The Traits Of The Best Smoothie Maker

When it comes to buying the best smoothie maker, you need to consider various features alongside what you will be using the blender for. Choosing the right smoothie machine can often seem like a difficult decision and that is simply because there are so many features that you might or might not even need.

Detailed Smoothie Maker Reviews

The function and the capacity of the blender is the most important part to consider. Obviously, if you are using it for fruits and vegetables then most products will do the job. However, you might need a stronger model if you are going to be using harder ingredients like ice. On top of that, the capacity is extremely important too! You need to look at the size of your family and decide whether you will be making smoothies for them too. In this case, you will need a powerful full-size model. However, it is possible that you are going to be making a smoothie every morning when you wake up just for yourself. In this scenario, a smaller single serve system will suit you best.

  1. Robustness

While the overall appearance is what makes the first impression, the durability of the product is what will make the lasting impression. The perfect product will be robust and made from extremely durable material. It will also be protected by a one-year warranty at the very least. Despite the warranty, you will be expecting it to last a lot longer. The jug and the lid will not be prone to damage and the motor will be of sufficient quality to last for a number of years. Usually, buying a product made by a reputable manufacturer guarantees this but it is always advisable to take a look at smoothie maker reviews to make sure that you are spending money on a product that is resistant to damage.

You need to consider different traits in order to find the best smoothie maker.

  1. Powerful Performance

The power is what will smash through your food and create the perfect texture of your smoothie. Obviously, the power of the motor hugely contributes to this. However, the design of the blades and the jug can have their say too. For example, a narrow jug design is utilised by the likes of Nutribullet smoothie makers and they work extremely effectively. The blades can also be designed in an appropriate way to crush ice more effectively. In order to make sure there are not any mistakes made, you need to decide the function of the product before you buy it.

  1. Usability

Before spending a lot of money, you need to predict how often you will be using it. If you are a person that will be making a lot of smoothies everyday then the best smoothie maker will be a more expensive high-end machine. However, if you only want to use it once a day or a few times per week then you can settle for a cheaper machine with the most basic functions. Of course alongside this, you also need to look for a smoothie machine that is easy to use.

  1. Price

This part connects with the usability side of things because the more you spend the better quality will be. However, the important thing is to find a machine that will be quite cost-effective too. In order to this, you will need to read lots of reviews and not overspend.


While all of these factors are important, we also mentioned the appearance. If your smoothie machine will be kept on the counter then the design and appearance will have to be appealing. This, in combination with the factors above make up the traits of the best smoothie maker you should buy.

Oat and Banana Cookies with Coconut Almonds

I am always on the lookout for clean dessert recipes. I probably bake 3-4 times a week because I have such a sweet tooth, but also because it’s so much fun creating clean versions of normally sugar-filled and calorie-filled desserts.

One go-to recipe for when I don’t have a lot of ingredients on hand is the oat and banana cookie. Oatmeal and bananas are the secret to quick, easy, and of course clean cookies. The oats act as the flour, and the banana acts as the sweetener.

These cookies taste delicious and are quite easy to bake.

There are endless possibilities when it comes to what you can add to the cookies. I usually add a nut like pecans, walnuts, or almonds, and a dried fruit like raisins or dried cranberries. You can also add a scoop of protein powder! In that case, an extra banana is needed. There is so much room for experimentation with these cookies, so feel free to go wild!

Today I decided I wanted to make a simple version of the cookie. I found these awesome coconut almonds at Asda the other day, and I thought they would go great in these cookies. Some shredded coconut would also be great, but I did not have any in the pantry.

I have stumbled upon a lot of different recipes for oat and banana cookies. I decided to put my own spin on it by grinding up the oats into flour. You can also purchase oat flour, but it is so easy to throw oats in the blender and make your own. After I grind the ½ cup of oats up, I add a ripe banana (moderate brown spots) to the blender. The blender may not be able to fully incorporate the dough so take it out and mix with your hands.

Transfer the dough to a bowl and add another 1/2 cup of oats and mix well. Then, add your desired toppings. For nuts, I usually do 1/4 cup and for dried fruit a bit less than that. I like doing half oat flour and half whole oats because the oat flour helps everything bind together nicely, while the whole oats have a good texture. I also added a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of baking powder. The dough will make 4-5 cookies. If you want more just double or even triple the recipe. I personally like having small batches.

Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and throw the cookies into a preheated 350-degree oven for 15-20 minutes. You know they are done when the oats have a light golden brown hue. Let it cool and dig in!

1 cup of oats
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup of coconut almonds or any other nut
Pinch of cinnamon
Dash of baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Blend 1/2 cup of the oats in a blender until a fine flour consistency is reached.

Add the banana in pieces to the blender and blend until incorporated, you may need to take out and mix with your hands.

Transfer dough into a bowl and add remaining ingredients.

Place heaping tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Flatten cookies with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown.

