The green smoothie has become very popular and for good reason. We all know how important it is to eat our veggies, the green ones and the colourful ones. But the reality is very few of us eat enough fresh produce.
I don't know about you, but I get tired of salads no matter how much I change it up with interesting variations. That's why I finally decided to give the green smoothie trend a try. I'm surprised how much I like it. Even my kids drink it, though they would prefer it was more like juice and less "green"! I vary ingredients so some days are more green and some days it's sweeter with more fruit - I prefer to be creative, and it keeps them guessing that way. J
There are benefits to eating our vegetables and fruit, crunching on carrots and whatever else you like in its natural state, AND there are benefits to blending some produce to make it more easily digested and absorbed by the body. Overall, it's an easy way to increase our intake. As with most things, I believe moderation is key, as there are downsides to overdoing it with a predominantly liquid diet.
That said, it's great how easy smoothies are to make and how easily you can experiment and add some variety. All you need is a good blender, fresh vegetables, and some fresh or frozen fruit.
The basic recipe
- approx 2 cups water - it will depend on how big your 'handfuls' are and how thick you like your smoothie
- a handful of greens - spinach, kale, or chard are the most commonly used
- an equal (or slightly larger) amount of fruit - anything from fresh chopped melon and oranges to frozen berries and banana
- if you use fresh fruit but like a chilled smoothie, replace some of the water with ice cubes
- for an extra nutrient boost, use cooled herb tea in place of the water
Depending upon the strength of your blender, it may get bogged down blending all of the ingredients at once - it's easiest to blend the greens & water together first, and then add the fruit and blend again.
The 'greener' your veggies, the more likely you'll want a sweeter type of fruit. Apples and pears work well to sweeten the taste, and watermelon or pineapple are the favourites in my household.
Some days I'll include one or more of these:
- dandelion leaves (packed with vitamins & minerals!)
- flax seed oil
- bee pollen
- protein powder (especially hemp protein)
- fresh herbs
- fresh ginger
Get creative and try out some interesting combinations. Pineapple and coconut with the green stuff. Ginger and green grapes with greens. Cucumber and mint. Spinach and strawberries...
It's quick to make, and is great with breakfast or for a snack. Make a blender-ful and keep any leftover in the fridge for later in the day. That way, you can reach for it if your energy wanes rather than going for junk food or more caffeine.
Just remember, this doesn't REPLACE your regular meal-time veggies, it's a way to easily INCREASE the amount that you consume to add to your total daily nutrients.