Doug Larson, journalist
“Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”
Everyone knows we should eat more greens and vegetables. But as much as you may love a salad or steamed veggies now and then, that may not be your favorite thing to eat. That’s okay. You can easily drink your vegetables.
Smoothies are a quick solution that can increase your daily intake of greens.
Green smoothie to the rescue!
There are plenty of ways to liquify your greens and juicing is one of them. But not everyone has a juicer and they can be pretty messy to clean up after. To make a smoothie, on the other hand, all you need is a high speed blender and a few key ingredients.
Not all smoothies are equal, though. It pays to learn how to make them so that they are both delicious and nutritious. Use dark leafy greens, berries, and nuts to pack your smoothie with tons of micronutrients. You can make a double batch at breakfast so you’ll have a smoothie for your afternoon snack, too. This will put you well on your way to getting plenty of vitamins and minerals — without chewing a single leaf!
Organic is best
No one wants to drink harmful chemicals and pesticides. It’s always best to buy organic produce if at all possible. Choose kale, spinach, chard, celery, cucumbers, beet or dandelion greens, and any of the other fresh veggies that you love, or ones you just want to try out. Spinach is the easiest for smoothie beginners. Be forewarned that dandelion has a strong bite to it, so you may need to experiment a little to find which greens you prefer. Ideally, use two or three different greens in your smoothie, but you can always start with just one. Many stores sell pre-washed organic blends of greens that you can pop in the freezer so they are always ready for your next green drink.
Green smoothies can taste delicious
A green smoothie without fruit is an acquired taste, so add enough fruit to make your taste buds happy. A good rule is to use 1/2 to 1 cup of either fresh or frozen organic fruit per 2 to 3 cups of greens, depending on your palette. If blood sugar is an issue, then you should avoid the sweeter varieties of fruit like bananas and pineapple or skip the fruit all together. Berries have the most polyphenols and antioxidants and are lowest in sugar. Stock up on frozen organic berries, and use fresh when in season. You may want to add a little stevia to sweeten your smoothie.
And don’t forget to make the liquid part of your smoothie count, too. Plain filtered water is fine as a base for your drink, but you can also use coconut water, nut milks, or even herbal teas.
Throw in some superfoods
A smoothie is a great way to get added nutrition in your day. if the smoothie is going to be a meal replacement then you will want to add some protein and fat besides just greens. Consider throwing in some fresh herbs and spices, like mint, basil, thyme, turmeric, ginger, or cinnamon. How about a tablespoon of healthy flax, hemp, or coconut oil? Power up your smoothie with cacao, maca, or vegetable protein powder, spirulina, ground flaxseeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds, or cashews. (It’s best to first soak nuts overnight in water.) And did you know yummy nut butters are a good source of healthy fat and protein? Be careful of peanuts and peanut butter (technically a legume) because this is commonly tainted with heavy pesticides, added sugars, and questionable oils.
Do you need a fancy blender?
A high speed blender will do fine, but a Vitamix or something similar is your best friend when it comes to the perfect smoothie. Every kitchen needs one. Sure, they can be pricey. But we want our smoothies smooth, and effortless besides. Once you discover how great you feel after drinking your greens, you’ll know it’s worth the investment.
Here is a simple smoothie recipe to get you started on the Goddess path to health. I encourage you to experiment, get creative, and make smoothies that wake up your taste buds!
1½ – 2 c almond milk or other liquid
2 – 3 c mixed greens
Blend until well mixed
½ – 1 c mixed berries (or mango, cherries, peaches, etc.)
½ banana (optional)
1 T ground flaxseed
1 T hemp seeds
1 T coconut oil
1 large sprig of mint or other fresh herb
Blend until completely smooth