Healthy Chicken Salad

With the start of May, I thought it would be great to post a lunch recipe for school and work. Packing your lunch is a great way to ensure that you are eating a healthy, balanced meal. The key is to make most of your lunch the night before, so that you are not rushing in the morning.

I have a few go-to recipes for packed lunches. I usually make some type of egg, tuna, or chicken salad the night before, then assemble into a sandwich or wrap the next day. You can make a big batch of whatever salad you’re making and have it for the whole week. Planning meals ahead of time is crucial for sticking to a healthy diet. Try to have a source of protein, some whole grains, a vegetable, and a simple carbohydrate like fruit. This will give you energy to power through the rest of the day.

This chicken salad is healthy and perfect for school or work.

This great clean-eating chicken salad is an excellent packed lunch for work or school. It’s so simple to throw together and tastes like a restaurant style chicken salad. The best part is that instead of mayo, it is made with protein-rich Greek yogurt. This replaces the fat and calories of the mayo while adding key nutrients.

I started with two chicken breasts and baked them in the oven. You can cook them on the skillet if you prefer. I like getting the individually packaged breasts because I only use what I need.

Cook the chicken and let it cool completely before mixing with the other ingredients. Once cooled, shred with your fingers or a fork into bite-sized pieces. Now, you can start mixing and preparing the rest of the salad.

Wash all the veggies and chop into bite sized pieces. If you don’t have parsley on hand, use dill or even cilantro. This recipe is very easy to customise to your liking. I really like using a yellow pepper because it has a fresh, slightly sweet taste, and it adds crunch.

A red onion could replace the scallions, but I like the taste of the scallions in this recipe. Chicken salad is a great way to get your vegetables without even realising it. This recipe would be great for kids’ lunches as well, to get them the vitamins and nutrients they need.

It’s good to mix the liquid ingredients first so that everything incorporates well. I mixed the Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt and pepper together first before I added the other ingredients.

Shredding the chicken is better than just dicing it, in my opinion, because it gives it more of a homemade feel. Let the prepared chicken salad cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes so that all the flavours can intermingle.

I like mine on toasted Ezekiel bread with lettuce and tomato. It would also be great in a whole-wheat wrap! The recipe makes about 3 servings depending on how much you can pile on to your sandwich.

This protein packed lunch will keep you energised for the rest of the day and help you to avoid that afternoon slump. If you are a traditional chicken salad fan like I am, this recipe is a great healthy swap. You won’t be able to tell the difference taste wise, but you’ll feel better knowing that it’s made with great ingredients.

A New Favourite (and Cheap!) Lunch Staple

Because I’m being more discriminating about what we buy and keep in the house these days, my lunch options seem to be much more random than usual. I’ll make some garlic oil to drizzle over leftover noodles or rice, but if I don’t have any tomatoes or other vegetables to add to it (and cheese, of course!), it seems a little bare. Sandwiches don’t always sit well with my stomach, so a few times lately I’ve been left with only one option: Oatmeal!

I have not been a big breakfast eater of late, in my opinion — although I’m realising now that whole-wheat toast, a real-food mocha and fruit may actually be just fine in terms of calories — but oatmeal always seems too filling for me first thing in the morning. I do have a sweet tooth, however, so when I’m looking around the kitchen for lunch options and also realising simultaneously that I have no dessert options to follow that, a sweet oatmeal concoction always hits the spot.

Oatmeal is easy to make and can be a delicious lunch meal.

Right now I’m slowly getting rid of my brown sugar (we’re putting it in our coffee, currently, because neither agave nor maple syrup have gone on sale), so I’ll sprinkle a little of that over my oatmeal (cooked with milk), add a drizzle of honey and finally I’ll top it with some slivered almonds and whatever fruit I have in the house, such as sliced strawberries, bananas or blueberries. It’s REALLY yummy! Although it is the quick-cooking kind, it’s plain before I dress it up — no artificial colours, flavourings or preservatives.

I know it’s summer and, if you’re anything like me oatmeal is probably the last thing you’d think of for any meal, but it can actually be pretty comforting in the middle of the day in a cold, air-conditioned office. Try it this week. You won’t regret it!

No-Mayo Potato Salad

Hey all! Hope you’re enjoying this lovely weekend. I got a couple of requests for this recipe (mayo-free potato salad is not unheard of, I promise!), so here you go. Hope you like it — it serves 12, but you can easily halve most of the ingredients or adjust to taste for a smaller crowd.

There’s a bit of prep work to the recipe, but isn’t there always with potato salad? Once you’ve cut everything up, it’s easy.

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
¼ cup of red wine vinegar
¾ cup of olive oil
1 cup of low-fat plain yogurt
¼ cup of snipped chives
Coarse salt and fresh-cracked pepper
12 new potatoes, peeled (optional), sliced, cooked in boiling, salted water for 8-10 minutes and mostly cooled
2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped and mostly seeded
8 celery stalks, sliced (no greens)
1 cup of raisins

Put the dressing ingredients in the bottom of the bowl you’re going to use to serve your salad (through salt and pepper, to taste — you won’t need much salt with the tang of the yogurt). Whisk well.

