How To Make The Perfect Green Smoothie

By July 28, 2016 October 29th, 2018 Meal Planning, Recipes, Smoothies

Blueberry Coconut Green SmoothieAs I prepare for the Nourishing Foods Summer Cleanse I have re-discovered the phenomenal benefits of smoothies.  I tune into the energy of each season as I create the menus, recipes and processes for each cleanse,

In Traditional Chinese medicine summertime is:
  • A time of activity and energy
  • A time to receive, digest and assimilate nourishment
  • A time for expansion and growth
  • Fortunately the abundance of summer fruits and vegetables provide everything we need.

Ideally we want to eat 8-12 servings a day of fruits and vegetables.

That’s because a healthy body is best fueled by the nutrients in fresh produce.  Unfortunately, many people struggle to eat so many servings of fruits and vegetables.

Smoothies are an easy and delicious way to boost your fruit and vegetable intake. In a single glass, you can blend 6-8 cups of fruits, vegetables and greens.

Increasing your vegetable and fruit intake will provide the nutrients you need to keep up with the many activities of summer such as swimming, tennis, kayaking, dancing and outdoor parties.

But you don’t just need more fruits and vegetables. You need more greens.

Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and romaine contain amino acids, antioxidants, and vital phytonutrients. Phytonutrients are plant-based chemicals that decrease inflammation, support a strong immune system and keep you energized.

Green smoothies have a positive impact on your blood alkalinity which benefits every cell in your body. You’ll be repairing your body on the cellular level.

When it is hot you need hydration.  Why not fill your body with a drink teeming with micronutrients your body can easily absorb?

Blending breaks down the fiber of the vegetables and fruit for you. You get an infusion of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that go straight into your system.

How To Make The Perfect Green Smoothie 

raspberry smoothieI start most of my days with a green smoothie.  I don’t use a recipe, instead I follow a few basic principles. I use what I have in the refrigerator and what my mood dictates. You can do that too…

Begin With The Liquid

You need about 1/2 cup of liquid for each serving.  You can use coconut water, almond milk, hemp milk, coconut milk or plain filtered water.  Put the liquid in first to facilitate the blending process.

Add The Leafy Greens

I use 2 handfuls of greens for each serving which is about 1 packed cup per serving.   It is not necessary to measure.  My favorite is romaine since it doesn’t have any oxalates or goitrogens.  Spinach has the best flavor, by that I mean you won’t even taste it. Kale, Swiss chard, parsley and cilantro are also good options.

Include Watery Greens

Add in celery or cucumber to give the smoothie more liquid.  One stalk of celery chopped or 1/2 of a small cucumber per serving. These vegetables contain lots of alkalizing water to hydrate your body.

Add Fruit

Fruit makes your smoothie sweet.  Frozen fruit makes the smoothie cold without having to blend in ice.  Add 1 cup of fruit per serving.

The sweet flavor balances out the greens. You want to enjoy your smoothie and most of us don’t like drinking a glass of bitter greens.  Frozen organic berries are readily available and cost less than fresh. Berries are my favorite fruits because they are low glycemic and high in antioxidants.  Add frozen ripe bananas for additional sweetness, especially if you are new to smoothies.  Fresh apples and pears are also good.

Choose A Protein

Protein is important to keep you satisfied for longer.  Protein in the morning keeps your leptin levels from peaking too soon causing cravings after dinner.  Flax, chia and hemp contain protein and fiber. Add 1 tablespoon per serving. (grind the flax and soak the chia). Vegan protein powder (not soy) or non-denatured whey protein powder can also be added.  Collagen is one of my favorite forms of protein.  A tablespoon of almond butter per serving is another protein option.

Optional Ingredients

For some additional healthy fat add a small spoonful of coconut oil.  It gives a nice creamy texture to your smoothie. Lemon or ginger can be added for flavor.   A spoonful of other health enhancing ingredients can get tossed into your smoothie too if you like: maca, chlorella powder, bee pollen, acai, camu camu, cacao. You decide, they are optional.
Straw-smoothieOnce everything is in the blender jar, start blending!  Blend until it gets nice and smooth. It can take up to three minutes depending on the strength of your blender. Taste and adjust the flavoring as needed. If it’s not sweet enough, add a bit more fruit or a splash of sweetener. (stevia is good)  If it’s too thick, add a bit more water. If it’s too thin, add more frozen fruit and greens. Blend again, and enjoy!

Enjoy your smoothies.  Leave a comment below and let me know what you like to put in your smoothie.

Much love,
Ingrid

 

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