Green Your Breakfast: An Introduction to Green Smoothies

Green smoothies:  They sound gross.  They look gross.  They taste incredible!

Apple Crisp Smoothie, recipe below

So what’s so wonderful about green smoothies?

  • You can get an entire serving (or more) of raw veggies for breakfast without even noticing.  Personally, the thought of chowing down on a bowl of spinach first thing in the morning sounds awful.  But, when blended into a smoothie, you get all the benefits of that bowl of spinach without having to taste spinach!
  • Blending breaks down the cell walls, making nutrients easier to absorb.  It’s the same concept as chewing your food very, very well.  So a smoothie is basically pre-chewed!  Again, not as gross as it sounds…
  • High in nutrients, very filling, low in calories.  Need I say more?
  • Easy to consume on the way to work.  Ever tried to enjoy a bowl of oatmeal while navigating rush hour traffic?

The Basics:  How to make a delicious smoothie.

  1. Choose your base.  Try almond/coconut/soy milk, pineapple juice, apple cider, carrot juice, flavored tea, etc.
  2. Choose your greens:Romaine lettuce and spinach are the mildest, so no matter what else you add to your smoothie, you’re guaranteed to not taste them.  For the slightly more adventurous, try kale or collard greens.
  3. Blend, blend, blend!  I always blend my greens with my base before adding other ingredients.  You want the greens to be completely liquified.
  4. Make it smooth.  This isn’t necessary, but I highly recommend that you use frozen banana in your smoothie.  It gives it a smooth, creamy texture.  Other options include silken tofu or avocado.
  5. Add some fruit.  I prefer my fruit frozen to make a thicker smoothie, but fresh works as well!  Try pineapple, apple, strawberries, cherries, mango, honeydew, berries…
  6. Make it sweet.  Fruit is plenty sweet, but sometimes the greens can counteract this sweetness.  I add a little stevia extract to my smoothies.  Other healthy options include pitted dates or agave syrup.
  7. Other add-ins to get the flavor/nutrients that you want: rolled oats, chia seeds, flaxseeds, protein powder, cacao powder, extracts (vanilla, peppermint, cinnamon, etc), pumpkin puree, applesauce, spices, etc.

Here are a few of my favorite combinations to get you started!  To make any of these into a frozen dessert, just add a bit less liquid.

 

Apple Crisp Smoothie (my current favorite, pictured above)

  • 1/2c almond milk
  • 2c greens
  • 1/2c applesauce, or 1 small apple
  • 1/4c rolled oats
  • stevia extract, to taste
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 1 whole frozen banana
  • 1/2c frozen pineapple

Strawberries and Cream Smoothie

  • 1c almond milk
  • 2c greens
  • 1c frozen strawberries (or try peaches!)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1t vanilla extract
  • 3oz silken tofu
  • stevia extract, to taste

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Try your own combinations!  You really can’t go wrong if you follow the basics listed above.  Your body will thank you!