Drop in the rest of the ingredients, folding gently. Chill until serving (can be made in advance).

That’s all there is to it. Hope you like it and definitely let me know your thoughts.

Clean Up Your (First) Act — Breakfast!

Because I’m really enjoying this one-step-at-a-time philosophy I’ve been allowing myself to bask in lately (instead of my usual “everything, now, fast”-type approach), instead of forcing myself to cut out things like sugar, my half-cup of coffee, a small dessert once or twice a day and junky crackers as an occasional snack (really, that about sums up my devilish daily diet fails, which isn’t that bad, right?) all at the same time, I’m slowly trying to improve upon one meal at a time, once choice at a time, swapping in one healthy alternative for something less virtuous each day. So why not start with the most important meal of the day (arguably only because it’s the first one, in my opinion), breakfast?

To me, breakfast comes in two categories: Sweet or savoury. Being the sweets person that I am AND being with child, it’s pretty hard for me to not just want cookies and a fake mocha every morning. So although that does happen from time to time, usually what I actually have is a piece of 5-ingredient honey whole-wheat toast and a cup of tea. I’m sure to use 5-ingredient (or less) jam sweetened only with fruit juice and/or almond butter or regular butter, but clearly my breakfast is still lacking — um, fruit, anyone? I don’t like to cook so early in the morning (baby sleeping, hungry dog wandering the house, not to mention my strange pregnancy appetite issues), so eggs are pretty much out of the question for me right now, unless I get creative. Here are some ways YOU can get creative (and HEALTHY!) with your breakfasts, quickly and easily.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

If you are a waffle or pancake kind of person, try this whole-wheat recipe that you can make a big batch of and freeze/heat up during the week. Be sure to use only real maple syrup, and top them with fruit — strawberries, blueberries and/or bananas are some of my favourites to combine with waffles — and a pat of real butter if necessary.

If you’re not a breakfast eater at all, definitely try starting with something simple, like me — a piece of toast, preferably with some sort of protein like cheese or a nut butter, and an easy fruit if you need to take it to go — a washed apple or a banana. Once you get used to eating something in the morning, you may find you can work your way up to bigger and better things, like eggs, yogurt or the waffles mentioned above.

Savoury breakfast eaters, hopefully you’re already on the right path — a couple of eggs, egg whites or even some sort of breakfast sandwich would be great, but make it yourself. Don’t fall prey to the boxed “light” breakfast sandwiches with tons of ingredients, half of which you can’t even pronounce. I’m the first to admit I was pretty addicted to one of the frozen kinds at the beginning of my pregnancy, but I’ve opted out of the processed-food group and I feel much better about it. Even if a 5-ingredient English muffin doesn’t exist, you can still pile some scrambled eggs and Parmesan cheese on whole-wheat toast — cut the bread with a biscuit cutter if you really need that fast-food feel!

If you usually just walk out the door with a cup of coffee, I’m assuming it’s not decaf — and if it is, switch to regular. Please. Most decaf coffee has the caffeine removed using methylene chloride, which is also used in paint stripping and polyurethane foam manufacturing. Workers exposed to this chemical are at a greater risk for developing cancer. Great. Add some milk for protein, and if you’re up for it try the mocha drink I mentioned above and see if you’re not totally shocked you’re drinking coffee without refined sugar, which I was when I first tried it. Next to this concoction I think tea with honey is probably your best bet if you need something hot to wake you up in the morning (avoid decaf here also), or just try hot water with lemon — it is said to have amazing cleansing properties if taken first thing in the morning.

If you’re a cereal person, try switching to oatmeal — old-fashioned rolled oats or steel cut, not the pre-packaged kind with fruity flavours. It’s really a blank canvas for any (healthy) flavours you want to add to it, like non-dairy milks, maple syrup, chopped fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts or all of the above — if you add enough fun stuff in there I’m telling you it will keep you full for hours. I once ordered oatmeal at a restaurant with all of their offerings “minus the walnuts” because of my allergies, and although I got a strange look from the cashier it was SUPER delicious and I’d order it a million times over if we frequented the place more often. Whole grains are your best bet, and oatmeal is much better than sugar-laden, processed, boxed cereals.

So tomorrow morning I am going to incorporate fruit into my morning routine. Cutting it out of even just one meal or snack ensures you’re NOT going to get enough throughout your day, so it’s important to include some sort of fruit or vegetable (if you’re a savoury breakfast eater) as often as you can. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure, reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer AND keep tabs on your appetite and hunger levels – all significant ways you can try to outweigh some of the negative effects modern life has on our bodies, like stress, chemicals and not enough sleep. Start out with something you know you like, be it turnips, apples or pear juice, and work your way out, trying new things and experimenting with new preparations. You’ve got nothing to lose and better health to gain.