How to Make Green Smoothies Super Tasty (Even If You Hate Veggies)
Green smoothies are a quick and easy way to get a healthy dose of all the vegetables and fruits you need each day. Drinking these tasty treats is a great way to achieve fantastic weight loss and to cut your craving for sweets and other junk foods. Working as a meal substitute green smoothies also provide your body with the antioxidants it needs to fight disease and generally optimize your health. Clear, glowing skin is an added benefit to drinking green smoothies, their high fiber content makes sure that your bowels are working properly so waste is removed from the body the proper way rather than through the skin. A healthy diet including green smoothies can provide greater mental clarity and gives you a natural energy boost that will allow you to power through a long day at work or a grinding workout at the gym, you may even be able to give up your morning coffee (it was quite a challenge for me to be honest, lol).To some newcomers the thought of a green smoothie is not too appealing. However, green smoothies are not all green leafy vegetables, they also incorporate tasty fruits and you can load them with all of your favorite fruits and veggies to get exactly the taste you crave…
Making Green Smoothies Tasty
Some ingredients like mint, lemon, and ginger can be added to the mix and have powerful flavors that often canceled out the strong taste of other ingredients like chard and kale. If that is not enough you can always add some natural sweeteners like stevia, just be sure to avoid adding plain sugar or you might not achieve all of your weight loss and nutritional goals. A simple formula for making delicious green smoothies is to combine two cups of leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard, romaine lettuce, etc.) with two cups of a liquid base (water, coconut milk, etc.) and three cups of ripe fruit. The extra fruit assures you that you will not be overwhelmed by the greens but will instead be enjoying the flavor of the grapes, mangoes, bananas, pineapples, or whatever other fruit you decide to include. This mix will create about 32 ounces of smoothie, and it is advisable to use some frozen fruit so your smoothie will be chilled. The first step to making your delectable green smoothie is to blend the greens and the liquid base together until the big chunks of leafs have been broken down. Next, add the fruits in the blender and blend the entire mixture one more time. In a matter of minutes your green smoothie is ready for you, so pour it into a tall glass and take your first sip. A sample recipe for a smoothie following these ratios is:
The Tropical Popeye
1 cup of spinach
1 cup of romaine lettuce
1 cup water
1 cup almond milk
1 cup bananas
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 cup pineapple
Pack spinach and romaine lettuce together tightly and toss in blender. Add water and almond milk. Blend until smooth. Add bananas, pineapple, and frozen strawberries. Blend one more time. Pour this into your favorite glass or cup. Enjoy it while reaping the benefits of a fantastic meal replacement.
Green Smoothies vs. Green Juices
Is there a difference between a green smoothie and a green juice? Well, for one smoothies are made in a blender and juices are made in juicers (I use Omega Juicer for my juices). Blenders are typically more readily available in almost any households while juicers are rarer and more expensive (but still a great investment, I talk in detail about benefits of juicing, alkaline juicing to be specific, and how to juice the right way in this article). When a vegetable or fruit is juiced the fiber is removed but smoothies retain the entirety of the whole food. Fiber is important for digestion and a body’s health in general so fiber rich smoothies are a great option. Fiber also aids in the absorption of sugar, which is beneficial to the body and contains extra nutrients while also helping to fill you up and keep you going through the day without getting hungry. The protein present in smoothies that are missing from drinks further fuels workouts and strenuous activity while serving as far better meal replacements than juices because they digest better. A final advantage that green smoothies have over green juices is that while green juices need to be drank immediately, green smoothies maintain their nutritional value longer and can even be kept in your refrigerator for a couple of nights, so you can enjoy the leftovers as part of another meal or healthy snack (still, I prefere to drink them, fresh). This is not to say that green juices are unhealthy, just that green smoothies offer a variety of health benefits that cannot be found in green juices (and the other way round, some people can’t digest too much fiber and so jucing veggies is a great option for them). Green juices can be healthy and refreshing treats but they are not as good when it comes to being used as a meal replacement and going on extended juice cleanses can be damaging to the metabolism (always consult your doctor before going on any of those, personally, when it comes to cleansing the only program that I recommend and that worked for me and many of my clients is the Total Wellness Cleanse (click here to read my honest review). To learn more about juices vs. smoothies and how to do both the right way, I recommend you check out my books: “Alkaline Smoothies” and “Alkaline Juicing“. Now, knowing that green smoothies can serve as a fantastic and healthy meal replacement, here is another recipe for a green smoothie that could be your next breakfast, lunch, or dinner:
2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
2 cups of kale, fresh
2 cups of raspberries
1/4 cup of rolled oats
2 tablespoons of almond butter
Combine almond milk and kale in blender and blend until there are no kale chunks. Mix rolled oats in with almond butter. Add almond butter, raspberries, and banana in blender and mix until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass or refrigerate if you want your smoothie cold.
Why Do I Need Chlorophyll?
