These days, green smoothies are all the rage. People on all kinds of diets are embracing the green smoothie as “king.” Though green smoothies can be a helpful meal replacement or addition to a meal, this post is meant to educate you on the best way to make a smoothie benefit you.
First off, green smoothies should be comprised of high-nutrient, low-calorie plant foods. That means fruits and veggies!
Ingredients that can be added for additional value are flax seeds OR chia seeds (total of 1 T), cinnamon, walnuts (no more than 4 halves), a small amount of old-fashioned oats (1/4 cup), and even legumes/beans (which assist in preventing blood sugar spikes).
Ingredients that degrade green smoothies in their value are milk (even plant-based milks!), yogurt (even plant-based yogurts!), fruit juices, and sugar or other sweeteners. It is unnecessary and counterproductive to add milk, yogurt, sweeteners, or fruit juices to a green smoothie because they just add calories and fat you simply don’t need. If you really need your smoothie a bit sweeter, add a Medjool date or two.
So, what is my green smoothie recipes of choice? Though I don’t count calories, I do make sure that the balance of my ingredients is not causing me to gain weight. That means, lots of greens, water, and mostly low-glycemic fruits — so my blood sugar doesn’t spike. Also, I drink mine slowly through a straw, so I don’t ruin my teeth! You can exchange fruits that you like, but just remember…this is a GREEN smoothie, so the focus is getting plenty of GREEN in!
3 large handfuls (combination) of fresh, raw spinach and kale
1/2 Fuji apple
1 medium seedless orange, peeled or 1 cup frozen berries
1 medium frozen banana (I don’t use really ripe bananas because the glycemic index is too high)
1 T. flaxseeds or chia seeds
1 or 2 Medjool dates to sweeten more, if desired
1 1/2 cups of water/ice combo
If your smoothie isn’t sweet enough for you, try drinking it anyway and get used to it. If you literally can’t stand it without sweetener, please use no more than 1/4 t. of stevia powder or a small amount of agave or maple syrup. Fruit is generally sweet enough to make your smoothie enjoyable.
NOTE: Owning a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or a BlendTec will make your green smoothies so much smoother and more enjoyable. Consider saving up for one! Check out my gadgets page for information on purchasing a less-expensive, reconditioned Vitamix!