Using Vegetables in Green Smoothies
By Becki Andrus
Many people who strive to eat a natural diet find that they have trouble getting sufficient amounts of leafy greens in their diets. After all, not everyone likes the taste of spinach or kale even if they know it is good for them. In addition, it can seem as though you have to eat large amounts of leafy greens in order to get sufficient amounts of the essential nutrients. Fortunately, there is another way. If you have been experimenting with drinking homemade smoothies for breakfast or other meals, then you can simply blend leafy greens into your smoothies.
For many people, the idea of blending leafy greens into their smoothies is strange at best. However, there are a few key tricks to doing it successfully. The first important trick is to choose greens with a very mild taste, especially if you are just starting to drink green smoothies. This means that greens such as baby spinach, romaine lettuce, and Swiss chard. You can also choose to blend in other vegetables such as cucumbers, carrots, and celery. In the beginning you will probably want to avoid stronger-tasting or bitter greens such as mustard greens, kale, or dandelion greens. These can be excellent choices, but are better once you are used to the flavor of a green smoothie.
When you start adding leafy greens into a smoothie, it is best to go slowly. Start with just a handful of spinach or a few large leaves of romaine lettuce. As you get used to the flavor and texture, increase the amount of greens that you are using. This will allow your body to slowly get used to the texture and flavor of the green smoothies. It will also allow you to adjust your recipes to include more fruit or a little bit of natural sweetener. Many people recommend a goal of 40% vegetables to 60% fruit as the healthiest combination for a green smoothie.
One essential tip for getting used to green smoothies is to be sure to blend them well. If you do not, you can end up with chunks of greens in your smoothie. When you add ingredients to your blender it is best to add any liquid, such as juice or water, first. After that, add in your greens. Many people like to blend this together some before adding the fruit. Even if you don’t, adding the greens in immediately after the liquid will help to ensure that they get blended thoroughly. Remember that getting a well blended smoothie takes some time. Don’t be afraid to run your blender for a few minutes or pulse it several times to ensure that everything is blended together. If you find that your blender still struggles, try adding more liquid.
When you first start experimenting with adding leafy greens to your smoothies, don’t be afraid to sweeten them a bit. Of course, you will want to use natural sweeteners such as agave or stevia. However, while you are getting used to the flavor of the green smoothies a little bit of sweetener can make them more palatable. You can also add additional fruit to your smoothies in order to cover the taste of the greens. Overall, drinking a green smoothie should be enjoyable, not something that you have to force yourself to do.
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