Total Time 7'PT7M
Start your day with a healthy dose of green vegetables! Our cucumber smoothie recipe is light, refreshing and full of healthy nutrients.
An advanced smoothie recipe
Remember the early days of smoothie making? The temptations of sweet and familiar fruits, the ever present and dependable banana?
While let’s face it, we still adore the classic recipes (strawberry and banana, raw cacao and peanut butter), if you are a true smoothie fan there comes a point where you start to look further afield. And here’s where you’ll find a whole new world of unusual and brilliant smoothie additions which will turn you into an ‘advanced smoothie maker’!
If you are one of those people, this recipe is for you.
The ‘green smoothie’ is usually considered the realm of fitness buffs and diet gurus, and can be somewhat intimidating on the first go. Is it going to taste like a liquidised salad? Do I really want to be drinking spinach?
And yet, with a few thoughtful additions, green veg can add an irresistibly grown-up and refreshing flavour to your morning smoothie.
Queen of the greens
As far as flavour combinations go, pairing leafy greens and fresh veg with refreshing flavours is a no-brainer.
Indeed, one of the brilliant things about a cucumber smoothie is how light and fresh it tastes, so this isn’t the place for heavy flavours.
Keep sweet berries out of the picture, along with heavy, rich ingredients like nut butters and oats. This smoothie should leave you feeling light as a feather; hydrated, glowing and well-supplied with healthy minerals.
And how about a touch of natural sweetness?
Green apple, being somewhat tart, is often overlooked in smoothie making, but it’s the perfect addition here. It offer just the right amount of sweetness and a big punchy hit of flavour. The perfect bass note to the light soprano flavour of cucumber, which rushes in with freshness after the apple.
We once again lean on the reliable banana for body in this smoothie. To keep things light, you’ll only need about half for one person. (Double the recipe to make a portion for you and a lucky second person, or keep in the fridge for tomorrow).
Hazelnut milk adds a lovely nuttiness - and, as it’s one of the lesser known plant milks, we still get excited about using it. Pour with abandon; its flavour will be a gentle nutty hum behind the greens.
Adding an oil
If we could share any pearl of wisdom from our days spent tinkering with plant-based recipes, it would be to always think about balance in your meals.
Smoothies are excellent ways to get vitamins, minerals and fibre into your diet. Nut milks and butters or a sprinkling of seeds will allow you to play with protein and fats. However, if a recipe calls for a lighter touch, try adding a drizzle of a healthy oil.
While adding oil to a smoothie might sound unconventional, it makes perfect sense in terms of nutrition. While fats may have suffered recently from a worse reputation than other food groups, it’s important to remember that we do still need healthy unsaturated fats in our diet.
Throwing in a drizzle of a luscious, gently-flavoured plant oil is a brilliant way of getting those important nutrients into your breakfast.
The particular virtues of Erbology Apricot Kernel Oil
While we advocate adding oils to lots of smoothie recipes (see our mango and pineapple smoothie with amaranth oil or our celery and milk thistle smoothie for more compelling reasons to do so), for this recipe we rather like our Apricot Kernel Oil.
It has a naturally botanical, very slightly sweet flavour which makes it perfect for this light and refreshing drink.
It’s rich in omegas 6 and 9, both unsaturated fatty acids with benefits for our health. Omega-6 (also called linoleic acid) works with omega-3 to support your overall wellbeing, including in heart and brain health. Meanwhile omega-9 appears to play a role in the inflammatory response. Eating plenty of it is even associated with lower irritability!(1)
On top of that, it contains plenty of vitamin E to nourish your skin, hair and nails. There’s also growing evidence that compounds in apricot kernel oil may play a role in keeping your gut healthy.(2)
In short: several excellent reasons to drizzle a hard-working plant oil into your blender along with your fruits and veggies.
How to enjoy
This smoothie is a particularly lovely recipe to enjoy if you’re feeling a bit bloated or lethargic. The bright flavours and light texture will help you return to a sense of lightness and balance. On days where you wake up feeling sluggish, make this smoothie first thing and let it work its magic.
We also love to blend in a couple of ice cubes and use this smoothie to rehydrate during warm weather. For example, it’s lovely to drink mid-morning to refresh and revitalise.Drinks