I’ve been drinking green smoothies sporadically for the last year or so. I’ve picked up some tips along the way and figured I’d share them with you in honor of National Kale Day. I considered sharing my Coconut Kale Soup recipe, so be on the lookout for that. I’ll post it soon.
I’ve “dieted” many times in my life. Okay, who am I kidding? I’ve dieted for MOST of my life. I’ve always felt like the fat girl and my nutrition, or lack thereof, has always been at the forefront of my thoughts. Part of my problem with dieting is that I have an all-or-nothing perfectionist personality. If I can’t do something perfect, I would rather not do it at all. Well, you and I both know it’s impossible to be perfect on a diet, at least long-term. This is why it’s better to have the mindset that you’re making a lifestyle change rather than going on a diet. I recently decided to add one new habit at a time to my quest for a happier and healthier life. I figure it’s easier to be perfect at one thing at a time (Oops, there’s that perfectionism thing again), and that adding green smoothies was a good place to start.
There are three huge benefits to green smoothies:
Easy to digest
Blending the greens and fruit makes the valuable nutrients easy for the body to assimilate. Green smoothies literally start to get absorbed in your mouth.
Easy to make
Even when I’m running late, I can whip up a healthy nutritious smoothie in a couple minutes. I actually prep all the ingredients for a week at a time and put everything for one smoothie in a quart size baggie then just throw it in the blender with some water or almond milk and blend.
I can feel a difference in my energy level when I start my day off with a glass full of green goodness.
So, how do you make a green smoothie? Here is my basic recipe.
Basic Green Smoothie
- 1 cup water or almond milk, coconut milk, etc.
- 3 cups greens spinach, kale, collards, etc.
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup frozen fruit
- Put the water and greens in your blender and blend until smooth.
- Add the fruit and blend to desired consistency. [Or for convenience like I said above, just put all the ingredients in a baggie and dump it all in the blender at once. If you have a high-powered blender (I use a Vitamix), you won't have a problem.]
Other fun additions
- Natural peanut or almond butter
- Flax, hemp, or chia seeds (Although these give it a bit of a gelatinous consistency which I don’t love. The longer it sits, the worse it gets, so if you’re saving it for later, I don’t recommend adding these.)
- Raw beets (My favorite addition!)
- Raw coconut
- Whey or plant-based protein powder. (Green Smoothie Girl plant-based protein is what I use.)
- Frozen berries (Blueberries make it look more purple than green if you are feeding picky eaters.)
- Limes (Peel and all — don’t use more than 1/4 of a small lime or it will be too strong.)
- Fresh Ginger (No need to chop, grate, or peel — just throw in a small chunk)
Perhaps the most useful tip I’ve picked up for green smoothies is to freeze your greens. I buy a big bag of spinach from Costco, and when I first started eating green smoothies, I was frustrated when my spinach started to wilt and get slimy. Then I read somewhere that you can just throw it in the freezer. This wouldn’t work if you wanted to defrost it and use it in a salad, but for smoothies it’s perfect. I think it makes a smoothie even better because it makes it thick and cold like a traditional smoothie would be. Frozen fruit does this as well and is a great way to keep fruit usable that is getting too ripe.
I’d love to hear from you any tips I left out or any fun smoothie recipes you make and love. Leave a comment below.