I’m sure most of you already know, I love a good smoothie! I have featured quite a few smoothie recipes here on the blog during the past couple of years, because they are one of my favourite drinks (especially during the hot Summer months). They’re healthy, refreshing and delicious…well, at least mine are. What better way to start the day than with a zesty smoothie!
I love to drink a smoothie for breakfast in the morning, it gives me a boost of energy that I need (especially on those mornings when I really have to drag myself out of bed). In the past I preferred smoothies that only contained fruit, but I’ve learned that fruit-only smoothies have a very high sugar content, so it’s best to incorporate veggies as well. I’ve tried various green smoothies in the past (incorporating kale and spinach) but I’m not the biggest fan of that ‘green taste’.
So when McCain introduced me to their new Veggie Sides and asked me to create my own recipe using one of their 4 unique Veggie Sides, I had an ‘lightbulb moment’ to use the Mashed Butternut & Cinnamon variant in a breakfast smoothie. I know it sounds strange, but trust me, it works! This is a great way to incorporate a vegetable in your smoothie, plus you have total control over how butternut-y you want your smoothie to taste.
The McCain Veggie Sides are packaged in convenient bags that are the perfect size for the freezer. I’ll be using the butternut chunks from frozen, which will give the smoothie a thick and creamy, yet icy texture and taste. Another benefit of using frozen fruit or veggies in your smoothies is frozen food has just as much if not a higher nutritional value than their fresh counterparts. This is because common fruits and vegetables are picked at their peak of freshness, then cleaned, prepped, frozen, and sent right to the coolers of your local supermarket. Frozen also means less waste, fresh fruit and veggies can go bad within days. Frozen produce, however, when taken home and put in your freezer can last indefinitely. Furthermore, I prefer frozen fruit and vegetables because I don’t have to wash or cut anything, saving up to 5 minutes of preparation time every morning.
The McCain Veggie Sides bags are so easy to use – just snip and use. I’ve used some of their other veggie options, and I must admit, they taste really good! Like a homemade meal, but without the prepping, chopping, boiling and cleanup. My personal favourites are the frozen Diced Onions – total lifesaver, as I don’t have to worry about my eyes watering; AND of course, the Mashed Butternut & Cinnamon Veggie Side. Neal and I were pressed for time the other day, plus earlier that day I didn’t have time to go to the shops to buy food for the week. We weren’t in the mood for takeaways, as we prefer food that actually tastes like it has been cooked in real kitchen. I remembered that I still had half a bag of the Mashed Butternut & Cinnamon left, so I popped it into a bowl and microwaved for a couple of minutes. There was no need to add butter or any other spices, and to be honest, it tasted better than any butternut dish I could have cooked from scratch.
Anyway, McCain sent over a videographer (and his assistant) to film and edit the video – jeepers, I was SO nervous when my filming day arrived. Standing in front of complete strangers, trying to keep your cool all while trying really hard to not sound like a total fool is NO JOKE! Take a look at the video below, I show you how I created this yummy smoothie (please be kind, this is my first time being in front of a camera crew).
♥ 1 cup McCain Mashed Butternut & Cinnamon Veggies Sides
♥ 1 fresh banana
♥ 1/2 cup frozen pineapple
♥ +- 250ml orange juice (depends how thick or runny you like your smoothies, I like mine nice & thick)
♥ 1 tablespoon chia seeds
♥ 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
♥ 1 pinch ground ginger
♥ Add all ingredients to your Nutribullet cup or any blender you have at home, and blend until creamy and smooth. You can also add more orange juice or ice cold tap water if you find it’s too thick.
I shared the smoothie with the videographer & his assistant and both LOVED it! They couldn’t believe that a smoothie (containing chunks of butternut) could taste that good.
Top Tip: This recipe also freezes well for popsicles (a great way to include a veggie in a healthy treat for your child).
As with all my other smoothie recipes, I’ll run over some of the main health and beauty benefits of the ingredients I’ve used in this recipe:
♥ Butternut is chock full of Vitamin A, Potassium and Fiber. One serving of butternut squash provides a whopping 437% of your Vitamin A needs for the day, as well as 52% of Vitamin C and 10% or more of Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, and Magnesium. Vitamin A is needed for sebum production that keeps skin and hair moisturised, soft and smooth. Potassium helps you to maintain a healthy blood pressure.
♥ Butternut also decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and overall mortality while promoting a healthy complexion, increased energy, and overall lower weight.
♥ Vitamin C (which you get from the butternut and orange juice) is needed to boost immunity and build collagen that provides structure and plumpness to the skin.
♥ Bananas are rich in Vitamins A, B & E thus it works as an anti-ageing agent. Bananas also reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, strengthen the nervous system, and help protect against free radicals, premature aging and chronic disease.
♥ Pineapple improves gum health, bone health, heart health, digestion and cures swelling and irritation for example sinusitis and a sore throat.
♥ Chia seeds are the highest natural source of omega-3s (a fatty acid that benefits the skin by helping to strengthen cell membranes that allow water & nutrients in, whilst keeping toxins out). They also boost energy, help stabilise blood sugar levels, promote detoxification plus possess anti-cancer properties.
♥ The nutrients and minerals in cinnamon help to fight heart disease, skin infections, stomach problems and indigestion, plus boosts brain function.
♥ Ginger fights free radicals that are damaging to our skin and reduces inflammation caused by blemishes.
I hope you enjoyed watching the short video, I had fun creating the recipe!
A huge thank you for McCain for sponsoring the video and blog post.