It's been awhile since I first shared my obsession with green smoothies. And with the weather warming up and it being spring and all, I thought the topic was worth revisiting. Plus, I've picked up a few tricks and techniques along the way that you might find helpful as well. I'll get to those in a bit...
First though, let me explain the concept for those of you who may not be familiar with this brilliant concoction. Dark leafy greens are probably the most underrated, misunderstood food on the planet. They just might be the healthiest thing you can put in your mouth -- jam packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and oxygen. Yet on most dinner tables they are no where to be found. Veggies with leaves get a bad rap. I blame steamers. And restaurants that use kale strictly as a garnish. How could raw kale possibly compete with a quesadilla? Of course it's going to be the only thing left on the plate. But kale and other dark leafy greens are actually quite tasty when prepared properly. And just adding one serving a day can have a dramatic effect on your health.
If you're new to the whole eating things that are green thing, don't fret. You don't have to suffer through dinner plugging your nose to get that spinach down. Start by slowly sneaking dark leafys into a morning smoothie. It's almost too easy and delicious to get your daily dose of vital nutrients. Sneaking vitamins into your body hasn't been this fun since Flintstones chewables came out. But green smoothies are even better because it's the real deal - real food, real nutrition. You know exactly what you're getting. I don't think the same could be said for those mini Freds and Barneys. All you taste here is pear and vanilla (or your fruit combo of choice). But you're really getting so much more. Woo, what a way to start the day!
Tips and Tricks
I've found that the best way to really blend the greens into the smoothie is to do that step first. Tear up the leafy greens into bite-sized pieces and put them in the blender with whatever liquid you're using. Blend until the greens are totally liquified and the milk has turned bright green (yum). Then add your fruit and/or any add-ins you might be using (nut butters, protein powders, flax, chia seeds, etc.) . For fruit, I always go with frozen first. You can either buy it that way or cut up fresh fruit and store it in the freezer. I'll do this with bananas. Peel and slice them, then store in plastic baggies in the freezer.
Green Pear Smoothie
1 cup almond milk
1 handful torn dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard, etc.)
1/2 cup sliced pear (preferably frozen)
1 tbsp hemp protein powder
1 date, seeded
1/8 tsp vanilla extract or powder
Pour almond milk into blender and add torn greens. Blend until liquified and bright green. Add hemp powder and blend again. Add the pear, date, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Blend until smooth, adding almond milk and/or ice as needed to get desired consistency.
Megan Adams Brown, CHC, helps people take charge of their health and to start listening to themselves over the latest diet trend to optimize their own wellness, happiness and potential. Her family-friendly meal plans help parents take charge in the kitchen, too. This leads to more vegetables, less junk, and happier, healthier kids and parents. Megan shares kid-approved, allergy-friendly recipes on her blog. To learn more click here.