By Jo DelAmor
Green smoothies are simply a fruit smoothie with fresh or powdered greens added. I love green smoothies and they are huge part of what I eat every day. On a typical day, I might make 1- 2 quarts of green smoothie in the morning and drink most of it for breakfast. Friends often drink 4 quarts a day. If I don’t finish it or make extra, it provides a great mid-afternoon energy boost.
Green Smoothies are easy to make, very nutrient-dense and one of the best ways to increase your greens intake significantly. They also crowd out the desire to eat less nutritious foods. You can make them very sweet, with the right mix of fruit and greens, so they satisfy sweet cravings and provide the real nutrition that your body is craving.
The only thing you need to make great green smoothies is a blender and access to fresh fruits and green vegetables (green powders can be a substitute when traveling or when fresh greens are unavailable). You can use a typical low cost blender that you already own or purchase at any store. However, if you develop the healthy habit of making your green smoothies daily, you will eventually burn out the blender. I learned the hard way and burned up three blenders over two years’ time before finally buying a commercial grade Vita-Mix blender.
But don’t let the lack of a great blender stop you from starting – simply use what you have, borrow one, buy a used one, or the best quality one that you can afford. Just use it!
Basic Green Smoothie Recipe:
- 2 cups filtered water
- 2 bananas
- 2 oranges
- 1 apple
- 1 lemon (optional)
- 1/2 inch chunk fresh ginger (optional)
- 1/2 – 1 head of romaine, spinach, chard, beet greens, or kale
Add the water. Then fill your blender half way with fruit and the rest of the way with greens. Depending on the power of your blender, you may need to add slowly while blending. Blend for 1-2 minutes, or until very smooth.
Filtered water and organic fruit and greens are best – but again, do the best you can with what you have. Apples and berries are more important to select organic than are peeled citrus and bananas. Chop the fruit and ginger – a stronger blender can take larger chunks. The orange and lemon can be juiced or just peeled with seeds removed. Apples and ginger can be left unpeeled for extra nutrients.
This basic recipe can be made into endless variations based on your own taste and the availability of ingredients.
- You can use any fresh or frozen (unsweetened) fruits and any greens.
- Nutrient-packed herbs like parsley and cilantro are also great additions in your green smoothies.
- Spinach and romaine are the best greens to try first as they are more mild than kale or beet greens.
- Carrot tops and dandelion greens are very nutritious and deeply cleansing greens.
- Fruit juices are another option in your green smoothies if you cannot access enough fresh fruit or want to add some variety. Use only 100% juice without added sweeteners and organic when possible. Bottled juices are pasteurized (heated) so their fruit sugar is more concentrated and they do not maintain the same amount of nutrients as fresh or frozen fruit.
- Try adding avocado, celery, tomatoes, carrots or beets.
- Add spirulina, hemp powder, ground flax, bee pollen, maca, or other superfoods to boost the protein and the nourishing/cleansing effect of your green smoothies.
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When you first make your smoothies, you’ll probably need a higher ratio of fruit to greens. Make it sweet enough that you will enjoy drinking it, but as “green” as you can handle. Over time you will be able to lessen the amount of fruit and increase the amount and variety of greens.
Thank you for taking the time read this article and bring valuable attention to your personal health.
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