By Kelly Randle
If there is one healthy thing you do for yourself and your family this year, I would suggest green smoothies. Basically, it is a fruit smoothie that you add greens to. Greens, as in spinach, kale, chard, beet greens, mustard greens, bok choy, carrot greens, the list goes on. Mostly, it’s dark leafy greens that you know are good for you but you seldom or never eat. I heard about green smoothies over a year ago and decided that it just made sense to try them. And I love them! I’ll be honest, the rest of my family does not “love” them, but they do drink them.
A green smoothie is by far one of the most incredibly nutritious drinks that we incorporated into our meal plan as a family. This is also one of the first things we did as a family to improve our health. It is simple and packed with proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals that your body craves. The recipes can be varied to appeal to every one’s taste. I have my basic green smoothie recipe in the “recipe” section of this website. However, you can add your favorite fruits and veggies to change things up. Surprisingly, you and your kids will come to enjoy this wonderful drink and perhaps crave it!
When we started making Green Smoothies, the only greens we used were spinach because it is mild in flavor. Our fruit ratio was high also as we tested small to see what we thought. By doing this, our smoothies were sometimes more brownish or reddish in color depending on the fruit mixture we were putting in. Our smoothies now are bright green and we typically have spinach in each one but we add other greens for a variety in our diet. Your local farmer’s market is a great place to pick up ingredients for your smoothie.
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To make these delicious smoothies, you really need a high powered blender to handle breaking the greens down and blending the frozen fruit. Typical home blenders will work, but they will burn out and break down sooner. My blender of choice is the BlendTec Blender. I have had mine for close to two years and it is my favorite kitchen appliance. I use it every day. It fits on my counter under the cabinets, and I have not had any problems with this blender. I purchased the Total Blender Basic and later purchased the WildSide Pitcher. Another high powered blender is the Vita-Mix Blender. Now, I know these blenders are expensive, but they are well worth the investment when you think about the raw, wholefoods that your family will be getting daily in their green smoothie.
I just finished reading “Green For Life” by Victoria Boutenko. Victoria invented the green smoothie and this book explains her extensive research on why greens are so beneficial to our diets. According to Victoria, greens are the primary food group that match human nutritional needs most completely. Greens are loaded with amino acids which are the building blocks of protein, minerals, fiber and chlorophyll. She recommends that we drink a quart (32 ounces) a day of green smoothies. In this book, there are testimonials of the many health benefits related to drinking green smoothies regularly.
Where we noticed changes after a few weeks of drinking green smoothies – we were sleeping better, had an overall sense of well-being, had stronger nails, and felt more energized and ready to start the day. My husband’s hair got darker which was due to the added minerals in his diet from what I’ve read.
I am hooked on green smoothies for myself and my family. Raw, wholefoods are an important part of our diet and I could not imagine having to chew that many fruits, vegetables and greens. Blended food is the answer. And with my BlendTec, I can definitely drink those fruits and veggies. Think of it this way, instead of cooking your food in the oven or on the stove top, you are processing your food in the blender. You are cooking without heat. I hope that you will check out my smoothie recipe and try it for you and your family. My guess is that when you try it, you too will be hooked on green smoothies for life!