Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Green Smoothies 101

When I first started making green smoothies a couple years ago, I didn't follow recipes so much as just keeping it simple and mixing some stuff up. I still do that now, though I'm conservative with the fruit and I try to vary the type of greens as much as possible.

Here are some general tips that 'eased' me into drinking green smoothies again:

1) The 'sweetest' green seems to be spinach. That's what I started with. I use two big handfuls of greens in every smoothie. Kale is also great. Dandelion greens are so good for you, but an acquired taste ;-). Plus, I add whatever 'greens' happen to be around - this weekend I bought radishes, so the radish greens are going into my smoothies (last week, it was the beet greens - don't throw away those carrot tops!).

2) I put half a banana and half of another kind of fruit into all my smoothies (usually apples, but sometimes, pears, mangos, ect.). This sweetens them up a bit. If your smoothies still are not sweet enough, add a teaspoon of agave.

3) 'Vega' powder makes everything taste better (I don't use much - just half a scoop). The Vanilla Chai is my favourite and it's sweetened with Stevia. I've sinced moved on to a more bland, pure form of powder (Canadian made, it's called 'Veganique' and has less additive and fillers), but when I first started drinking these things, my 'sweet sense' was dulled by so much refined sugar, so the Vega really livened things up for me.

4) Add some flax oil - a teaspoon will do. This adds some healthy fat to the smoothie, which helps your body feel satisfied (so you won't get hungry 10 minutes later). I also eat a handful of nuts with my smoothies. Not a lot - about 30g of cashews satifies my need to crunch and chew on something and also keeps me from getting hungry again later.

5) I add one brazil nut to my smoothies because they're the best source on the planet for selenium and nearly everyone is deficient in it.

If I was going to sum this up into a recipe, it would look like this:

- two handfuls of greens
- 1 or 2 tsp of flax oil
- 1/2 scoop of vegan wholefoods/protein powder
-1/2 banana
-1/2 apple
- 1 brazil nut
-1 cup of water (increase or decrease depending on how thick you like your smoothies)

To mix: Put everything in the blender. If you have a variable speed Vitamix, start with variable setting 1 and gradually move it up to 10. If the items on top don't want to mix in, use your tamper to get everything going. Run variable 10 for 30 seconds, then switch to high for another 30. Let the mixture sit for a minute or two, then pour. Enjoy!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


sereneflavor said...

Dates are another way to sweeten your smoothie. I sometimes use aloe Vera juice or coconut milk to add a little variety to the mix.

(0v0) said...

Super helpful!

Any time you want to write about green smoothies, I'm following along at home. I don't quite have the creative bandwidth now to experiment with making them better, and trust you to be my smoothie guru.

(As in "darkness dispeller" that is... :-)

wandering mb said...

I love green smoothies, too! I add avocado to mine for some creaminess.

Michelle said...

This is great! If you are allergic to Brazil nuts, however (as I am - they make my mouth go numb and my lips get like Angelina Jolie's), do you know of an alternative? Thanks!

Grimmly said...

I'm a believer! First green smoothie this morning and I'm sold, can't wait to explore.....might even give kale another try. Thanks so much for posting on this.