Green Smoothies – the why and the what

Posted on March 28, 2014

I drink green smoothies.

Everyday or every other day, you can bet that I’m throwing a ton of vegetables into a blender and whipping up a green concoction. People usually wrinkle their noses at me when they see it.

I’ll be honest. I drink them because they’re good for me. Not because they taste wonderful.

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But they’re not all bad. You get used to them. Once I’ve had my green smoothie for the day, I feel better about my vegetable intake. It’s only been since I began drinking green smoothies that I have managed to get enough vegetables into my diet.

Here are the categories of ingredients I use:

  • Leafy greens. These are so important for our health! They are much easier to drink than to eat.
  • Frozen vegetables. Keep some of these and you don’t have to worry about them going bad. They also make the smoothie cold.
  • Fruit. Add one. I will use two at the most if one of the fruits isn’t particularly sweet. The goal is to have more vegetables than fruits. Fruits have sugar in them. The best is if you can drink it with no fruits at all. But I’m not that good yet. I’ve found an apple make the smoothie much sweeter.
  • Green powder and fiber. I buy my Green Vibrance on Amazon for a better price than you can purchase it at the store. It has probiotics and a bunch of good stuff in it. I don’t know much about it, but it was recommended to me, and the smell/taste is gross enough that I believe it must be good for me. The seeds I add for an extra fiber boost are simple to throw in.
  • Healthful add-ins. Ideas: 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and/or ginger. My husband loves ginger and puts quite a bit in. I find its flavor very strong.
  • Liquid. Water is good enough. I have been using coconut water because we bought a bunch of it. You have to put enough liquid in to let the smoothie get smooth. For me, that usually means the liquid goes 1/3 of the way up the blender. I always put it in last.
  • Ice. If none of your vegetables or fruit are frozen already, I recommend adding a handful of ice.

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NOTES

First of all, the quality of your blender is important. You cannot throw all those vegetables in a normal blender and expect it to end up smooth. I rarely made green smoothies before I got my Vitamix blender. You can find recipes for green smoothies that are doable with a lower-power blender online. Those have to change the ratio of liquids to solids, and you could never put in an entire raw carrot like I did. Shelling out the big bucks for the Vitamix was a bit painful for me. But my husband convinced me it was a good idea, we counted it as our Christmas gift to ourselves, and I have used it nearly every day since we got it. I am so glad I have my Vitamix.

Cold is best. Coldness reduces the vegetable flavor. For example, have you ever had a ripe, juicy mango? Okay … have you also had a frozen piece of mango? The flavor difference is extreme. You can always taste the non-frozen food much more strongly.

Avocados are wonderful. Anywhere. All the time. I hate to throw half an avocado in the blender indiscriminately and lose out on the pure flavor of it. But it makes the smoothie more … smooth. Creamy. Bananas do this, too. And I’ve been told that a smoothie is more filling when an avocado is in it. You can last longer between meals.

Sometimes my green smoothies look purple, thanks to the blueberries I occasionally add.

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Here’s what I have in my green/purple smoothie today:

  • Spinach
  • Cabbage
  • Chard
  • Carrot
  • Broccoli (frozen)
  • Green beans (frozen)
  • Blueberries (frozen)
  • Orange
  • Chia seeds
  • Hemp seeds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Green powder
  • Small piece of ginger
  • a few basil leaves
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Basil
  • Water and Coconut water

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And here’s another day:

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