The Look, No Banana! Mango Smoothie Bowl

imageI nearly always start a smoothie wth a banana. I like that it thickens the smoothie but also that it has so many healthy nutrients in one ingredient and it is so satisfying.

Today, however, I went for something different: dried mango. I love mango, it is my favourite fruit: I love the juiciness, the colour and most of all the smell! But it is difficult to find them here, they are nearly always expensive and unripe.

Like avocados, they have a tendency to go off before they ripen and so when I get the urge for mango, I generally turn to the dried strips. Still organic, but not so juicy – or so messy! They take a little soaking first, so you may want to soak them in a little fresh apple juice or with the chia seeds and quinoa flakes in the coconut water for half an hour while you do something else. (This is extra yummy if you use frozen mango).

Mangoes are a good source of dietary fibre, B6, Folate, Vitamins A, C and K (necessary for bone health), and Potassium. Quinoa is a complete protein, while chia seeds are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and essential omega fats (see also 3 Cheers for Chias! for more info on these amazing seeds plus further breakfast bowl recipes). Brazil nuts contain selenium, which some people are deficient in. (See Love Brazils? Beware Potential Selenium Overload! to read more about the symptoms of selenium deficiency and also the dangers of over-consumption).

This isn’t a particularly arty breakfast bowl, but it is simple and healthy.

All ingredients are organic, vegan and gluten-free.


1 Cup Dried Mango, chopped

1 Tbsp Quinoa Flakes

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

3 Brazil Nuts

1 Medium Glass Chi Coconut Water

Soak the above for about 30 minutes in the blender.

Blend and pour into a bowl and top with sliced apple and a sprinkling of dried coconut. 

Some smooth jazz today with some stunning natural photography.

(Ps If you’re reading this via email, you’ll have to go onto the blog to play the video)

Have a great day!


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Selenium Smoothie: A Light Energy Boost or Recovery Drink

Some time ago, I wrote a post about the importance of selenium in the diet, but somehow I didn’t get around to posting this recipe to accompany it. (See Love Brazils? Beware Potential Selenium Overload!) I think I was concerned I was posting too many smoothie recipes and not enough juicing ones!

This is a simple, light smoothie, but as always bear in mind my smoothie recipes are mostly meant to be meal replacements, energy boosts or recovery shakes. They contain protein, electrolytes, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals and are healthier alternatives to sugary, chemical-laden snacks and so-called energy bars and drinks.

The Brazils in this smoothie contain selenium, healthy fats and B vitamins, while the wheatgrass powder also contains selenium, B Vitamins including B6 and B12, Vitamins A, C, E and K (essential for bood clotting and bone health). Banana contains potassium for a healthy heart and B vitamins, the chia seeds are full of healthy nutrients including protein and omega fats, oats have magnesium to prevent cramping muscles and keep us calm. Dates are good sources of fibre, minerals including iron, calcium, copper and zinc, and Vitamins A, B, C and K.


1 Ripe Banana

2 Tbsps Gluten-Free Oats

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

3 Brazil Nuts

1 Medjool Date, pitted

1 Glass Coconut Water

1 Tsp Wheatgrass Powder

Soak the oats and chia seeds in the coconut water in the blender for 20 minutes for improved digestion and absorption, then blend with all the other ingredients.


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Banana Plum Smoothie with a Warming Dash of Cinnamon

imageThis is a mineral-rich smoothie with protein, fibre and omega fatty acids and a little warming cinnamon spice added now that Autumn is creeping in. Cinnamon has many health benefits including reducing spikes in blood sugar and lowering insulin resistance, as well as helping to balance your metabolism. Yellow plums are reputed to improve iron absorption, possibly due to their vitamin C content. Those with nut allergies can substitute the almond milk with tiger nut milk or any other non-dairy alternative.

All ingredients are organic, vegan and gluten-free, all measurements approximate.


1 Banana

1 Yellow Plum

2 Tbsps Golden Linseeds (lightly ground)

1 Heaped Tbsp Raw Hemp Seeds*

Glass of chilled Almond Milk (see here for how to make your own, it really is very easy and tastes much better than bought)

1 Medjool Date, pitted and chopped

A Dash of Cinnamon + another on top

 Blend and enjoy.


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Light & Summery Strawberry & Banana Smoothie

Finally, Summer has arrived up North and this is a lovely light summery smoothie, with healthy fats and protein, prebiotics and probiotics for a healthy gut and digestive system, dietary fibre, and lots of vitamins and minerals.

