April 19, 2010

Drink Your Greens

I've recently introduced Green Smoothies into my life and I must admit, I'm in love! "What's a green smoothie" you ask? Simple. It's a smoothie made with greens like spinach or kale. And before you make a face, trust me, they can be absolutely delicious.

But why drink green smoothies? Well first of all, they are a great source of nutrients. The greens alone can pack up to 18% of your daily value of calcium (2 cups of kale). Green smoothies are also really quick and easy to make since there's hardly any prep work involved. Just throw your liquid, greens and fruits into a high powered blender and puree. Unlike juicing your greens, clean up is really simple and the fiber content of your ingredients is maintained (although I'm not knocking juicing- I LOVE fresh juices and use my juicer every day). And for those of you with kids, they are a great way to get some fresh greens in your childrens' diets.

The basic green smoothie recipe calls for a 60:40 fruit to green veggie ratio. Here are some ingredient ideas:
  • Greens: spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, parsley, and fresh mint
  • Fruits: ripe bananas, apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, berries, papaya and mangos
  • Liquid: water, almond or any type of nut milk, soy milk, rice milk, and coconut water
I now make a green smoothie every morning before work. My base recipe is:
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 large red apple, cored but not peeled, and chopped
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 cup of water
In addition, I add or more one of the following depending on what I have on hand:
  • strawberries
  • blackberries
  • 1 ripe banana
  • mango
Just pour the liquid ingredients in your blender and add the cored and chopped apple and any other fruit. Process for about a minute. Then add your spinach and process for another 90 seconds. I make my smoothies in my Kitchenaid blender which is quite powerful and does a pretty good job of pureeing these ingredients but it's no Vitamix (swoon). The more powerful your blender, the smoother your smoothies will be.

I love the flavor of the red apple combined with the spinach and almond milk in this recipe. I should note that this recipe does make a lot of smoothie for one person but I drink it all anyway :)

Do you drink Green Smoothies and have a favorite recipe? Or have I convinced you to try them? I've love to hear your thoughts so leave a comment below!

7 comments :

  1. I'm madly in love with green smoothies, too!

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  2. OH Red Apple?? I will to give that a try.
    I also like adding Ground Flax and Chia Seeds to my smoothies. Spinach is probably my fave but I also enjoy Kale.

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  3. As the weather gets warmer I plan on bringing smoothies to work with me. I'm sure I'll get weird stares like I always do with some of my food, but it's okay!

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  4. Love them! I too juice and do smoothies. Try adding fresh mint or basil or lemon zest- delicious. Funny I always use baby spinanch, I would think kale in smoothie too bitter but will try now.

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  5. Just made your basic recipe and it was so good! Don't know that I'll ever get your brother to drink one, but I'll definitely make it again :)

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  6. ok - we are growing kale right now and I am going to try this!

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  7. Yum- all great ideas!
    I added chia seeds today and loved it! Will definitely put basil, mint and lemon zest on my "to try" list- sort of like a green smoothie mojito!

    Sara- would LOVE if you got him to try one ;) The whole fam would be so impressed

    Mer- I love that you are growing Kale! Let me know how it comes out :)

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