St. Patty’s day is upon us and I’m thinking green. So I figured I’d share one of my favorite Green Smoothie recipes. It’s not only one of my favorites, but was also the hit recipe at the Green Smoothie party my girlfriends and I had a few months back… yep, I did say Green Smoothie party! A really fun way to share recipes and inspiration with other health conscious friends. Why deny an excuse to get together?
What’s a Green Smoothie?
Whenever I heard the term “Smoothie” I would automatically think yogurt and dairy mixed with fruit as most people do. But I am here to tell you that those types of smoothies are SO yesterday! Now it’s all about the green. Some people give me the strangest looks when they find out I actually put greens such as Spinach or Kale in the blender and blend with fruit for a powerhouse of raw nutrition that tastes amazing! Don’t knock it ’til ya try it!
My girlfriend Jinny who is a raw food extraordinaire, introduced me to this health drink about a year ago. I threw my first Green Smoothie party in March 2009 and had her teach me and a few friends how easy it was to make them (once you wrap your mind around the concept that is) there are tons of recipes and combinations. Never boring! Some days I do have better luck than others when creating smoothies (just being honest) but 99% of the time they usually turn out great. You can be sure I will post more recipes on this blog.
So March happens to be my one year Green Smoothie anniversary! I haven’t missed more than a day or two the whole year. I think I’m addicted! I truly swear by these green concoctions which have made the greatest impact on my health over anything I have tried! I’m mostly happy about the fact that my 2 1/2 yr old also loves and drinks one with me every day. It puts my mind at ease to know he’s drinking something healthy, because as a typical toddler he is getting much pickier about food. Ugh!
- Greens are very important for us as they have cancer fighting properties
- Greens have high protein and fiber which aid in eliminating toxins
- Greens help bring down acidity in our pH and make us more alkaline. Cancer and disease thrive in acidic environments which the standard American diet helps promote.
- Chlorophyll molecules (plant blood) closely resemble human blood and it helps to purify our blood
Green Smoothies are “Raw” which means, not cooked. Therefore we retain all the vitamins, nutrients, fiber and living enzymes. When we eat cooked food, our body produces a large amount of white blood cells (Leukocytosis) indicating a foreign invader has entered our system. When we eat the same food raw, there is no increase in the white blood cell count. When you cook food, you cook away important enzymes our bodies need to properly digest food. Our immune systems are also greatly compromised. Salads are a great way to get raw nutrients but they’re not always convenient. Green Smoothies are fun and easy way to get more greens and raw foods into our diets.
Health Benefits after 1 month on the Green Smoothie
- Weight loss
- More energy
- Lifts depression
- Less cravings and blood sugar fluctuations
- Clearer skin
- Regular bowel movements to eliminate toxins
- Sleep better
- Lessen or eliminates PMS
- Helps to fend off Asthma attacks
- Stronger nails and hair
- Improves sex life… why isn’t this the best reason to drink Green Smoothies?
These are just some of the health benefits which continue to increase the longer you drink Green Smoothies!
What you’ll need
Green smoothies are fast to make and easy to clean up. All you need is a blender with a decent motor. Trust me, I have friends with fancy blenders which are amazing, but I use a hand-me-down almost made it to the good-will pile Oster blender from 1970 something because my fancy Cuisinart turned out to be a lemon! The Oster works great and gets abused everyday. However, I am dreaming about trading it in soon for a shinier model.
Organic produce is important to use because conventional, unsustainable farming practices usually only have about an 1/8th of the vitamins and minerals of organically grown produce.
Always use very ripe fruit which have the most enzymes and will sweeten your smoothies naturally. You can start with more fruit and work your way to adding more greens if you desire. Try 60% fruit to 40% greens and then work your way to 60% greens and 40% fruit.
I usually don’t use fruit with seeds like raspberries or strawberries because the seeds don’t blend and they aren’t as fun to drink, but that’s just me.
If you use berries, be ready for a brown looking smoothie. Tastes great, looks pretty gross… just sayin’
Try to alternate your greens. Your body can develop a toxicity by being exposed over and over to the same greens day after day.
The Acidity of the fruit can work on your tooth enamel, therefore it is wise to wait an hour before brushing your teeth after you drink a green smoothie. I drink mine through a straw which I feel helps.
You can use frozen fruit, or add ice cubes if you like it nice and cold. Try freezing bananas to use in your smoothies.
If your greens are too strong try adding a little vanilla. You can add a little organic agave sweetener as well.
You can always add more liquid if the blender is not catching and blending. I found that is what mine usually needs because it’s old. But….
Words of Caution: Try not to use a wooden spoon to push things down in the blender while the motor is running! Bad, bad habit of mine. I have cleaned many green smoothies off of the ceiling due to this dangerous and risky action not to mention I found unwanted fiber from my wooden spoon in the smoothie! Don’t do it, as tempting as it is!
So here is a great Green Smoothie recipe that’s perfect for this green holiday and any other day! Spinach makes really smooth smoothies. You will be surprised!
2 Cups or large handfuls of Baby Spinach leaves
1-2 or even 3 Ripe Bananas (I usually just use 1)
10 Mint leaves (give or take)
1-2 Tbs Cocoa powder (start with 1, add as desired)
1 Cup filtered water (adding more liquid as needed)
Squirt of Agave nectar ~ Optional
*Agave nectar has a desirably low glycemic index and when consumed won’t cause a sharp rise and fall in blood sugar as compared to other sweeteners.
*Variation~ Try Coconut milk, Coconut water or other Nut milk in place of water for an extra creamy treat and more added health benefits.
I would love to hear your reviews or variations, please post a comment.
For further reading on the nutrition benefits of this smoothie:
Coconut milk~ www.coconutresearchcenter.org