• Green Smoothies 101

    I have been asked many times to post my smoothie recipes. The honest truth is anymore I rarely use a recipe. When I first began my journey of incorporating green smoothies into my life, I leaned heavily upon the knowledge of greensmoothiegirl.com. I love her and have learned SO MUCH from her through the years!! I highly recommend following her site.

    In the beginning, I followed all of her recipes. However, after a little time passed I began to make my own smoothies without a recipe.

    As I experimented, I found that some tasted glorious and others well  ….. tasted like poop! (Not that I know what poop taste like … it’s what I imagine it would taste like.)

    A little side note before we get any farther, I recommend sticking with actual recipes until you really know what you’re doing. By doing it that way, you ensure that you aren’t wasting ingredients or even worse, forced to drink “poop smoothies” like I did! (I hate to waste food so I always powered through my experimentation. No matter how awful it may have tasted!)

    Getting started ……

    If you are just starting out I recommend (as I do with everything I teach and speak on) that you start slow and build. It can get overwhelming.

    There is a ton out there on this subject.

    Here are a few tips I feel would be helpful:

    1. Start with spinach and a sweeter type fruit. Mixed frozen tropical fruit works well. It’s sweet and mixing it with spinach is perfect because spinach doesn’t have much of a flavor. Using spinach also means it will  change the color of your smoothie to green but it won’t “taste” green.
    2.  Make sure you have a good quality blender like a Vitamix, Blend Tech, or Ninja. The Ninja is a great place to start and you can pick them up pretty inexpensively. If you decide to make this a lifestyle you may want to consider a more high power blender like the Vitamix or Blend Tech. They’re worth every penny! I use my Vitamix everyday, multiple times a day. (More on that later.)
    3. If you’re using a standard blender you will want to chop everything very small so your blender can break down the fruit into smoothie consistency. (This is where having a more high powered machine comes in handy.)

    If your goal is to make this a lifestyle habit as we did (this will allow you to reap the long term health benefits) you are going to want to make it goal to incorporate more greens into your smoothies. This means you need more than spinach. That’s really important. You want to mix-up the greens you’re ingesting. (More on that later.)

    You also want to move away from sweet fruit (super high sugar content.) Berries are a good direction to move towards. Not only is the sugar content lower, they are also packed with TONS of antioxidants.

    Again … I highly recommend doing some reading on this topic. I learned so much regarding why I should stay away from high sugar fruit. My original belief was all fruit is good for you so, I can eat as much as I want. It’s natural sugar, right? However, that was not the case.

    I also was of the belief that I never needed more than spinach. I had seen such great results in our blood work using spinach and tropical fruit so I thought that’s all I needed. As I began to research and educate myself, I learned of all the many benefits given from incorporating other types of greens and the importance of moving away from the high sugar fruits and instead switching to berries.

    Now, years later I actually prefer the more bitter greens, such as kale, in my smoothies. Drinking straight kale is one of my favorite drinks! Who would’ve ever thought?!

    I didn’t get there over night though. I had to work up to it.

    I am often asked if I buy only at health food stores and natural markets.

    I generally buy my smoothie ingredients at the farmers market (when open and in season.) When they’re not, I generally use Sam’s Club. I can get really good prices on my fresh and frozen produce. They also now carry organic (fresh and frozen) which is a HUGE bonus. Between the four adults in my house, we go through a lot! That’s another reason why Sam’s Club is a great choice for us!

    Aldi is also a great resource for greens, fruits, vegetables, flax, and chia seeds. They have great prices and carry organic options. If you are just starting out this is a great place to start!!

    What goes into your smoothie?

    Your smoothie should include the following:

    Liquid (I use water)

    Greens (I use spinach, kale, various lettuce varieties)

    Fruit (I use frozen mixed berries)

    Sweetener (I use Truvia) You can also use agave, honey, or maple syrup just to name a few.

    Veggies (Sometimes I like to throw in carrots, squash, celery, and so on)

    Let’s get started:

    Green Smoothie Starter

    Ingredients:

    •1 3/4 Cup water

    •1 Tbsp. honey or agave (raw, organic)

    •1 10-oz. bag spinach

    •1 banana (preferably frozen in chunks)

    •2 Cups frozen mixed fruit

    •1 apple

    •2 Tbsp. Flax Seed

    •1-2 Protein Powder (optional)

    Instructions:

    1. Blend water and spinach until completely liquid. Add other ingredients and blend until very smooth.

    2. Pour in glasses and enjoy! You can also refrigerate for up to 48 hours, shaking well before drinking.

    Can you freeze them?

    Why, yes! I do all time. Like I said earlier in this article it’s how I guarantee I am drinking them daily.

    I make mine in bulk for the week. I pour them in freezer friendly containers and toss them in the freezer. I pull them out 24-48 hours before I plan to drink them.

    I buy my containers at a local dollar store. It’s a plastic container (BPA free). (I like to freeze in plastic.) You can freeze in glass but it’s tricky. I have exploded my glass smoothie containers on several occasions so I stick with plastics. It’s a personal choice.

    Well … I hope this helps someone out there. If I didn’t quite answer your smoothies questions don’t hesitate to leave me a comment, shoot me an email, or post on the Facebook page.

    Here’s to your health looking a little greener!

    Cheers!

    Shannon

     

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