You may have noticed, superfoods like kale and quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) are on the rise and what’s becoming even more popular is the green smoothie. Synonymous with clean eating, smoothies are the best and quickest way to deliver valuable nutrients to your body.
The idea is that blending helps to break down the veggies so that the body can easily assimilate the nutrients which are basically already “pre-chewed”. It’s a great way to sneak additional greens into your diet without eating a big salad. Smoothies allow your body to get a dose of alkalising greens, fibre, plant protein, vitamins and minerals.
I made the decision to start blending in 2012, mixing up some pretty strange (and some pretty awesome) concotions. Then I learnt about the importance of balancing the ingredients and having a high powered blender to do the job right!
The most popular and trusted high speed blender on the market is the Vitamix. Many health foodies swear by their amazing power and ability to get the toughest ingredients super smooth. But it’s not cheap and at the time I wasn’t really prepared to pay top dollar for one. Then I heard about Froothie and the Optimum 9900 (which at the time was a cheaper option). I have to say, it has been the best investment I have made so far on this journey! This appliance changed my life…I know, a little extreme, but it truly outshone my simple home blender that I was using initially.
Before long, I started making it a habit to get these nourishing greens, and supercharging them, into my diet by blending. The key is using a formula that doesn’t mean you are literally drinking (or chewing) on “rabbit food”.
So, here are some tips when starting out:
Choose your Green. The hero of your green smoothie should be a handful or two of any of the following neutral tasting greens;
- Kale leaves (stems removed)
- Swiss Chard
In my experience, it’s best to avoid adding greens with too much flavour, such as rocket which can be a bit too peppery. I also find lettuce alters the texture and doesn’t taste as good as the greens above.
Choose your Base. My personal favourite for a refreshing and light combination is coconut water, but you can choose any of the below to blend your smoothie;
- Coconut water (fresh or look for low sugar)
- Filtered water
- Almond (or any nut) milk
- Coconut milk
- Rice milk
Choose your Fruit. Try not to use too much fruit as the greens are the star of the show. Over time you might find your tastebuds change, and that you don’t need to sweeten your smoothie as much.
Using 1/2 of the fruit or a small handful of any of the below should mix well with your chosen greens.
- Green apple
- Kiwi fruit
Choose your Superfood booster. Add 1-2 tsps of any of the below supplements to supercharge your smoothie! Because they blend so well, you’ll hardly notice the taste, so you can go crazy adding a few of these ones.
- Maca powder
- Acai powder
- Raw cacao
- Chia seeds
Spices and other additions. If you wanted to give your smoothie a kick, then add another 1-2 tsps (or Tbs) of the below;
- Medjool dates (pitted)
- Vanilla powder
- Protein powder (dairy and soy free i.e. brown rice or hemp are best)
Preparation. Be sure to have some peeled bananas, blueberries, mango or strawberries, chopped and stored in the freezer. This is a great to way to ensure you have fruit on hand to blend. They also help to make the smoothie nice and cold. Very refreshing on a hot summer’s day!
This is my absolute go-to, never fail, tasty morning dose of green goodness.
- 2 big handfuls of spinach
- 1 cup strawberries, stems removed
- 1 cup of coconut water
- ½ frozen banana chopped
- Juice of ½ lemon
- 1 tsp spirulina powder
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 2 ice cubes
- Add spinach, chopped strawberries and coconut water to the blender.
- On a low setting blend, and use the tamper to move the ingredients around until they blend nicely, turning up the speed gradually.
- Turn off the blender and add in the frozen banana and lemon juice.
- On a low setting start to blend the ingredients until smooth, turning up the speed. While this is happening, add in the spirulina and maca powders and ice cubes until well combined.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
The greens, frozen banana, coconut water and lemon juice are such a versatile base for green smoothies which allow you to easily mix and match ingredients so you’re not drinking the same thing every day. Happy blending!
What is your favourite smoothie combo?