The children are finally back at school, I’ve had the opportunity to tidy the house after the chaos of the summer and I feel ready and eager for a bit of a dietary reboot after the off-plan eating and drinking that happens over the holidays.
Smoothies are a quick and easy way to boost fibre and antioxidants in the diet, and it’s hard not to feel motivated and virtuous when you’re drinking a fab-tasting glass of green. Our Pear and Lime smoothie is simply my go-to, favourite healthy smoothie of all time (mango and cacao being a close second), and it’s perfect timing as British pears hit peak season.
We’ve written a lot before about the pros and cons of smoothies and juices but our belief is that in small quantities, both can be beneficial to the diet. Our Pear and Lime smoothie contains avocado (making it really creamy) so is sustaining as a mid morning snack, supporting energy levels and blood sugar balance. It’s also great at breakfast, alongside eggs for example – and it’s such an simple way to tick off some fruit and veg early in the day (helpful if you’re aiming for 7+ portions a day).
It’s also very family friendly – being a gentle step away from solely fruit-based smoothies yet not at the level of more ‘hardcore’ kale smoothies or green juices. If the kids are drinking it it’s easy to adjust downwards the rocket and watercress and bump up the spinach leaves; spinach gives the ‘green’ colour but is virtually tasteless.
We love the watercress and rocket combo as they work together with the lime in providing Vitamin C and gentle support for the liver (perfect for a detox or reboot programme). On a purely practical front, most supermarkets stock economical mixed salad bags of watercress, rocket and spinach combinations and so we normally have a bag in the fridge. The fats in the avocado enable us to maximise our absorption of the fat soluble nutrients (such as beta-carotene) that the leaves contain.
Pears are a (really) cheap, often overlooked seasonal fruit and one of our favourites, especially when they’re in season (i.e. now). They’re one of the least allergenic foods in existence, and also one of the one of the highest fibre fruits, rich in the soluble fibre pectin, which supports our digestive system. Unlike many tropical fruits, pears don’t significantly impact blood sugar levels so they’re a great snack option if you’re looking to balance energy levels and your overall glucose balance.
Keeping the skin on the pear is important – it accounts for half the fibre content and has around three to four times more antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients than the flesh. Just make sure to wash your pear before using!