A green smoothie is possibly the best gift nature has to offer in a glass. A green smoothie doesn’t exactly sound appetizing or look as inviting as a strawberry smoothie. But green smoothies can go above and beyond your average fruit smoothie.
Mostly it’s about getting used to drinking something green. To a certain degree it’s also an acquired taste. But so is alcohol. What’s more, unlike alcohol, green smoothies have health benefits that are seriously awesome. If wheatgrass juice is the equivalent of a tequila shot, think of smoothies as cocktails. All the extra ingredients make it taste nice. So like a good cocktail, if you make your smoothie right, it needn’t taste green at all.
With the perfect smoothie recipe, which means you get the ratios of vegetables to fruit just right, you’ll barely taste the vegetables in your smoothie at all. Generally the fruit taste dominates the flavor of the drink, while the greens balance out the fruit’s sweetness, adding nice bit of zest. For example, if you’ve added apples and lemons, that’ll be the overriding taste of your green drink (check out how to make a smoothie!)
HOW TO MAKE A GREEN SMOOTHIE
- If you’re new to green smoothies, start with more fruit than usual, until you get used to the taste. Choose a sweet fruit that you enjoy. For example, if you’re juicing add a few more apples, if you’re making a smoothie add more pineapple. Once you have acquired the taste – though there really isn’t that much to acquire – you can start to add more vegetables and less fruit.
- Experiment and fine-tune the mix and ratio of ingredients in the smoothie to your own liking until you’ve found your own particular green smoothie recipe that matches your unique tastes. Maybe you like apples or cucumbers or celery. Only you know what you like, so adjust where needed.
- To make your green smoothie filling, balanced and more of a meal, add carbs (veggies, fruit), protein (nuts, seeds, yogurt, protein power) and healthy fats (nuts, coconut oil). You can give your smoothie an extra nutritional boost by adding extras such as spirulina, chlorella, probiotics, bee pollen, and maca powder.
- Don’t just drink your green smoothie, chew it a little too. It aids digestion.
- If you want to make a creamy smoothie add avocados or bananas. If you don’t like bananas, check out how to make a smoothie without bananas creamy and smooth.
- The albedo or pith (white part of citrus fruits) is part of the peel and high in Vitamin C and bioflavonoids (an antioxidant). Therefore, try to leave on as a much as possible when peeling citrus fruit.
- Remove hard seeds or pits from fruit such as cherries, peaches and plums. Smaller seeds from fruit such as watermelon can be left, and they do provide valuable nutrients.
- Watch the added extras when you make your green smoothie. If you’re looking to make a weight loss smoothie or low calorie smoothie, you want to make it filling and low in calories, without sacrificing taste or nutritional content. That means watching portions. How much nut butter and fruit are you adding? See more on how to make a weight loss smoothie.
- Green smoothies and green juices are best consumed immediately upon making. However, if you must blend or juice some time ahead of when you’ll be drinking it, store your smoothie or juice in a narrow, airtight glass container and fill it to the rim to minimize oxidation.
- Add a teaspoon of oil, such as extra virgin coconut oil, fish oil, cod liver oil, coconut oil and evening primrose oil (or try Udo’s Choice Oil Blend a mix of Omega 3, 6 and 9 oils). Many of the nutrients are fat soluble, such as Vitamin K, which means some fat is needed by the body for proper assimilation.
GREEN SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS
There are lots of different greens out there, allowing you to experiment with different greens to find a combination that best suits your tastes and needs:
- Collard greens
- Spring greens
- Swiss chard
- Green cabbage
- Barley grass
- Dandelion greens
- Mustard greens
- Mint (use in smaller quantities)
- Parsley (use in smaller quantities)
- Cilantro (coriander)
If you’re new to green smoothies, start off with greens with a mild flavor. Spinach, baby greens, and spring greens fit the bill. Mustard greens, kale and dandelion greens have stronger taste, as do herbs such as mint and parsley. You can add these to your green drink once you are accustomed to the taste.
- Lemons/ limes
- Strawberry (and other berries)
- Milk or vegan milk
- Seeds and nuts
- Protein powder
- Garlic (don’t try this before work or a date!)
- Salt to taste
GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPES
Basic Green Smoothie 1:
- 1 cup green grapes
- 1/2 cup pineapple
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1/2 ripe banana, peeled
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup ice cubes
Dr. Oz’s Green Smoothie
- 2 cups spinach
- 2 cups cucumber
- 1 head of celery
- 1/2 inch or teaspoon ginger root
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 apples
- Juice of 1 lime
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
Glowing Green Smoothie by nutritionist Kimberly Snyder
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped
- 3-4 stalks organic celery
- 1/2 head of a large bunch, or 3/4 of a small bunch of spinach
- 1 organic apple, cored and chopped
- 1 organic pear, cored and chopped
- 1 organic banana
- Juice of 1/2 fresh organic lemon
- 1/3 bunch organic cilantro (stems are fine)
- 1/3 bunch organic parsley (stems are fine)
Add the water and chopped head of romaine to the blender. Start with the blender at low speed and mix until smooth. Gradually increase speed, add the celery, apple and pear. If you are using cilantro and parsley, add them last. Add banana and lemon juice last.
The fruit and lemon cut will right though the taste of the greens. Mix and match different greens and fruits, as these two specific food groups combine well.