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Healthy Mint Courgette 'Nicecream' Smoothie Bowl (phew what a mouthful!)

Generally Paleo 'nicecreams' are made with masses of frozen banana. While I don't have a problem with bananas per se, I do find it sometimes a bit sweet plus I know plenty of people don't particularly like a permanent strong undercurrent of banana to all their icecream flavours! To replicate that same frozen creamy texture with fewer bananas I have used frozen courgette (aka zucchini) slices. I promise the taste is not detectable!

Mint Courgette 'Nicecream' Smoothie Bowl

Courgettes are high in water content so perfect for a refreshing summer cooldown. They contain immune-boosting vitamin C and significant amounts of potassium, for controlling blood pressure as well as plenty of fibre. Likewise, bananas are also a powerhouse of potassium.

In addition, this smoothie bowl has good fats from avocado and collagen to build connective tissue. There is ample iron in the spinach as well as antioxidant and digestive benefits from the mint leaves. For a less thick (more drinkable smoothie) I like to substitute the coconut milk for coconut water which has a whole host of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and sodium.

Mint Courgette 'Nicecream' Smoothie Bowl made with more coconut water
Toppings are all optional and can be played with however you like. I like a sprinkle of bee pollen with a smattering of goji berries and mulberries to add a bit of texture and pops of sweetness. A sprinkle of crunchy chopped nuts or coconut would also taste great as would a handful of fresh berries.

So, yes the title of this little smoothie bowl is a hefty one but so is its nutritional punch!

Healthy Mint Courgette 'Nicecream' Smoothie Bowl

Serves 1

large handful of baby spinach, washed and dried
1 small bunch of mint leaves (approx 20 leaves)
1/2 medium courgette, frozen in 'coins' (approx 85g)
1/2 large ripe banana, frozen in 'coins'*
1/2 ripe avocado, flesh only (obviously)
1 tbsp collagen powder (I use Great Lakes Gelatin, green can)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut milk**

Optional toppings:
bee pollen, goji berries, mulberries, nuts, coconut, fresh berries

* I think this is sweet enough especially with the fruit toppings but for those who prefer a sweeter taste there is the option to add more frozen banana, a tsp of honey or a few drops of stevia.
** For a less thick drinking version of this smoothie add an extra 1/2 cup coconut milk or use coconut water - the version in the picture below has 1 cup of coconut water

1. Add all ingredients except topping ingredients to a high powered blender (I use a Nutribullet) and blend until smooth.
2. Pour into a serving bowl and top with any toppings of choice before serving promptly. The texture is more like a very soft serve icecream so don't expect it to be super firm!

Useful tip: By serving this in a bowl that has been stored in the fridge for a while keeps it firmer for slightly longer.


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