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Gluten-free vegan basics | The essential vegan smoothie (banana-free)

I’ve tried a lot of smoothies in my time, and boy, is it hard to find the perfect balance – not just in taste, but in prep time and number of ingredients, too. It’s hard to make a smoothie jam-packed full of nutrients when you’re vegan, hard when you’re time poor with a near empty fridge, and also, hard when you’re not a fan of the good old banana to thicken things up (which, I’ve been told, can take a smoothie from zero to hero pretty quickly).

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve made an easy smoothie that requires virtually zero prep and actually tastes good. Plus, my freezer is no longer full of chopped and portioned ingredients in zip-locked bags (a bonus if you have a tiny freezer).

In terms of the ‘specialty’ ingredients, they aren’t quite as extreme as what a smoothie made by Gwyneth Paltrow or Miranda Kerr would encompass, but I won’t lie, there are a few. If you don’t have aloe vera powder, spirulina or glutamine powder on hand and don’t feel like buying them, feel free to omit them. Glutamine is something you should definitely look into if you don’t eat red meat, aloe vera powder is good to calm inflammation within the body, and spirulina is good for your immune system as well as being rich in beta-carotene, iron and calcium.

Baobab powder, however, is something I’d recommend you do buy. It’s the powder from an African fruit that is full of vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants, and surprisingly, it tastes very good in comparison to most superfood powders. Finally, adding beetroot powder was a crazy idea that came to me one day in the shower. It elevated the taste to a whole new level so I’d definitely recommend picking some up. It’s also a great natural food dye so I’m sure you’ll be able to find a use for it somewhere along the way.

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The essential vegan smoothie (banana-free)
Serves 2-3

1 1/2 cup organic frozen blueberries
1/2 cup organic frozen spinach
2 tbsp baobab powder
1 tbsp coconut water powder (see note)
1 tbsp white chia seeds
1 tsp glutamine powder
1 tsp aloe vera powder
1 tsp Hawaiian Pacifica spirulina
2 cups filtered water
1 tbsp beetroot powder

Add all ingredients into a high-powered blender and blend on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until combined and smooth. Then, add the beetroot powder and blend again for 15 seconds.

Pour into glasses and serve immediately. Alternatively, pour your smoothie into a bottle and chill until needed. Just give it a shake before you drink it.

NOTE: You can omit the coconut water powder and replace the filtered water with coconut water.

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