the highest protein veg with high amounts of some branch chain amino acids that are associated with muscle maintenance and growth such as leucine and lysine
  5. Studies have linked legumes to longevity (2)
  6. Legume intake has been correlated to a reduction in heart disease risk as well as reduction in certain cancer rates (3)

There are so many options and combinations of ingredients to make beans work in a smoothie. This example is pretty much a standard green smoothie so feel free to get creative and change it up completely. If you’re currently supplementing with a protein shake why not add it to a bean smoothie to really hit some big protein numbers alongside all the other great nutrients in there already.

Now that I’ve hopefully opened your mind to using beans in a smoothie imagine black beans in a chocolate flavoured one or how about chickpeas with peanut butter and banana! Throwing beans in with the regular veggies and fruit really makes it a proper meal in a bottle.

 

Jas Sandhu

Better Body Group, Sevenoaks

 

References

1 Brown M. J. et al,Carotenoid bioavailability is higher from salads ingested with full-fat than with fat-reduced salad dressings as measured with electrochemical detection Am J Clin Nutr 2004
vol. 80 no. 2 396-403

2 Darmadi-Blackberry  I. et al, Legumes: the most important dietary predictor of survival in older people of different ethnicities Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr 2004;13 (2):217-220

3 Nöthlings U. et al, Intake of Vegetables, Legumes, and Fruit, and Risk for All-Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality in a European Diabetic Population J. Nutr. 2008 vol. 138 no. 4 775-781