Do you know strawberries are not really fruit as their seeds are on the outside? They are bursting with nutrients, including Vitamin C, folate, B Vitamins, Vitamin K (needed for bone health), they are rich in powerful antioxidants and are thought to help prevent heart disease, cancer and inflammation. The leaves can also be eaten or made into tea.

Try to buy organic strawberries as this fruit is considered one of the ‘dirty dozen’, being one of the most sprayed fruits and retaining chemical residue.


(Apologies for the smoothie photo, no natural light at all when I took it, the smoothie actually looked much lighter and slightly pink).


1 Small Banana

10 Strawberries, washed and hulled

Handful of Pumpkin Seeds

1 Heaped Tbsp Chufa de Valencia Tiger Nut Flour

1 Heaped Tbsp Golden Linseeds, partially ground

1 Medium Glass Rebel Kitchen Organic Raw Coconut Water

1 Heaped Tbsp CoYo Plain Coconut Yogurt

1 Tsp Juicemaster Wheatgrass Powder

Blend and add ice.

Juice Master



Here’s a short but energetic video by The Undertones – watch the keyboard ‘player!’

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Go Nuts With This Raspberry & Red Peanut Smoothie!

I had a handful of raspberries, an over-ripe nectarine and a handful of coarsely ground organic red peanuts left over from making a chilli-burger (see recipe here), so as they had become friends in the fridge I thought they would get on well together in the blender!

Raspberries contain much more Vitamin C than oranges, are a good source of Vitamin K (important for bone health), anti-oxidants, iron and the anti-aging resveratrol. They are considered heart-healthy.

Peanuts have the highest protein content of all the nuts, while tiger nuts and shelled hemp seeds are also excellent sources of protein, fibre, calcium and many more vitamins and minerals. Wheatgrass powder is absolutely packed with nutrients.


(All organic, measurements as always are approximate) 

1/2 Ripe Banana

A Handful of Raspberries, washed

A Small Ripe Nectarine

A Handful of Coarsely Ground Organic Red Peanuts

A Glass of Tiger Nut Milk

2 Tbsps Shelled Hemp Seeds*

1 Tsp Wheatgrass Powder 

1 Medjool Date

Save a raspberry to decorate

Blend and add ice, unless you’ve used frozen raspberries.

Find more Tiger Nut Recipes and Smoothie Recipes by clicking the links.

Here’s a clip from Peanuts to watch while you drink your smoothie, hope it starts your day with a smile! If you’re reading this via email  you’ll need to click onto the blog to watch.


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Summer Lovin’ Fruit Smoothie!


I LOVE summer fruits! They are here and gone all too soon. Normally I eat them as they are, all soft and ripe and oozing with juice,  or at most, chopped into a summer fruit salad with coconut yogurt and cinnamon. Today, however, I had an under-ripe nectarine, an over-ripe plum and a small galia melon that was on its way to becoming alcoholic!

Into the blender they went.

(This is a smoothie you can drink, no cutlery needed this time!)



(All organic, vegan and gluten-free)

Soak a heaped Tbsp of Buckwheat Flakes in the blender


1 Small Glass Chi Coconut Water – unsweetened –

while you get the other items ready.

1/2 Small Ripe Galia Melon, deseeded and flesh chopped

(Squeeze the juice from the skin into the blender – waste not, want not!)

1 Nectarine, pitted and chopped

1 Plum, pitted and chopped

Small handful of Cashew Nut Pieces

(Cashew nuts contain magnesium which helps you relax and lifts your mood)

Heaped Tbsp CoYo Plain Coconut Yogurt

Blend and serve.

You could try adding a pinch of Cinnamon or Ground Ginger, if liked.

Here’s some summer lovin’ with John Travolta & Olivia Neutron Bomb! (If you’re reading this via email, you need to click onto the blog to see the video).

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Blueberry & Walnut Protein Smoothie



This punily thin-looking smoothie is deceptively strong in terms of antioxidants, electrolytes, healthy fats, B vitamins, protein and fibre.

Walnuts contain a significant amount of the heart-healthy alpha-linolenic acid or Omega 3 fatty acid. They are rich in antioxidants and contain manganese, copper, vitamin E and the B vitamin, biotin.

Quinoa is a gluten-free alternative wholegrain packed with protein and fibre.

All ingredients are organic except the coconut water, which is unflavoured, unsweetened and contains no additives.


1 Small Ripe Banana

1 Handful of Blueberries

1 Handful of Walnut pieces (1)

1 Dsp Chia Seeds *

1 Tbsp Quinoa Flakes (1)

1 heaped Tbsp CoYo Plain Yogurt 

1 Small Glass Coconut Water

Blend, add ice if desired.


