Spring is my favourite time of year.
Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, and I probably have the most fun in the summer (I mean, who doesn’t?), but spring holds so much promise and anticipation that’s such a breath of fresh air after the winter.
Unless, of course, you live in Sweden, where spring can be a bit of a jerk. We had snow on Easter weekend, people. Snow!
Nevertheless, after what has felt like a particularly long winter, I find myself craving the bright fresh flavours of spring. We’re not quite at the strawberries and pea shoots stage of the year yet (because: snow) so I’ve taken a bit of help here from some frozen berries, the ubiquitous year-round gala apple, and fennel that has been imported from Italy.
For many years I struggled to get my head around smoothies without bananas in them. If ever I had a nutrition client who didn’t like bananas, I’d be scratching my head at coming up with smoothie recipes for them. These days my daily smoothie, the one that’s in most common rotation, is 100% banana free. Not that I’m here to demonize bananas, or any other ingredient for that matter, but I’d say that of all the smoothie recipes out there probably 75% of them contain bananas, and perhaps you, too, are looking for other options.
If you’re thinking that fennel sounds like a weird ingredient to throw in a smoothie, think again. The bright, slightly anise flavour pairs perfectly with the tartness of the berries and balances the sweetness of the apple. Yoghurt thickens the smoothie and adds a bit of protein, while oat milk rounds the whole thing out.
A few things to note:
*I use frozen spinach in my smoothies, which is why this looks more pink than green. Where I live frozen spinach comes in small cubes, so I just toss a handful in to the blender. If you’re using fresh spinach, use 1-2 cups and anticipate a much greener colour.
*Do fennel and apple really blend up smooth? I have a powerful high-speed blender and so far there’s nothing I’ve thrown at it that it couldn’t handle, including carrots, apples, fennel, and celery. If your blender isn’t so powerful you might want to err on the side of caution and chop or grate your apple and fennel before blending.
*Want extra protein? A tablespoon or two of hemp seeds is mighty nice here.
*Lastly a note on quantity. I like to drink a large smoothie, and right after I took these photos I drank both of those glasses. If you’re not super hungry this will probably be enough smoothie for two people, but if you’re hungry, fuelling or recovering from a workout, or just like a lot of smoothie, this serves one.
Fennel is an amazing source of vitamin C. It is a great source of dietary fiber, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, copper, phosphorous, and folate. Furthermore, fennel is a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, and niacin.
Does an Apple a day keep the doctor away? Well, they’re definitely good for your heart. Apples boast well-documented cardiovascular benefits. These benefits are associated with the water-soluble fiber (pectin) content, and the polyphenol mixture in most apples. Both total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol are decreased through regular intake of apples.
Two years ago: Healthier Applesauce Snacking Cake
Three years ago: Kale and Quinoa Salad with Smoked Feta
Four years ago: Game Changing Hummus
Five years ago: Roasted Chickpeas with Three Paprikas
Six years ago: Kale Chips
berry fennel smoothie
- 1 apple cored and sliced
- 1 cup fennel slices
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1-2 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 cup plain yoghurt
- 1 cup oat milk or other non-dairy milk
- Layer all ingredients into a blender, starting with the apple and fennel, ending with the yoghurt and oat milk.
- Blend on high until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Pour into a glass, and serve immediately.