SIMPLE GREEN SMOOTHIES
I've been learning about the health benefits of drinking green smoothies and have discovered they can be really delicious! In this brief article I'd like to share with you some principles for making your own simple green smoothies.
Connie's favourite simple green smoothies
- These basic starter smoothie recipes are intended to prepare one serving in a 2-cup personal blender, such as the Magic Bullet, because it's better to prepare a fresh personal smoothie whenever you want one than to make a big batch in advance. If you need to make enough smoothie to last you all day or make a larger batch for several people, use a regular blender and multiply the ingredients. We use a Vitamix; it's wonderful!
- For a 2-cup personal blender use approximately 2/3 cup of water, 2/3 cup greens, and 2/3 cup fruit. It isn't necessary to be strict about these quantitites because, for one thing, fruits vary in size and there's no need to create leftovers. Use a whole pear, a whole peach, 5-10 strawberries, 3 slices pineapple, etc. Just use what's convenient--and get into the habit of having healthy stuff available!
- Use pure fresh cold water for maximum benefit, though you might want to use fruit juice for variety on rare occasions. Use as much water or juice as necessary to get your preferred consistency. (Some combinations require no water at all.) If you'd prefer to have a green drink (without the pulp) you can strain the mixture through a sieve or nutmilk bag, though you'll miss a lot of the benefit if you do this. If you are making smoothies for several people and only one rejects the pulp, you can just add their pulp to your smoothies (or simply strain a small portion of the batch)!
- You want the fruit to be puréed first to make blending the greens easier on your machine. Therefore if your blender cup is put into the machine top down, tear the leafy greens into the blender cup first, then add water, then add the fruit. If you are using a blender that has the blade at the bottom, put the fruit and water into it first, then add the greens.
- Use fresh organic produce for maximum benefit. Get creative and combine fruits. For example, if you have only 1 slice of pineapple, include a banana or an orange. Or try blueberries, blackberries and raspberries together. Try something new to you, such as persimmons or papaya. Frozen berries and bananas are acceptable (and make a nice thick drink) if fresh fruit is not available. You should use a variety of leafy greens but if you find that idea scary you can start with those you know, such as romaine and spinach. Just don't use the same kind all the time.
- Use more leafy greens than fruit if possible. If you find leafy greens rather strong for your taste buds, you might want to start out with less greens and gradually work your way toward a 60/40 ratio of greens to fruit for maximum benefit. You can mix leafy greens, so while you are getting used to something strong like collard greens you might prefer to use a small portion of them with a large portion of romaine, for example. Try parsley, dill, endive, bok choy, red lettuce, chard, kale, radish tops, and other green leafy things you can find at the grocery store. Do not use the leaves of nightshade plants like tomatoes, potatoes, or rhubarb!
- The leafy greens should be washed and torn about 5 minutes prior to blending, so prepare those first. Note: If you are using a small personal blender to process leafy greens with strong stems, either discard the stems or chop them finely. For example, carrot tops are extremely strong so you need to discard their stems and chop the leaves finely in order to avoid burning out your blender's motor!
- The fruit should be freshly washed (and peeled and cored if necessary) immediately prior to blending. Discard orange seeds and pith to avoid adding their bitter flavour to your sweet smoothie.
- After you've gotten the hang of making simple green smoothies, start experimenting! Sometimes add lemon juice or tomatoes or sprouts or whatever pops into your head. Keep a notebook describing what you tried and whether or not you liked it. Soon you will have your own collection of favourite smoothie recipes.
Simple smoothie combinations
Kale and Pineapple Smoothie
Fennel and Kiwi Smoothie
Endive and Pear Smoothie
Radish Tops and Orange Smoothie
- Spinach and Peach Smoothie
These five simple combinations are just the first few I made that I thought were absolutely delicious! I happened to have fennel in the fridge one day, so I cut off, washed and used its feathery leaves. Another day I found something at the grocery store that I think was endive, so I tried that. Experiment! If you don't like (or can't find) an ingredient mentioned, simply substitute something else--there is lots to choose from!
Home and School Solutions
January 20, 2009
If you tried making a green smoothie, how did it work for you? Would you like to submit an original, healthy recipe of your own for use on the website? Send me an e-mail to have your say.
I learned about green smoothies from Victoria Boutenko of the Raw Family. Here is a link to a video of her son Sergei making green smoothies. By recommending this website I do not necessarily endorse all of the material found there or any resources referenced therein.