Anyone who knows me knows that I always have one of these on the go in a mason jar as I scurry about the city and run my errands. Green smoothies are a huge part of my diet and I highly recommend them to everyone. Why do I think they're so awesome?
1. They are portable
2. They are easy to digest
3. They contain live enzymes
4. They are a rich source of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
5. They are alkalizing
6. They are anti-inflammatory
I find that whenever I first recommend green smoothies to 'newbies', they scrunch their noses at the color and look at me as if I've lost my mind. The thought of drinking a salad can be off-putting to some so it's important to keep a few things in mind when experimenting with making your own smoothies:
Use a High-Speed Blender
I cannot stress this one enough. If you don't already own one, I highly recommend making the investment. The difference in consistency between a green smoothie made in a regular blender versus a Vitamix can be a make or break factor for many people. Nobody likes a soupy smoothie with strings of fiber in it. A high-speed, industrial blender like Vitamix or Blendtec will ensure a perfectly smooth and even consistency. These blenders are so powerful you don't even have to chop your veggies. Just throw everything in as is, add water, and you're done.
Start with more fruit, less greens
If you're new to green smoothies and haven't quite grown fond of the bitter flavor, I usually recommend starting with a higher ratio of fruit to offset the green flavor. There are many recipes out there, but here is just one example of what you can do: start with 1 1/2 apples and only 2 leaves of kale, and slowly alter that ratio to 1/2 an apple and 4 leaves of kale. The more greens you can cram into your system the better, but some is always better than none.
Throw in a strong-flavored ingredient
Choose a strong ingredient that will offset the greens such as ginger, lemon, pineapple, or banana. These powerful flavors are such that our taste buds are naturally drawn to them (unlike say, plain raw kale) so they automatically make the smoothie more appealing. Milder ingredients, like cucumbers, also help offset the bitterness by diluting the smoothie.
Throw in a super-food supplement
What's a green smoothie without a supplement to top it off? Why not add that extra last kick to your smoothie to make it as nutrient-dense as possible. The options here are endless. Consider any of the following: greens+ powder, wheatgrass, spirulina, chlorella, fish oil, flaxseed oil, hemp seeds, vitamin-C powder, kelp powder, or maca
Coconut Lime Refresher Smoothie
3 small leaves dinosaur kale, stems removed
1 cup pineapple chunks
10 sprigs mint, stems removed
1 lime, juiced
1 pinch spirulina powder (or chlorella powder will also work)
1 tsp flaxseed oil
1/2 packet stevia, individual serving size (optional. or if you don't like stevia and want your smoothie a little bit sweeter you can add 1/2 ripe banana)
1-2 cups coconut water, chilled
Throw ingredients into your blender, pour in coconut water to desired consistency and blend until smooth.
Monica is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer, Reiki practitioner and food lover. She believes in bringing fun and creativity into all aspects of life, including the kitchen. Click here to find more recipes and articles on her Facebook page.