Green smoothies…have you tried them yet? I’m sure you’ve seen them all over Pinterest or heard about them from Dr. Oz or your friends. If you haven’t tried them yet, I highly recommend it! It’s a great way to get some extra greens into your diet and they are super versatile in terms of what ingredients you can use. I don’t use set recipes typically, because it really depends on what’s in my fridge. That’s really the best part, there is no right and wrong way to make them and it’s so fun to experiment with. Smoothies are great for breakfast, lunch or a snack…they are surprisingly filling (and higher in calories than you might think….so keep that in mind!).
I typically use spinach, mixed greens or kale as my greens, but I’ve seen people use celery, broccoli, avocado, parsley and so on. Some are stronger tasting then others, so keep that in mind when you decide what to pair your greens with. A stronger tasting green is going to need a more dominant flavor fruit to help offset it.
When it comes to fruit, the combinations really are endless. I love the tangy taste of citrus, so I often include grapefruit or lemon (everything but the peel and seeds) so it’s not too sweet. I also don’t peel fruit like apples or pears as the extra fiber from the skin is great. A neat tip that I discovered recently, is that strawberry greens are edible…so go ahead and chuck the whole strawberry in! Also, use the leftover kale stems from your salads for smoothies.
I often like to include flax seeds and/or hemp seeds. The flax is a great source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids (heart health, cholesterol and more, lignans (anti-oxidant properties) and fiber (helps keep you regular!) and the hemp hearts are a great source of Omega-3’s as well as protein. If you don’t have a powerful blender like a VitaMix or Blentec, you will want to use ground flaxseed to get all the benefits from them.
My personal preference is that my smoothies aren’t too thick or too cold (from using lots of frozen fruit or too much ice). It’s definitely a personal preference, but I tend to use a mix of fresh and frozen fruit (depending on the season and what’s available) and water to keep it from getting to thick. Keep that in mind when making the recipes below…if you like your smoothies thick use less liquid or use frozen fruit or ice.
Here are a few of my favorite ‘recipes’. If you don’t have each ingredient or don’t like something, just customize to your tastes and ingredients on hand…Keep in mind these make quite a bit, so if you are looking to make a single serving, just reduce the recipes as needed. Or if you have leftovers, they make great popsicles. 🙂
Tropical Coconut Green Smoothie (tastes like a mai tai or pina colada!) :
2 cups spinach or kale
1/2 cup mango
1 cup pineapple
1 cup peaches
1 small banana (optional)
2 cups coconut water (or regular water)
1 cup coconut milk and/or 1-2 tbsp coconut cream
2 tbsp hemp hearts
Citrus Melon Green Smoothie
2 cups spinach or kale
1/4 – 1/2 of a medium cantaloupe or honeydew
1/2 of a grapefruit
1 pear (cored)
2 tbsp flax seeds or hemp hearts
3-4 cups water
Berry Medley Smoothie with Greens
2 cups spinach, kale or mixed greens
2 cups blueberries
2 cups strawberries
1 apple or pear, cored (optional)
2 tbsp flax seeds
1 tbsp hemp hearts
3 cups water
People often say they don’t think their kids will like them, but I am all about a little camouflage if necessary…by adding blueberries to any of the above recipes, they turn out purplish and they won’t even know the greens are in there, I promise! Banana is a good flavor masker as well.
What’s your favorite green smoothie recipe? I’d be thrilled if you shared as I am always looking for new flavor combinations!