Smoothies have to be one of the quickest and easiest meals to put together. Don’t know what to make for ( insert any meal of the day)? have a smoothie! it’s a great way to sneak in foods that you might not eat on a regular basis. A lot of foods that you wouldn’t normally think to put into a smoothie-whole apple, carrot and orange blend really nicely if you have a good quality high speed blender (this also makes green smoothies taste delicious and less like a liquid salad). Does your family drink a lot of smoothies? are you looking to try new recipes but are hesitant because you’re not sure if you’ll end up with a chunky drink? If this is you, I would highly recommend purchasing a good quality blender because if your family is like mine, you are probably using your blender more than the microwave and oven put together-this is what makes that big purchase worth it.
I’ve compiled seven green smoothie recipes as sort of a challenge to those of you that don’t normally drink green smoothies or eat greens for that matter. This is also for you green smoothie lovers out there that maybe need a few new recipes. I tried to make these recipes more of a transitional type smoothie to ease the non green smoothie drinkers into the green plant kingdom. These smoothies have a mellow taste in comparison to some other hard core green smoothies.
Why even add greens to a smoothie?
There’s so much to be said about the importance of leafy greens but I’m sure your intensions of reading this wasn’t to read a novel, nor do I have the time to write one. So I’ll keep it simple…..
FIBER: Can I highlight this even more? This is at the top of the list because statistics say we still aren’t getting enough, even though the stuff literally grows on trees 😉 One of the main reason we still aren’t getting enough has to do with the plethora of manufactured foods at our disposal that have stripped most of the fiber away in order to make a more tempting product. Another reason is that the best source of fibre (fruits, vegetables and whole grains) look kind of meh in comparison to these factory foods. I think we need to start thinking outside the box sort of speak and get creative with our plant foods! Fibre is so much more than a cure for constipation, it’s also food to the host of beneficial bacteria living inside your digestive tract. If you’re aware of the importance of probiotics, you’ll also know that prebiotic foods are equally important. Fibre also comes packaged up with other vital nutrients like B vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
Chlorophyll: The life giving blood of the plant. One of the many benefits to this green “blood” is that it has a cleansing effect in our bodies- try adding more chlorophyll to your diet if you’re struggling with body odor. The fat soluble chlorophyll found in its natural state, the plant not the supplement, can have an anti cancerous effect because it possesses a significant amount antioxidants.
Calcium: Yes even these plants have calcium. Great news for those with dairy allergies; ounce for ounce, kale contains more calcium than dairy milk. (1.)In fact, the rate of calcium absorption is far superior than in milk.
Now that we know a little more about our leafy greens, it’s time to get our health on and try a week’s worth of green smoothies!
1. Let’s start off simple with this nutrient packed smoothie that has a delicious citrusy flavour to it.
Simple Citrus Green Smoothie
2-3 handfuls of baby spinach
2 oranges, peeled
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 large kale leaf, destemmed
2 cups frozen mango
3 tsp hemp hearts
1 tsp stevia
1 cup coconut water
Add oranges, spinach, hemp hearts and stevia to a high speed blender. Then add mangos and coconut water and blend on low; slowly increasing the speed to high. Blend until smooth.
2. As we are nearing the end of September, all the colours and flavours of fall have been out in full force for a couple weeks already. So this green smoothie fits right in with its cinnamon/ apple pie flavour.
Green Apple Pie Smoothie
1/2 cup of unsweetened apple sauce
1 handful of baby spinach
4 medjool dates, pitted
3/4 cup almond or soy milk
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
3 tsp hemp hearts
1- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp stevia or pure maple syrup
Put all ingredients into a high speed blender and blend on high until smooth
3. Let’s get a little tropical with this next smoothie!
Tropical Green Smoothie
2 handfuls of spinach
1-1 1/2 cups of frozen pineapple
1 cup of frozen mango
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or 1-2 oranges, peeled
1 cup of full fat coconut milk
3 tbsp hemp hearts or 1/4 cup of slivered almonds
1 tsp stevia if needing sweetener
Top with coconut and hemp hearts if desired
Place all soft ingredients ( spinach, banana and orange-if using) into the blender first. After, add hemp hearts, stevia, frozen fruit and then pour in coconut milk. Blend on low to get things moving, then turn up to high speed and blend until smooth.
4. This next green smoothie and variations of it, has been my go to smoothie for the past 2/3 years…..so it’s safe to call this one My Favorite Green Smoothie.
My Favorite Green Smoothie
1 handful of spinach
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup of coconut water
1 tsp of my favorite wheatgrass
1 tsp of spirulina powder
1 handful of raw pumpkin seeds
Place your spinach and oranges into the blender first. Next, add your powders and pumpkin seeds. Then, add your frozen fruit and coconut water. Turn the blender on low to get things moving and continue to blend on high until smooth.
5. If you have a few picky eaters in the family and they happen to be reluctant to try avocados, this smoothie is a great way to sneak it into there diet.
Creamy Avocado Smoothie
1/4 cup of baby spinach or small handful
3 tbsp of hemp hearts
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup of your favorite milk alternative
1/2 tsp of pure raw honey or three medjool dates, pitted
Add your avocado, spinach, hemp hearts and raw honey to your blender. Then, add the frozen banana and milk and blend on medium to high speed until thick and smooth.
6. If you love peanut butter but aren’t convinced that green smoothies will taste good, this ones for you. You could swap out the peanut butter for a seed butter if there are allergies to consider.
Green PB Smoothie
2 handfuls of baby spinach
3 tbsp hemp hearts
1 cup of soy milk or your favorite milk alternative
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1-2 frozen bananas
1 tsp stevia, optional
Place spinach, hemp hearts, stevia and peanut butter into your blender first. Then break frozen banana into a few pieces and place in the blender along with the milk. Blend on high until fully blended.
7. I saved the “kale only” green smoothie for last. Don’t be afraid of this one, it’s pretty tasting!
Creamy Kale Smoothie
4 dino kale leaves, destemmed
4 medjool dates, pitted
1 handful of almonds
1/2- 1 cup of your favorite milk alternative
1 tsp ground cinnamon
If you’re unsure of what dino kale looks like, it is in the photo above. The reason I choice this type of kale is because it has a milder, nutty flavor where as other varieties have a strong brassica flavour ( flavours similar to cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower).
Place all ingredients into a high speed blender; adding milk last. Blend on high for 1-2 minutes, making sure that the almonds are fully blended. If you don’t have a high speed blender, you can substitute whole almonds with blanched, slivered almonds to make this drink smoother.
I hope that these green smoothies are an easy way for you to incorporate more greens into yours and your family’s diet.
During the hot summer months, some of these smoothie recipes turn into delicious popsicle!
References: (1) calcium absorption from kale