I chose this picture as my poster child for the green smoothie introductions for a reason. If a two year old can drink it and smile, so can you! Let's talk Green Smoothies.
What is a green smoothie? A green smoothie is a blended fruit smoothie that includes dark leafy greens like Kale, Spinach, Collard Greens, etc. You blend up the greens in the blender and then add fruit to help the medicine go down so to speak. This is a great way to get the nutrients that dark leafies provide without drowning them in butters or oils. It is also a way to get them for sure. I know before I started blending my greens I pretty much just went without. I mean who enjoys chewing three cups of spinach at a time?
What do they taste like? My green smoothies frequently remind me of the old Orange Julius drinks that my grandma used to buy me at the mall. My children prefer strawberries and bananas as their favorite flavors. I love Mango, Pineapple, and Raspberries. Even if you are not familiar with Orange Julius drinks, you might be familiar with fruit smoothies. The greens definitely add color but it is surprising that they don't add much flavor. Sometimes they add a little texture but that depends on your blender.
Do I need a fancy blender to make these? When you go to some of the green smoothie sites that I will recommend they frequently recommend expensive fancy blenders. I have been making green smoothies for a few years now and have used my regular blender the entire time. I have travled to family members homes and used the blenders they have too. If you don't have a high end blender you just want to blend the greens first with the water that you add and give it a minute or two to make sure the greens are pulverized before you add the frozen fruits.
Will children drink green smoothies? I would refer you to exhibit A above. If you will drink them, your kids will drink them. I presented them to a pre-school class this winter. 15 children asked for seconds and thirds while telling their teachers that they don't like spinach. When the teachers told them they were drinking spinach they denied it at first and then giggled and said they didn't know they liked spinach. The parents were emailing the teachers the very next day to get the recipes. What parent wouldn't hurry and find out how to get their children to eat spinach willingly?
How do I find out about green smoothies? You are in the right place. I was first introduced to the green goodness by my friend Kindee. She had a specific recipe that she used almost daily. I tried hers and found out that I could consume Kale. I was shocked and awed. I began to do some more searching on the topic. There is a gold mine of information on greensmoothiegirl.com Robyn Openshaw runs all over the country giving presentations and maintaines a fabulous web page helping people eat gorgeous greens. If you want more information than we can give you here, check her out.
How do I start? Get yourself to the produce isle. Stock up on some Kale and Spinach to start with. We will work with you to add some more extra green goodness later in our mini-series. Also bring home some bananas and frozen fruit. I will give you my basic green smoothie recipe and then as the weeks go on we will add to this with some more specific smoothies.
Basic Green Smooothie
Put two-three fistfulls of spinach in your blender. Add in 2 Kale leafs destemmed.
Add 2 cups of water. Blend until it looks like chlorophyl water.
Add in two bananas they can be frozen if that is what you have. Blend
Add in 1 cup of frozen fruit. Strawberries are safe to start with, but just choose your favorite. Blend until smooth. To finish it off add a sweetner of choice. My go to is liquid stevia of which I add a droperful. You could go with Agave, or a couple tablespoons of sugar.
Blend once again, pour, and enjoy.
It is o.k. when starting to go with more fruit than greens to ease yourself slowly into it. If it is more than you did the day, week, or year before then pat yourself on the back. Slow and steady wins the race.
I officially welcome you into the world of Green Smoothies! Give it a try and let us know what you think. Stay tuned because we have some Magic Mango, Dreamy Chocolate, and Perfect Pineapple smoothies coming your way.