If I had a dollar for every person that asked me for a green smoothie recipe, I’d never have to work again. I am eventually going to start posting my daily green smoothie on my FaceBook page, but for now, here is a crash course in how to build a smoothie WITHOUT a recipe.
We are going to keep this simple. There are a few rules of play so listen up:
Fruit that is RIPE will always be sweeter. If you are trying to entice newbies (or yourself) ripe fruit wins them over every time and eliminates the need for added sweetener.
ROTATE your foods. Every item from the produce department has a different nutritional profile and the ability to offer you a WIDE variety of nutrients. Don’t get stuck in a rut. ROTATE. I do this by buying what’s on sale weekly. ROTATE. Did I mention that you should ROTATE the foods you put in your smoothies? This is important, lol.
If you are going to make ONE smoothie, why not make an entire blender full of smoothie, and take the rest with you for later in the day. You could drink it or you could SHARE with someone in your office. If you can entice them to drink them along with you, then you have suddenly built some support into your new food lifestyle and what’s not to like about that?
If you don’t have a very strong blender, don’t put too much liquid in at the beginning. You can always add more fluids later, but it’s easier to get the blades to engage and do their work if there isn’t excessive water.
Having trouble getting your kids on board? Put it in a sippy cup with a straw that they can’t see through. They won’t see the color but will taste the fruit.
Smoothies typically have four elements
- Food Based Supplements
Keep in mind this is a CRASH course to get you started. Do NOT over think it. Just start blending.
- Fruits – The lower glycemic fruits are always the best from a sugar perspective. Berries, cherries, and grapefruit have the least amount of sugar. Apples and pears fall into this category as well, but I don’t particularly like the consistency they give a smoothie (especially if you have a low power blender). Tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, banana, papaya) and melons have the highest amount of sugar. BUT… keep in mind, melons are super alkalizing. Pick two fruits daily, fresh or frozen, doesn’t matter. A handful of each (approx. 1/2 – 3/4 cup).
- Greens – The darker and more bitter the greens are, the better they are for you. When you are new to making green smoothies, they don’t have to be super dark green right out of the gate. You’ll build up to that. If you begin with only a single leaf of kale, that’s okay. JUST START. As you palate changes, increase the green up to as much as you can stand. Newbies should begin with romaine lettuce, parsley, cilantro and iceberg lettuce (yes, I just included that). Work your way up to Swiss chard, kale and spinach. The hardcore folks love mizuna, dandelion and escarole. Go for it.
- Liquids – Pick one — filtered water, green tea, coconut water. I’m not a fan of nut milks in my GREEN smoothies, but hey, go for it if you are interested.
- Supplements – I am NOT a fan of protein powders. If you feel like you need to add protein, use a vegan pea protein. I have a link for a good one on my SHOP page. Other things you can include (but do NOT have to), spirulina, green powder blends (I like mine WITHOUT stevia — read the label), maca powder, hemp seeds, goji berries, chia seeds, flax meal, bee pollen and powdered vitamin C. I can do a whole separate blog (and will soon) on the benefits of these food based supplements.
Leave your comment below and tell us any tips and tricks that work for you. Got a favorite combo? We want to hear about it.
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