If you’re looking for something to get you buzzing in the morning, this blueberry and manuka honey smoothie is packed full of all the good stuff!
This is a super simple smoothie recipe that mixes the deep purple beautifulness of the heroic ‘superfood’ blueberry, brimming with essential vitamin C and fibre along with the sweet taste of manuka honey to spring you into life1.
If that wasn’t enough, you are in for extra support with a sprinkling of bee pollen. Bee pollen contains vitamins, minerals and proteins, making it the perfect addition to your morning smoothie.
Nutrition: per serving
1 tsp oat bran
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
150ml milk (or dairy-free alternative)
2 tbsp Manuka honey MGO 40
2 tsp bee pollen
1 Place all the ingredients except the bee pollen in a blender and blitz until smooth.
2 Divide between two glasses and top each with a teaspoon of bee pollen.
3 Serve immediately and enjoy!
More about smoothies
What are smoothies?
A smoothie is a deep, soft tasting beverage that is commonly blended from processed fruits, vegetables, juices, yogurt, nuts, seeds, and/or dairy or non-dairy milk. They’re a popular choice at breakfast and snack times. Many smoothies include frozen fruit or ice cubes to give the final product the cool, icy consistency of a milkshake, only healthier.
Obviously, the flavour of your smoothie is dependant on what you include – in this case you’ll get a sharp blueberry bitterness, with a sweet, almost nutty intensity of manuka honey.
Are smoothies healthy?
Unlike fruit juices, smoothies keep the whole fruit, including the fibre, BUT you should also keep in mind that they are packed full of ‘free’ sugars, which should only make up 5% of your daily calorie intake.
According to the NHS, its recommended that women shouldn’t exceed more than 2,000 calories a day, whereas men should have no more than 2,500.2 Although, it’s probably a good idea to look into this based on your own age, metabolism and physical activity to get a fair calculation.
How your body reacts
Because we drink smoothies rather than eat them, sugars may find their way into the bloodstream quicker than when we eat. As we don’t chew, our bodies don’t get the same messages that help us control how much we consume.3 It’s also suggested that you should not consume more than 150ml of or smoothie a day.4
So, it’s a good idea to limit yourself. Ideally, these should be kept for mealtimes rather than between meals in order to protect against tooth decay.
Top tips when making smoothies
Smoothies are generally easy to make. Essentially, it’s a case of picking some ingredients you like and blitzing them together into something tasty that you’ll enjoy.
There’s no hard and fast rule when making smoothies – but here’s an idea of what you’ll commonly find in them:
- Fruits: apple, banana, berries, mango, peach and pineapple
- Vegetables: avocado, beetroot, cauliflower, cucumber, carrots, kale and spinach
- Nuts and seeds: almond butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, peanut butter and poppy seeds,
- Herbs and spices: basil, cinnamon, ginger, cocoa powder, parsley and turmeric
- Nutritional and herbal supplements: bee pollen, matcha powder, protein powder, and powdered vitamin or mineral supplements
- Liquid: coconut water, fruit juice, milk, non-dairy milk, vegetable juice and water
- Sweeteners: honey, maple syrup, raw sugar or pitted dates
Obviously, like anything we make at home, sometimes it doesn’t always go to plan. So here are a few quick fixes that may help:
If your smoothie is too thick
It’s often a good idea to load your container in the following order before mixing – liquids first, then soft fruits or vegetables, greens, and ice on top. However, if your smoothie is too thick then add some more liquid and mix for a little longer.
If your smoothie is too thin
Try to consider what you add to your smoothie and what will give you the right consistency. If your smoothie is too thin then fruit is a good way to thicken, something like a banana will add a lot of thickness. You could even add more natural yogurt if needs be.
To add sweetness
Think about adding sweet fruits to your smoothie, like oranges or pineapple. If they aren’t to your taste, then honey or maple syrup can be great additions to take away any bitterness.
To make it less sweet
Try adding lemon juice, or some kind of citrus this will neutralise the taste and balance it out.
Health benefits of blueberries
Blueberries (vaccinium myrtillus) are what’s known as a “superfood”, which means its particularly helpful to your health and wellbeing.
They’re rich in antioxidants, blueberries are also a good source of essential vitamin C and fibre.5 Nutritionally they are really good for you. Per 100g, which is approximately a handful they contain the following6:
The top four health benefits of blueberries:
High in antioxidants
Blueberries contain one of the highest intensities of antioxidants in any fruit, making them a great addition to your smoothie.7 Antioxidants help keep you healthy by fighting off free radicals in your body.
As with many other berries, blueberries contain vitamin C which helps our bodies in many ways, including maintaining normal skin, blood vessels and bones.8
High in fibre
Blueberries contain soluble fibre, which helps keep your digestive system under control. The fibre in blueberries is also a food source for the good bacteria in your gut.9
Low in calories
They’re high in nutrients, but low in calories, blueberries are a fantastic way for dieters to enjoy something sweet. They’re a great addition to adding sweetness without hitting too much sugar.
Healthy benefits of manuka honey
In the summer months of December and January, bees in the north of New Zealand pollinate the flower of the Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) to produce what is known as Manuka honey.
The honey contains hydrogen peroxide which is a strong antibacterial agent. As a result, it’s claimed to have antimicrobial properties.
You can also use it the same as normal honey – as a much healthier way to sweeten food and drinks instead of using refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. Try it drizzled over thick Greek yoghurt with berries, swirled into your morning oats, or stir it into food marinades for a touch of sweetness.
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