What is a green smoothie? It is where leafy greens are blended with fruit until smooth and creamy – like a shake. Not a watery (like the store bought) green drink or smoothie. (Avoid those. That is yet, another topic..)
For this smoothie extravaganza, you may require a spoon!
It is actually very easy to cover up the flavor of the greens with the fruit, if you’re worried your smoothie will taste like green grass. This seems to be the number one issue people hesitate about – with the green smoothie.
Read more before you make any judgments against the idea. I think this is a trend that can be passed along, in a healthy way, to toddlers, teens and adults (especially seniors) as well, to get their (and yours) recommended daily allowance of vegetables.
I’ve been experimenting with all different blends of green smoothies. I post periodically on my food blog with the recipes (and pictures) and the response is a mixed bag (of green faces) that come back. (A little green pun.)
As I continue this daily habit, I now understand I actually do crave greens more than I have ever before.
I know how important greens are for the body. Do you?
First, visualize it this way: when you’re eating a salad, we often do not sit and chew our greens until it becomes juice. We tend to “woof” it down as soon as the food enters the mouth. All of the leafy greens have cell walls composed mainly of cellulose, which is difficult for our bodies to digest in order to access the rich dense nutrients that the greens supply. (A good gentle reminder? Slow down and chew your food.)
I do want to add, as well, that some many people ruin a good salad by pouring (and I mean pouring) processed crap dressing on the greens – so really, why are you eating a salad? What’s the point? To commend yourself for actually eating a salad? It’s the nutrients we’re examining here, people. The nutrients!
Alright, I got my salad dressing “dig” in, so back on topic..
In reality, the greens go in one way and exit the other, with much of the nutrients still intact. This is where blending a green smoothie is important. When the greens are blended or juiced, the blenders or juicers do most of the “chewing” beforehand. You can get the same benefit and more of vegetables by drinking them and they will provide more nutrients for your body to digest than just eating them.
And the truth is, dark leafy vegetables are truly the most powerful superfood on the planet. They are also the most ignored from our diet. The leafy greens have more nutrition per calorie than any other food. Greens make up a significant source of vitamins A, C, E and K as well as several B vitamins. They are rich in fiber, and an excellent source of plant protein.
You can use just about any green leafy vegetable in a green smoothie. The most popular are:
Kale, spinach, swiss chard, dandelion greens, turnip greens, parsley, arugula and green and red leaf lettuce.
Now the fun part – what to blend it with! Certainly you have multiple choices: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cherries (pitted), green apple (cut and cubed), avocado and banana.
Is this something you’ll consider instead of reaching for the empty processed cereal (crap) in the morning and a side of worthless toast? (No, I won’t mince words here.)
To ease you in gently, try one of my favorite green smoothie recipes.
We’ll call it “The Training Wheel Smoothie”.
All you’ll need is:
4 large kale leaves
1 cup spinach
1 cup blueberries (frozen are best)
1/2 banana (I also peel then freeze these in halves)
1 packet of stevia (optional)
1 cup water and ice
For extra protein:
Add two tablespoons of hemp protein
Start with the kale by ripping the leaves in small pieces and adding into blender. Add the spinach, and water. BLEND well, until the greens are a nice puree. Once the greens are blended, add the blueberries, avocado, banana and ice, and blend until rich and creamy. Taste. (My favorite part.)
Is it sweet enough? If you require more sweetness, add a stevia, and blend for a few seconds. Pour into a large glass. Grab a spoon and/or a very big straw and enjoy!
Note: The “old school” way, and not the healthiest, is to add milk or yogurt to your smoothie. Not necessary for the green smoothie. Would you pour milk on your fruit and vegetables? No! So keep the animal products out of your greens.
Again, it isn’t easy being green – but it is certainly a lot healthier. If you are unable to get your allotted veggies in per day, this is the best and simplest way to do it.
In good health, my friends.