Green Smoothies


2014-06-11 07.53.42What is a green Smoothie?

Smoothies are made in blenders, as opposed to juices, which are made in a juicer.   The difference between the two is that smoothies contain the whole fruit and/or vegetable, whilst juicers extract the juice, but leave the fibre behind.  A smoothie can be as simple as fruit blended with some water, or they can be made more nutritious by the addition of other ingredients e.g. bio-yogurt or  protein powder. A Green Smoothie is a smoothie that’s coloured green,  from the addition of vegetables.

Why Green Smoothies?

If you’ve read my post about vegetables you’ll know I’m a convert to the idea that vegetables contain many micro nutrients which our bodies need in the healing process.  Increasing the vegetable content of my diet is something I am focussed on.  Eating a significant quantity of vegetables at breakfast is tricky.  Sometimes I make an omelette with a mix of mushrooms, spinach, peppers and/or onion, but I don’t always have time for all the chopping that entails.  A green smoothie enables me to get a really big quantity of vegetables straight into my system first thing in the morning, quickly and easily.  Dr Terry Wahl, author of The Wahl’s Prtotocol is a fan of green smoothies, so is Johnathan Bailor, author of The Calorie Myth, and so is my nutritionist.

My Experience

I’ve been making smoothies for years.  I can’t remember where I first read about them, but I found they made a great after-school drink/snack for my children.  I also read about adding spinach and used this as a great way to get my kids to eat spinach without them even knowing.  If you keep the spinach content relatively low you don’t even notice it (honestly – give it a try if you don’t believe me).

When I got ill, activities like smoothie making were far too much energy for me, and we stopped.  My daughter was encouraged to make her own green smoothies by our nutritionist, but this was an unsuccessful experiment as she didn’t like the taste of the recipes suggested (having looked at the recipes they contained a higher proportion of bitter greens and the fruit suggested was less sweet than the berries I use in mine, e.g. kale with apple and lemon).

I’ve been drinking green smoothies for most of my breakfasts for 2-3 months now.  I didn’t start out with  the ultimate recipe that I list below.  I have gradually increased the proportion of vegetables to fruit, and as I’ve read about or discussed other ingredients with my nutritionist I’ve included them.

I use my green smoothie as a meal replacement and I add a whole load of stuff to it to increase my nutrient intake. My recipe is at the end of this post.  By the time I’m finished my blender jug is nearly full, and I generally get 2-3 large glasses full of smoothie.  If I manage to drink all this (and I generally do) it keeps me full until lunch time.

I feel really good when I have smoothies for breakfast.  Of course it could be a psychological boost from feeling that I’m doing something healthy, but I think there is a physical boost from all the nutrients entering my body.  When I think about what I want for breakfast I now often think smoothie and really look forward to it (you may find that surprising when you read the ingredients list).  Partly this is because it’s so quick and easy, but partly it’s because I feel good after I’ve drunk it.

Below are two smoothie recipes: my beginner green smoothie recipe and my Ultimate Green Smoothie recipe.  My Beginner recipe is what I used to make for my kids (and me).  It’s a very gentle introduction into green smoothies and I encourage you to try it as a snack.  If you get on OK with that then you can start gradually increasing the proportion of vegetables, decreasing the proportion of fruit and gradually try adding in some of the other ingredients from my Ultimate Green Smoothie Recipe.   Let me know how you get on.

Beginner Green Smoothie Recipe

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)*
  • 1 banana (fresh or frozen)*
  • 1 small handful of baby leaf spinach
  • 1 small carton of natural pro-biotic yoghurt
  • ice cubes* and/or water
  • Optional extra: 1 scoop of whey protein powder – this will give the smoothie a thicker creamier texture and flavour as well as adding protein to the smoothie.

*If at least one item of fruit is frozen it improves the texture of the finished drink.  You can also add ice cubes, but frozen fruit gives the best results.

INSTRUCTIONS

Put all the ingredients in a blender jug and blend until smooth.

My Ultimate Green Smoothie Recipe

Please note if you’re new to smoothies I don’t suggest you start with this full recipe.  Use the beginner smoothie recipe above and transition gradually.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of vegetables.  I aim for 1 cup of green leafy, with the other cup either sulphur rich or colourful, or a mixture (see my Vegetables post for a list of which vegetables fall into which category)
  • 1 cup fruit – a mix of raspberries and blueberries is my favourite, but I also use strawberries, papaya, mango, kiwi, melon, pear etc.
  • 2 dessert spoons Miracle Matcha (or freshly ground linseeds, chia seeds and goji berries)
  • 1.5 scoops whey protein powder.
  • 1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg or cinnamon (or you could try other spices)
  • 3 tablespoons of Pukka Aloe Vera Juice
  • Coconut water (approx half a cup)
  • 1 cup coconut milk and/or bio yogurt (unless you’re dairy free)
  • Nutritional Yeast (excellent source of B vitamins) – approx 1 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon Green Nori Sprinkle (a great source of iodine – important for  thyroid function)

 Instructions

Put all the ingredients in a blender jug and blend until smooth.

 

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