Friday, April 22, 2011

Green Smoothie 'Recipe'

It seems that ever since I started talking about green smoothies, not just here on the blog but just in general, I get a lot of people wanting recipes.  Let me just say, I don't use a real recipe, although, I have a .... what should I call it? a formula? 

So, for those that are interested in incorporating more vegetables and fruits into their diet, here's what I've got for you.  This is the only way I get all the servings of veggies I'm supposed to get in a day, according to the Food Guide Pyramid.  I have a hard time eating that many just on their own.  And trust me, you eat enough, you become VERY regular if you know what I'm sayin'. ;) 

Here are the basics:
**Remember, I'm usually making a large batch because of my family size.  When they see me pull the blender out (or HEAR the blender) they all come running.  They LOVE drinking their vegetables**
  • Milk -- 1 - 1 1/2 cups (or more)... cow, rice, almond, whatever you have on hand
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 large kale leaf (benefits of kale are wonderful but if you have too much, the flavor overpowers everything else) *optional*
  • 1 small bunch or 1 leaf of any other kind of green leaf (collard greens, butter leaf, red leaf lettuce, etc.) you might have *optional*
  • Blend all this up.  If your blender is having a hard time, you may need to add more liquid 
Not very appetizing yet.  But here's the yummy part...
  • 1 or 2 ripe bananas (this helps make a creamier texture, not to mention great flavor)
  • Other fresh and frozen fruits -- blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, peaches, mangos, apples, pears, etc.  Leave the skin on the apples and pears.  That is where many of the nutrients are.  A good blender should have no problem with it.
My family likes to have about 1/2 - 3/4 of the fruit frozen to make it cold and thick.  And here's a tip with the fruit; we have found that mild flavored fruits such as strawberries, peaches, apples, and pears are really great in green smoothies but they don't cut the "green" flavor out as much as the stronger flavored fruits.  So, in addition to the mild fruits we like to add blueberries and especially pineapple which cuts the "green" flavor out pretty well.  I'm not going to tell you they taste like Jamba Juice but they are pretty darn good.  My kids devour them! 

  • a couple spoonfuls of flax seed
  • replace part of the milk with orange juice (that will help with the "green" flavor as well)
  • add plain Greek yogurt, it really adds to the overall texture and flavor
  • replace some greens with other veggies such as carrots and cucumber,
Just play around with the ratios.  We started out with about 1/3 greens or veggies and 2/3 fruit.  Now we are about 50/50.  Our tastebuds needed to break themselves in slowly. 

If you haven't given green smoothies a try, I'm tellin' ya, you're missing out!  They're a great way to incorporate more of the good stuff.  Great meal replacement!  Trust me, you won't be hungry after drinking one of these. 

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