Green Smoothies, The Basics!
Green smoothies are the easiest and quickest way to add wholesome nutrition to your busy lifestyle. All you need is a blender, some basic kitchen chopping and cutting tools, your favorite fruits and green vegetables and a base such as water, juice or non dairy milk.
What are Green Smoothies?
Green smoothies are smoothies with greens and fruits. Normally, you taste the fruit while still enjoying the nutrition from greens.
Green vegetables are low in fat and contain a good amount of vitamins like vitamin C, K, A, and E and minerals like iron, manganese, and magnesium to name a few. They are also rich sources of protein. For example, about 1 cup of Kale contains 3 grams of protein.
Cooking greens makes them more palatable but we also lose about 80% of the good nutrition. Greens can be bitter and eating them is difficult for most of us. However, blending greens with fruits in smoothies makes them more palatable and also easy to digest. Our bodies are better able to absorb all the nutrients when blended.
Green smoothies are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and protein. A typical green smoothie contains at least 3-5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. If you ever feel the need to change your diet but are hesitant; just add a green smoothie to your normal diet. Even without making any major changes in your diet you will notice improvements in your health with the addition of easy, inexpensive, and delicious green smoothies. Green smoothies are also a perfect way to add greens in your child’s diet.
Making Your Own
It’s so easy to make a green smoothie. All you need is a base liquid, few leafy green vegetables, and fruits.
Step 1: Choose a Base
The first step to make a green smoothie is to choose a base liquid. My favorite green smoothie liquids are filtered water, coconut water (from a young, Thai coconut), fresh-squeezed fruit juices or nut milks (such as almond, cashew, hemp, flax or coconut milk).
Step 2: Add Some Fruit
Add fruits for flavor and texture. Fruits like banana, mango, peach, pear, and apples give green smoothies that familiar creamy smoothie texture. Fruits like kiwi, pineapple, berries, oranges, melons, grapes, coconut flakes and coconut meat add to the flavor and nutritional value of the smoothies.
Step 3: Don’t Forget The Veggies
Dark leafy greens give smoothies their superpowers! And the best part is you don’t even taste them. Some of my favorite greens for smoothies are:
- Collard Greens
- Red Cabbage
- Mustard Greens
- & Herbs like: Mint, cilantro, turmeric, and even ginger
Step 4: Super Foods For Your Green Smoothies!
Your green smoothie is nutritious enough on its own. But adding few of these super foods will turn your smoothies into a nutritional powerhouse.
- Try raw cacao powder for extra deliciousness and antioxidants.
- Goji berries are great for protein and beta-carotene
- Maca root can be added to boost energy and stamina
- Chia and flax seed are great source of essential fatty acids
- Add ginger and turmeric for their anti-inflammatory properties
Just be creative and try your own combinations. You will be surprised with what you get.
Basic Green Smoothie Recipe:
- 1 cup kale
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 mango (feel free to use banana if mango is not in season)
- 3-4 chunks of pineapple
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon chia seed
- 1 teaspoon flax seeds
- 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
Combine all ingredients in a blender and enjoy this great tasting green smoothie or as I call it “nutrition in a glass” today.
Tracy Russell, “Green Smoothie Basics”, Available online at IncredibleSmoothies.com
Parul Agrawal is a Dr. Sears Certified Health Coach with a strong desire to educate families on simple, effective ways to live healthier, happier lives. She is the founder of PrenatalNourish.com where she helps families learn about nourishing foods so that they are confident and at peace with the nutrition choices they make for themselves, their babies and in effect for our future generations. Parul also holds dual M.S. degree in engineering, is passionate about yoga, and loves feasting on green juices & smoothies. She lives in Phoenix with her husband and son and can be reached at email@example.com.