I’m often asked “How to ease into the raw food diet?” I think the Green Smoothie is the perfect escort into the raw food world. Around my house I’m often referred to as the “Smoothie Operator.” Whether I’m whippin’ up a mean green smoothie or a fantabulous fruit smoothie, I’m definitely your go-to girl for a tasty, nutrient packed elixir. It’s easy, nutritious and delicious. The first thing that comes to people’s minds when they think of green smoothie is … “Eew, it’s green!” When we hear the word “smoothie,” we often think of dessert masquerading as breakfast. It can be! Most begin with a fruit smoothie with some greens added. The reason for combining fruit with the leafy greens is most people find that lots of greens are unpalatable.
Many people ask if they can still enjoy a green smoothie with the “average” kitchen low powered blender. The answer is YES! You may have to put up with some chunks and bits of unblended greens and fruit skins, but the drink will provide a great deal of green’s in your diet than not drinking them at all.
If you don’t have a high powered blender, not to worry. Be sure to chop up your produce into tiny pieces. I would suggest adding the water or desired liquid first, add your greens and blend. Then add your other ingredients (fruit and/or veggies). Green smoothies digest best when eaten alone on an empty stomach. First thing in the morning and mid-afternoon are ideal times. If you drink your smoothie with a meal, you may experience gas and/or bloating. I vote for the smoothie attending this dance “stag.” Wait to eat at least a half hour before or after consuming your smoothie. By incorporating the green smoothie into your diet, serious things will happen: make you regular, improve your skin and hair, ease chronic illnesses and much more!
To get the full benefit of the green smoothie it helps to have a blender which is powerful enough to liquefy the ingredients to a creamy consistency. This way you will be breaking down the tough cellular wall in fiberous greens releasing maximum nutrition. Green leafy vegetables have strong cell walls. The life giving chlorophyll lives within these cell walls, unable to be broken down by our (human) jaws. I will say, speaking from personal experience, purchasing a high powered blender for daily green smoothie consumption is worth the investment and scrumptious results. I have the VitaMix 5200. It runs at 240 mph and ruptures those cell walls effortlessly. Before my VitaMix came into my life, I used an Oster blender and used a nut mylk bag to strain the chunks out. Just ‘cause I’m a textural kinda gal. An alternative to by bypass the “funky chunks” is to use Spirulina powder or liquid Chlorophyll in place of the greens.
For your first green smoothie, I recommend that you start by adding a few greens to your favorite fruit smoothie. Even a single leaf will improve the nutrition of any fruit smoothie. Work towards 70% fruit to 30% greens. As you get used to the flavor add more greens. The best concoction for your body use what’s fresh, organic and in season.
Simple Green Smoothie
- 1 or 2 ripe bananas
- ½ cup of another fruit (blueberry, pineapple, peach, mango, apple)
- 1 ½ cup fresh greens (2 chard leaves or 1 handful of spinach)
- 12 oz. fresh orange juice or a non-dairy milk (almond or coconut) or to desired consistency
The important thing is that you are putting 2-3 handfuls of leafy greens + fruit and you are enjoying the experience. Be sure to rotate the ingredients you are using from week to week. Variety is the spice of life! Feel free to experiment and invent your own favorite concoctions. Mind you, a green smoothie is a great addition to and more nutritious than most diet choices. By drinking a daily green smoothie, you are filling your life with vitality and more disease prevention.
Once you are loving your green smoothies and experimenting with different ways to make them, consider adding additional boosters, such as spirulina, chlorella, chlorophyll, barley grass, chia seed, goji berries, etc.
Also, this is one of the easiest ways to get your kids to eat vegetables. Kids haven’t yet learned that greens are “yucky.” Get them involved in making smoothies. Make it a family affair! Green smoothies should not be scary at all. They are quite simple and nearly impossible to mess up.
I raise my smoothie glass to yours, whether it be hand blended, high speed blended, commercially blended, or made from that inexpensive blender on your counter – let us fill our lives with better health! Cheers!