Getting enough fruits and veggies can be a challenge (the USDA recommends that half your plate at each meal should be fruits and vegetables). That’s why this Examiner loves green smoothies and recommends them to just about everyone. We can get lots of raw fruits and veggies without a lot of effort and they’re easy to tote anywhere – great for a busy life! They’re also excellent for your health and your skin, which reflects overall health.
We might have green smoothies as a replacement for a traditional meal like for breakfast, to augment a less than healthy meal or to fill up on good stuff before going out to a party where there won’t be many healthy options. They don’t require a lot of ingredients and they’re easy to make.
When we first started making green smoothies a couple years ago, we used the book Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko as a guide. It’s a wonderful resource with 200 recipes, all sorts of great tips and lots of info on why whole foods are so good for you. Now we stick to a basic recipe that we vary depending on what we have on hand and what we're in the mood for so here is that recipe and some blender tips to get you started. We highly recommend getting a copy of Green Smoothie Revolution if you want to learn more.
Yield: 3-4 12-ounce glasses
- fill blender about a third full with kale or spinach (fresh or frozen)
- and a third full with fruit (fresh or frozen, eg. blueberries, raspberries, bananas, mango, pineapple)
- 3-5 scoops of whey protein powder
- about 1/4 – 1/2 cup flax seed meal for a fiber boost
- about an inch-piece of ginger root (I double or triple this if I have a cold or flu)
- top off everything with some sort of “milk” up about halfway to 3/4 up the blender jar (I use hemp milk because of all the omega and amino acids, protein and vitamins – the more frozen ingredients you use, the more liquid you will need. I also like to use Trader Joe’s coconut milk from the refrigerated section.)
- about 1/4 – 1/2 cup lemon juice for added zing
- dried goji berries
- 3-5 scoops of green superfood powder (I like ones from Amazing Grass like Green Superfood)
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (if I’m trying to beat a cold or flu – remember a little goes a long way!)
- a few tsp. dried echinacea (also if I’m dealing with a cold or flu)
- a few tablespoons of almond or peanut butter (especially good if you use chocolate “milk”)
We do not add sweeteners like honey as we find these to be plenty sweet from the fruit and flavoring in the protein powder we add.
Blender Note: Green smoothies will majorly challenge any standard blender. A high-powered Kitchen Aid blender handles this okay; but you may not get the smooth consistency you want. For the best results it helps to have a really high-powered blender like a Blendtec (famous for those funny Will it Blend videos) or a Vitamix (the kind of blenders you typically see at Jamba Juice and Starbucks). These babies are pricey; but they’re designed for this kind of thing and they really rock. They really pulverize the ingredients so your smoothie is really smooth. We call our Blendtec “the obliterator.”
You can also use them to make stuff like whole juice, soup you don’t need to cook (the blenders are so powerful they heat the ingredients as they blend) and ice cream. Our favorite is the Blendtec because it has pre-programmed buttons (eg. for smoothies, soup, ice cream, etc.) and you don’t need to push around the ingredients like with the Vitamix. We absolutely love the Blendtec, highly recommend it and think it’s a very worthwhile investment in one’s health. It will also save you a lot of money on pricey smoothies, which are often full of processed sugar.
(This article originally appeared on Hello Beauty.)