One of the main advantages to drinking green smoothies is because of the chlorophyll contained in the leafy greens. Although chlorophyll is commonly known as the active ingredient in photosynthesis, it is not something that is only beneficial to plants. There are numerous fascinating studies using chlorophyll to battle a wide variety of diseases including cancer. Regardless of what these studies end up showing, it cannot be denied that chlorophyll should be a part of any healthy diet and the best way to ingest chlorophyll is through the consumption of leafy greens. Chlorophyll can do wonders for the immune system as it helps in eliminating toxins including some carcinogens and also protects colon cells from the damage to their DNA that fried foods can cause. Chlorophyll is recognized as a superfood and is an amazing antioxidant that helps cells gets rid of free radicals and in doing so protects them. Candida albicans is a yeast that is present in the body of many people. It can be found on the skin and in the digestive tract and if a diet is not balanced Candida albicans can lead to digestive problems, depression, and fatigue, Cholorphyll has been proven to stop the growth of candida albicans and thereby improve health and overall well-being drastically. Blood can also benefit from a diet that is rich in chlorophyll as it helps in the purification of blood. People with anemia or low iron levels can perhaps use chlorophyll more than most because it increases the amount of bioavailable iron in the body. There are plenty of benefits to making chlorophyll a part of your diet but perhaps one of the best reasons is that it simply makes you feel better. The chlorophyll found in leafy greens is capable of providing lasting energy and aid in digestion, leaving you feeling great all day. A green smoothie rich in chlorophyll is easy to make:
1 cup of kale
1/2 cup of grapefruit juice
1 large green apple
1 cup of cucumber
1/3 cup of frozen mango
1 large celery stalk
4 tablespoons of hemp hearts
1 1/2 teaspoons of coconut oil (it will help the nutrients absorb better +it will create an amazing taste!)
2 tablespoons of mint leaves
5 ice cubes
Blend mint, coconut oil, kale, hemp hearts, grapefruit juice, mint leaves, ice cubes, and celery until smooth. Add cucumber, mango, and apple and blend again. Serve in a chilled glass and enjoy, refrigerate leftovers in a covered container to drink in the next two days. For best results use fresh squeezed grapefruit juice rather than juice from a can which can be loaded with sugar. If you use fresh mango rather than frozen, add some ice to chill the smoothie.
Convenience of Green Smoothies
When thinking of making a meal of any sort one of the key considerations is that of convenience and how much time it will take to make that meal. Green smoothies are not only great tasting and good for you, but they are also easy and fun to make. There is little to no mess after you have made a green smoothie and the majority of the cleanup is simply cleaning the blender. Whereas juicers require disassembling the machine and carefully cleaning out each piece, blenders only require the removal of one piece, which is easily cleaned in a sink without having to remove stingy pulp from tiny crevices. Rather than preparing a meal using multiple pans, dishes, and utensils you are simply loading ingredients into a blender and turning it on, then transferring the smoothie into your favorite cup or glass. Many of the recipes, like the one below, make enough for more than one serving and can be kept in the refrigerator for 1-2 days later without going bad so you can have additional meals ready and waiting in the fridge.
The Elvis Special
1 1/2 cups of spinach
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 splash of milk
1/2 tablespoon of peanut butter (creamy)
1/4 cup of coconut yogurt
Blend spinach, milk, peanut butter, coconut yogurt, and chia seeds until there are no large chunks. Add blueberries and banana and blend until smooth.
Switching Up the Greens
As you continue making more and more green smoothies you are sure to find certain recipes, which you favor and the tendency could be to continue making the same smoothies again and again or at the very least sticking with the leafy greens, you know. This can prove to be a costly error and lead you to not getting the desired health benefits. Certain greens are healthier than others and if you ignore them you might not be optimizing your health. For example, kale and dandelion greens have more protein, iron, and calcium than spinach or romaine lettuce so you could be cheating yourself out of much needed nutrients if you ignore them. More importantly, all leaves have a tiny amount of toxin, which are meant to protect themselves from predators. Normally these toxins are in such small quantity that they are of no effect to humans even if they eat large amounts of specific greens. However, over extended periods of time where someone is eating large amounts of the same leaves again and again these toxins can build up in the body and create health problems. This is fairly rare and no reason to shy away from green smoothies but it is another good reason to switch up the greens you use in your smoothies from time to time. Eating several cups of the same greens every day fro a couple of weeks is perfectly safe but after that point it is a good idea to switch. Leafy greens are divided into four different families: Asteraceae, Amaranthaceae/Chenopodeiaceae, Apiaceae, and Brassicaceae/Cruciferae. The Apiaceae family consists of cilantro and parsley while the Asteraceae family is made up of romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, and dandelion. The Amaranthaceae/Chenopodeiaceae family describes leafy greens like lambs quarters, beets, chards, and spinach, and the Brassicaceae/Cruciferae group refers to broccoli, cabbage, turnip, collard greens, kale, and mustard greens. Knowing the difference between these types of greens is the key to enhancing your smoothies and being sure that you get the most nutritional value out of your drinks. Switching up the fruit you use is also recommended but the risk of toxins is virtually nonexistent since fruits are designed to be eaten by humans and other animals. Try this recipe that will leave you feeling like you are sitting on the beach on a tropical island:
2 cups of spinach
1 cup of mangoes (frozen)
1 cup of pineapple (frozen)
1 cup strawberries
1 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend spinach and coconut milk until smooth. Add frozen mangoes, frozen pineapple, strawberries and vanilla extract. Blend again until smooth.
