Growing up in South Africa meant I was spoilt for choice with lots of beautiful and naturally ripened fruit most year round. I have many a fond memory of running around my grandparent’s back garden with my brother in tow picking fruit from the trees and stuffing ourselves until we felt completely sick, life was good :-).
Passionfruit is one of my Mum’s favourite fruit and I can honestly say that it never made my top five when I lived in SA. I was much more of a fig, mango, papaya, pineapple and peach kinda girl. It does however seem like my palate has somewhat matured over the years as I have now become rather fond of this strange, but rather intricate looking fruit. I couldn’t help but giggle the first time I offered these to the kids as they simply freaked out and left the table as if they were offered an alien tea from planet zum zee. Fortunately these little balls of magic offer vitamin A, vitamin C and good levels of fibre, so ideal to use in a smoothie or just enjoy on its own.
This recipe makes just one glass, so perfect to enjoy during the day as a pick me up or alternatively you can enjoy it alongside some good quality protein like egg and spinach for breakfast. I love the combination of banana and passionfruit, but what I love even more is adding green tea. If you have never used green tea powder, now is the time to start.
I am sure many of you have heard just how amazing green tea is for your health, so let me tell you why. Basically green tea like other teas contain something called catechins, which is a type of flavonoid. Flavonoids are polyphenolic molecules that give fruit, vegetables and herbs their vibrant colour. As a phytonutrient they also act as an anti-oxidant, anti-allergen, anti-cancer agent, anti-inflammatory and are anti-viral, so what is there not to like about them?!
Epicgallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most potent bioactive catechin in green tea polyphenols (GTP), has been found to have the highest antioxidant activity compared to others catechins. This is largely due to the fact that it has a stronger presence of hydroxyl groups, and without wanting to get too ‘scientific’, these hydroxyl groups is what makes them better electron donors than other catechins and therefore better free radical scavengers. EGCG also has the ability to chelate metal ions, which reduces levels of oxidative stress in the body. Research, in particular into EGCG, has time an again shown its potential in preventing obesity, insulin resistance, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia. Its role in metabolic syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes has been well documented. It has also shown positive results in the reduction of malondialdehyde modified low-density lipoprotein, which is a marker for oxidative stress. So really EGCG is just the guy you want on your side to combat free radical damage and all the oxidative stress your body is subjected to on a daily basis
I know that many people don’t feel the love when it comes to green tea and if you are one of these people, don’t fret as the flavour of the powder is far from overpowering. It has subtle tones that blends in well with these flavour combinations. My favourite brand is Clearspring Japanese Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder, which you can buy here. If this is still too much for you then you can consider other EGCG rich foods like apples, blackberries, cherries, cacao and black grapes. We can always rely on nature to give us various options to provide our bodies with the best possible nutrients.
So this is what you will need:
I hope you enjoy this smoothie as much as I do and I would love to hear your feedback so please leave me a comment. Also, if you subscribed in the past, I would appreciate it if you could do so again as we had a few teething problems, which have now been resolved. So in order to ensure that you get my next recipe straight to your inbox, just go to the Subscribe box on the top right hand side of my blog.
1. Ide, K, et al. (2015). ‘Effects of green tea consumption on cognitive dysfunction in an elderly population: a randomized placebo- controlled study’. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4855797/pdf/12937_2016_Article_168.pdf.
2. Heneman, K, et al. (2008). Nutrition and Health Info Fact Sheet. Available at: http://nutrition.ucdavis.edu/content/infosheets/fact-pro-catechin.pdf
3. Sudathip, S, et al (2011). ‘Laboratory Studies on Weight Control and Prevention of Metabolic Syndrome by Green Tea’. Available at: 1http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3123415/pdf/nihms-266585.pdf
4. Kim, J. J. Y, et al. (2013). ‘Green Tea Polyphenol Epigallocatechin-3-Gallate Enhance Glycogen Synthesis and Inhibit Lipogenesis in Hepatocytes’. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3771263/pdf/BMRI2013-920128.pdf
5. Legear, S, et al (2015). Epigallocatechin Gallate: A Review of Its Beneficial Properties to Prevent Metabolic Syndrome’. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26198245