(This was originally published at www.innerbonding.com. Green smoothies are an essential part of helping us all stay healthily connected to what’s natural for our bodies…Enjoy and feel free to let me know if you have any questions!)
For a while now, I have been making us a green smoothie in the morning. Usually this is about 60% greens (spinach, kale, beet greens, collards, chard, lettuce, etc) and 40% fruit. It’s amazing how palatable it is and it feels great to get so many servings of fruits and veggies in from the get go. I also get a kick out of watching my kids put spinach, kale and other greens into their smoothie without batting an eye (oh if they only knew what other kids eat, lol) I do tend to push it and experiment with how many greens or other healthy stuff I can sneak in. I’ve added hemp seeds, raw eggs, acidophilus, aloe vera, udo’s oil, flax seeds, oats, nuts, cacao, coconut oil, to name a few. So sometimes, they will turn their nose up at me, and mama gets to drink a really greeeeen smoothie all by herself that day.
People come to my house and see these glasses of green everywhere. Some people respond with interest, and some (mostly family) look at my children like “oh you poor things.” In general, I have a suspicion that my family doesn’t come over very much because there’s only healthy food in my house! Would you like some water? Some fruit? Some raw almonds? Trail mix (I’m really trying here)?
So, last night I went to a talk by the Green Smoothie Girl (yes, this is what I do for fun) at our local eco-fabulous boutique. It was packed! It simply felt good to be in a room full of fellow health nuts willing to guzzle down fresh greens. I learned some great tips; add a quarter slice of lemon, blend the greens in water first (before adding fruit), don’t make it green (add mixed berries) and if you don’t like it, try more water, ice or sweetener (stevia, agave or date). Tonight, after watching Planet Earth for movie night, we all gulped down some of this new, improved, purple “green” smoothie and it was a hit. It feels so good to redefine “comfort food.”
Here are a couple of my family’s favorite tried and true recipes:
Lucas and Maya’s Mango Tango Smoothie (yes, it’s green but tastes goood!!)
1 ripe mango
2-3 cups chard, spinach or beet greens (mellow greens)
Fill the blender with greens, about 2.5 cups of water and handful of ice. Blend until smooth. Add fruit and sweetener to taste. Blend.
Serve in a wine glass!
Berry Surprise Smoothie (it looks like a regular smoothie, but it’s way better for you!)
Fresh or frozen berries (strawberry, blueberries, raspberries)
(if you want it purple, you need to be sure and add some berries that are blue-ish)
2-3 cups of greens (spinach, chard, kale to your liking)
1/2 banana, optional
soaked almonds, optional
sweetener of choice
Fill the blender with greens, about 2.5 cups of water and handful of ice. Blend until smooth. Add fruit and sweetener to taste. Blend again until thoroughly mixed.
There are a couple variations here: the banana or almonds make it creamier.
Or you can add a sliver of lemon peel and all, for a tang that cuts the “green” flavor. (I recently made this smoothie for my son’s classroom and an amazing number of kids came up to me to ask for seconds and the recipe :)
Or you can just do berries and greens! Lucas and Maya prefer it this way.
A COUPLE NOTES:
These work best when you use a high powered blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec.
We always add ice so that the speed of the blending doesn’t ‘cook’ the greens
When you are just starting out, it’s safest to use mellow greens like spinach and chard, then introduce the more bitter greens, like kale, collard, a little at a time.
For many more tips and details, see: www.greensmoothiegirl.com or just do a google search, there’s a wealth of information out there.