I was visiting my daughter recently and was feeling a bit overwhelmed about all the rich foods we had been enjoying and she knew just the tonic. She guided me to a place that served green smoothies since I was whining (yes, whining). As I was marveling over the green smoothie, its flavor, color and nourishing life force, I was astonished how I had forgotten about this amazing food. I used to make them almost daily for detoxification, nutrition and satisfaction. Time to bring them back for the year of wellness.
Green smoothies are blended drinks that combine leafy greens with fruits, veggies and healthy fats such as almonds, chia and flax seeds and coconut milk. Since they have whole foods and healthy fats in them they are chocked full of nutrition and fiber and are low in the glycemic index unlike “juiced” veggies, which can be high in sugars.
These nutritional powerhouses are an easy way to deliver our recommended 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruit a day and a great way to kick the sugar addiction. They are quick, convenient and portable and all you need to a blender to make them. Plus green smoothies are filled with raw foods which are the absolute best way to consume veggies and fruit as they retain all their micronutrients and antioxidants that are lost upon cooking.
If you are one of the millions of people with digestion issues, you will be happy to know that green smoothies are a very beneficial aid for you. Blending fruits and vegetables together breaks down the cells of plants and improves digestibility. Your blender unlocks the nutrients and maximizes their delivery to your body more than chewing any salad could.
When I am drinking green smoothies in the morning for breakfast I experience a loss in cravings of naughty foods, mental clarity (yup, a high commodity) boosted immunity, increased energy, weight loss, glowing happy skin and excellent “regularity” if ya know what I mean. Now you know why I am amazed that I ever stopped consuming green smoothies. (Slap forehead)
There is no way to go wrong with making them but there are a few tips to making them delightfully delicious. Leafy greens to start with are spinach, romaine, and rainbow or Swiss chard since they are more neutral tasting. I love kale, mint and parsley too but they have a bit of a stronger flavor. Some folks prefer to use all fresh, raw ingredients, but I like using some frozen fruit since it lends a thicker, ice cream-like texture. (Anything that’s like ice cream and healthy gets a gold star!)
Be experimental with making these smoothies. Try adding fresh ginger, different veggies like cucumber and zucchini to mix it up. That will keep things interesting. This is not an exact science, you cannot mess up, making a tasteless smoothie is the worst you can do. There are lots of recipes on the net too to inspire you. If you really get into these green wonders, investing in a VitaMix is a purchase you will never regret. I’ve had mine for 15 years and still going strong. Here’s to a rocking green new year!
Basic recipe for a Green Smoothie
This is enough for two people or one huge serving
2 cups of chopped deep leafy greens or veggies
2 cups of liquid (preferably no sugar added)
3 cups of fruit
Add leafy greens to the blender and then pour in the liquid, blend till green and bright. Add the fruit one cup at a time if frozen, dump it all in if not; blend till green and frothy. Drink. Simple. Perfect.
Leafy greens to choose from; Kale, chard, romaine, spinach, collards, dandelion, mint, parsley, and green salad mix. (remove stems from chard, kale and collards)
Veggies to choose from; chopped up cucumber, zucchini, celery, sprouts, carrots and whatever else you feel like experimenting with.
Liquids to choose from; Coconut water or milk, almond milk, diluted juice (I only use 1/2 cup of coconut milk or juice and the rest water)
Fruits to choose from;
Low glycemic to be used liberally; Berries, apples, pears, grapefruit, peaches, apricots, kiwi, lemon, lime, cranberries, plums or figs (not dried)
Medium glycemic fruits; Banana, oranges, grapes and papaya
High glycemic to be used sparingly; pineapple, mango , melons, honey and dried dates
Add ins; A slice of ginger root, chia, avocado, hemp or flax seeds, supergreen powder, nut butter, unsweetened coconut meat, cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, protein powder, acai powder, salt, lime or lemon juice, cocoa powder and coconut oil.
Author: Dana Zia