Today’s music believe it or not is the first time I have ever listened to One Direction! It was this or Cher on the theme of Strong (get it?), I went with the boys 😊

*The Raw Chocolate Company

1. Buy Wholefoods Online

Copyright: Chris McGowan

Tarty Purple Plum Smoothie with Açaí & Chia


I am doing the free Juice Master 7 Day Guided Juice Challenge* this week, but here is a lovely tasty purple smoothie for the rest of you!

This is a refreshing, but quite tart, thin smoothie that is high in resveratrol, a substance present in purple fruits and veg which is believed to be anti-aging. The quinoa flakes provide protein and minerals as do the chia seeds.

Our plums weren’t ripe but I quite like tarty fruit, however if you prefer a sweeter flavour try adding a medjool date or a little dark maple syrup.

Açaí is a South American fruit that has recently joined the list of superfoods in Western diets. It has a mixed blackberry/cacao flavour. It is full of anti-oxidants.

If your grapes are not organic, be sure to give them a thorough rinse, they are one of the most chemical-sprayed fruits available.

It is best if you pre-soak the Chia Seeds, Quinoa Flakes and Açaí Powder in the Coconut Water in the blender for 15-20 minutes


2 Plums, chopped

Handful of seedless Purple Grapes

1 Rounded Tbsp Chia Seeds*

1 Small Glass unsweetened Coconut Water

1 Tbsp Quinoa Flakes

1 Rounded Tbsp Plain CoYo Coconut Yogurt

1 Tbsp Açaí Powder *

Blend and add ice for a refreshing summer energy boost.

*Still time to sign up, just visit the website:


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Apricot Chia Smoothie

It’s summer fruit season at last! I had my first apricots of the season last week and am salivating whilst awaiting the peaches in my organic fruit and veg box. Sorry, not a nice image, but there you go. I’m often loth to put them in smoothies, preferring to savour them whole, but one of the apricots looked like it needed using up so in it went.

Here’s the result:


The smoothie has lots of vitamins and minerals, protein, fibre and healthy fats. To find out the health benefits of chia seeds and other chia, recipes see Three Cheers for Chias!

(Tip: Put the oats and chia seeds to soak in the milk in the blender and leave for about 15 minutes, it will thicken the smoothie, make it easier to digest and keep you feeling fuller for longer)

Vegan and gluten-free.


1 Small Banana

1-2 Fresh Apricots depending on size

2 Tbsps Gluten-free Oats

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

1 Tbsp Peanut Butter

1 Medium Glass Almond Milk (see recipe here)

Blend and serve with a few chia seeds sprinkled on top for a bit of crunch.

Today’s video is an oldie but a goodie and will have you boppin’ away the cobwebs. The Summer of ’69… Ah, I remember it well… A Levels, Neil Armstrong, Woodstock, Crosby, Stills and Nash… Nuff sed 😎


Copyright: Chris McGowan

Pink Coconut Green Smoothie

Ingredients for Pink Coconut Green Smoothie

I finally managed to get hold of some Chi 100% Raw Organic Coconut Water! We found it at Ocado this week. It’s pink due to the activity of the antioxidants in the young Thai Nam-Hon Coconuts and is sustainably produced, fairly traded and unheated with no additives whatsoever. It is also naturally sweet and not made from concentrate. For an added bonus, the company donate to Drop4Drop who provide waterwells where needed most.

The drawback is that it is more expensive and has to be used within 24 hours, although I’m on my second day and it is still fine. For me, it is this week’s treat.

(Oh, and if only it didn’t come in a plastic bottle).

I decided to use some in my breakfast smoothie, which is rich in antioxidants, electrolytes, protein, healthy fats, B vitamins  and selenium from the Brazil nuts!

Coconut water makes a lighter smoothie and is a much healthier and tastier alternative to sugary, chemical-laden so-called energy or post-workout drinks.

All ingredients are organic.


1 Small Glass Chi 100% Raw Coconut Water

1 Ripe Banana

3 Romaine leaves

2″ Cucumber, peel left on, chopped

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

1 Tbsp CoYo Plain Yogurt

1 Tbsp Golden Linseeds

3 Brazil Nuts

1 or 2 Medjool Dates, pitted

1 Tsp Juicemaster Wheatgrass Powder*


Blend, add ice if preferred and enjoy!

Pink Coconut Green Smoothie



Copyright: Chris McGowan