Green Smoothies for Weight Loss
Adding green smoothies to your diet is an ideal way to lose weight. Not only can the smoothie serve as a healthy meal replacement that still provides you with plenty of vitamins and minerals, but it also s an excellent source of energy that can fuel longer, more intense workouts. Green smoothies are loaded with antioxidants, which helps boost your immune system and keep you healthy and fit. Additionally, the high fiber of green smoothies will leave you feeling full and help cut down on cravings, which usually result in the consumption of unhealthy snack foods and sweets. By making green smoothies you control the ingredients that are in your drinks. Be sure to avoid excessive sugar, which not only comes by adding straight sugar to your smoothie but also from adding fruit juices that can be high in corn syrup and fructose. When a recipe calls for adding juice to your smoothie it is worth it to take the time to squeeze the fruit yourself or to put a fruit into a juicer so you still know everything that is going into your smoothie. Picking the right ingredients for your smoothies is the key to weight loss and you will want to avoid sweeteners, canned vegetables, fruit juice, and some protein powders which are made with fillers (these fillers are easy to identify if you look at the powder’s list of ingredients and see a lot of words that are hard to pronounce) or contain animal products (not healthy and cruel, I prefer to use plant-based protein like for example hemp protein powder). Using the right mix of fruits and vegetables helps top break down the leafy greens and make them easier to digest than is otherwise the case. The valuable nutrients are then unlocked and are able to be more efficiently delivered to the rest of your body. Below is a recipe for a green smoothie, which is ideal for those looking to lose weight:
1/2 cup of blueberries
1/2 medium size avocado
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of chia seed gel or chia seeds
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of spinach
Blend water, chia seeds, and spinach in blender until there are no chunks. Add banana, cinnamon, blueberries, and avocado and blend once more until smooth.
Perfecting the Smoothie and Making Your Own Recipes
At the beginning of the article we discussed basics on making a tasty smoothie as far as choosing the right ingredients and their ratios but now it is time to really step up your game and make the perfect smoothie. Start with adding water or almond milk as the base, then add a creamy fruit like mango, papaya, bananas, peaches, apples, or pears to really give your smoothie the texture you desire. The next group of fruits to add are ones that are rich in sweet juices like berries, oranges, kiwis, and pineapples. These fruits will provide excellent flavor to your drink and mask some of the bitter flavors of the greens you will add later. Adding vanilla beans, cinnamon, or cloves can also really kick up the flavor of your green smoothie. Once all of these ingredients have been added to the blender you are ready to begin. Hit the “Pulse” button on your blender and watch as the ingredients mix together into a creamy sludge. This sludge makes it easier for you to add leafy greens. Now that you have the colorful sludge it is time to turn your smoothie green. Add spinach, dandelion greens, chard, kale, or romaine lettuce to your concoction. The magic mix is typically 60% fruits and flavors to 40% leafy greens. This lets you get the most nutrition and flavor out of your green smoothie. Now that all of the ingredients are in your blender it is time to blend them on the highest setting. Blending usually takes about 30 to 45 seconds and you will know it is ready when your smoothie has a greenish hue and is without any chunks. For added nutritional value you can always add some vegan protein powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds, goji berries, mac root, or other supplements. Using frozen fruit rather than ice in any recipe is a great way to have a cold smoothie without it being watered down. If your ingredients do not seem to be blending well this way, try returning to the method mentioned at the beginning of this article and blending the greens first, then adding the fruits, flavors, and supplements. If you are looking to get a sweeter taste from your smoothie the addition of stevia or Medjool dates will do the trick. In order to make sure your smoothie can last in the refrigerator for 2 days you will want to add fruits that are high in fiber as well as fruits and other foods like avocados and chia seeds that are high in the good kind of fat. The fiber and fat will help preserve your smoothie for a few days if refrigerated properly.
There are numerous ways in which adding green smoothies to your diet can be beneficial including helping your body fight off disease, losing weight, achieving better mental clarity and focus, and feeling more energized. There is no easier and better tasting way to get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables and with countless possibilities for new and exciting recipes there is no need to ever get tired of making the same smoothies. You can have delicious smoothies ready to drink in just a few minutes and you might even have some left over for tomorrow. Cleanup is simple with just one or two dishes to do so you can immediately start drinking your green smoothie that both tastes good and is good for you.
Blenders and Juicers:
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