Did you know that one serving of green smoothie gives you the same amount of energy as an hour-long workout? Apart from being super delicious, a green smoothie is extremely healthy and good for your health.
Every one of us has a favorite recipe for smoothies, but if you are looking to make that healthy drink even healthier, this post is exactly what you need.
The benefits of green smoothies are increasingly appreciated due to the content of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
The green smoothies can be made from combinations of plants and green vegetables, but also instant nutritional and vitamin supplements, organic powders.
These drinks give the digestive system a kind of relaxation break, and even help it to detoxify (find here 5 green smoothie recipes), repair, or heal where appropriate.
A diet that includes fresh vegetables and fruits helps the body’s health.
Different amounts of organic powders can be added to the preparations. Depending on their content, some drinks can be energizing, others beneficial before or after exercise, for weight loss, etc.
Learn how to make the perfect green smoothie, based on five tried and tested rules for tasty and healthy results.
The 5 rules to follow for preparing a delicious and healthy green smoothie
1. Follow the formula 30/30/40
The first step to making the perfect green smoothie is knowing your ingredients. We all know that greens are great for us – they’re full of antioxidants and other phytochemicals that help keep our bodies healthy.
But sometimes, greens can taste a little bitter, which can make them unpleasant to drink. To offset the bitterness, we need to use ingredients with a taste that complements the greens.
This can be done by using sweet ingredients like bananas, dates, or honey. The next step is understanding proper ratios so you can create your smoothie recipes.
• 30% green leaves
• 30% liquid and other ingredients
• 40% fruits to mask the taste of greens and to make the smoothie sweet and creamy.
The green leaves can be:
Green leaves are a staple of the green smoothie, and they can be used in so many ways. They’re tender enough to blend up into a vibrant, creamy concoction that can be consumed with a spoon, but they’re also sturdy enough to add to your blender whole and be chopped up as the blades spin around at high speeds.
If you want your smoothie to have a more grassy flavor, use curly kale or spinach. If you want it to have an earthier flavor, use collard greens or Swiss chard. If you want it to have a softer texture, use romaine lettuce or cabbage; if you want it to be firmer and slightly crunchier, try watercress or bok choy.
Or if you just want something different from your usual routine, give some other kinds of greens a whirl, you might find that you like them even better!
• Beet leaves
• Radish leaves
You can use them fresh or frozen (but without defrosting them before preparing the smoothie).
Spinach, lettuce, and beet leaves have a neutral taste and are the “safest” when building a green smoothie, with the others you have to be careful because the taste can be hot, bitter, sour, and can upset the balance of taste.
The liquid base:
The liquid base is one of three essential components of a green smoothie. The other two are the leafy greens and the fruit.
The liquid base is what makes your smoothie creamy and thick and gorgeous. A little bit goes a long way, so don’t be afraid to add more or less, depending on how you like your smoothies.
In order not to load the digestive system with a product of animal origin, and to let it draw its nutrients from fruits and green leaves, I chose not to add milk or yogurt to the smoothie.
You can use:
• Plane, or filtered water
• Almond milk – here you can find my homemade raw vegan almond milk recipe).
• Coconut milk (but be aware that commercial coconut milk often contains all kinds of additives)
• Fresh orange juice
• Fresh lemon juice
• Fresh lime juice
• Fresh grapefruit juice
• Green tea
When thinking about what to include in a green smoothie, the first thing that comes to mind is often fruit. But while we love fruit, it’s important to use only those fruits with the highest nutritional value.
Some fruits are lower in sugar, which means they’ll have a more intense flavor as well as less of a chance of your smoothie being too sweet and cloying.
Here you can play any way you want – I use:
• Peeled pears
• Pomegranate seeds
• Sea buckthorn from the freezer
• Fresh or frozen berries
In summer you can use all the wonderful fresh fruits:
• Fresh berries
In any case, the fruit must be well-ripened, so that the smoothie comes out creamy. The smoothie is a great reason not to throw away the overripe bananas – you can freeze them and add them directly to the smoothie blender.
2. Process the leaves separately with the liquid, then add the fruits and process again to avoid a smoothie with pieces of fruit, vegetables, or leaf strips.
Always start with a smaller amount of water, and if you need more you can add more – the idea of the smoothie is the creaminess, the consistency of foam.
Blending a smoothie is simple and easy, but many people like to add ingredients that aren’t all that compatible with each other. What you want is a drink that looks like it was made in a juice bar, a perfectly blended smoothie with no pieces of fruit, vegetables, or leaf strips.
To achieve this delicious drink, you may need to process your ingredients separately, then combine them.
Remove any large stems from the leaves and tear them into smaller pieces; don’t worry about removing the leaves from the stems. Place in a blender, add any liquid, such as water, coconut water, or yogurt, and blend until smooth.
Pit the fruit if necessary and cut into small chunks; place in the blender and blend until smooth.
Pour in the blended fruits over the blended leaves and blend again until well-mixed and smooth.
It is good to use a powerful blender, to enjoy this consistency to the fullest.
3. Use superfoods and other healthy ingredients to increase the nutritional value of the smoothie
Superfoods have been popping up in different recipes over the years, and for good reason. These are foods that are packed with nutrients, vitamins, fats, and proteins that pack a powerful punch—green tea is an antioxidant powerhouse, ginger is anti-inflammatory, and chia seeds are an energy booster.
Blending these foods into your green smoothies can be a great way to get them down your gullet, especially since they’re more easily absorbed – your body doesn’t have to work as hard to break down the superfoods when they’re blended up.
There is plenty of information on the internet about what superfoods are, but I recommend starting with my article HERE.
Superfoods can be great additions to green smoothies because they give you a quick dose of vitamins and minerals while being delicious at the same time. While there are many out there, here are some of my favorites:
• Chia seeds
• Hemp seeds
• Peanut butter
• Carob powder
• Sunflower seeds
• Raw hazelnuts
• Germs of various seeds.
Some of the vitamins in vegetables and fruits – vitamin A, K, D, E are more easily absorbed with healthy fats, so avocados, raw seeds, and nuts are a perfect addition to the nutritional balance of the smoothie.
The right amount for these ingredients is a tablespoon or two for a smoothie for two people.
4. Sweeten the smoothie with honey, maple, or agave syrup
Green smoothies are sweetened with a variety of sweeteners. Honey or maple syrup can be good choices, as long as you’re using them to sweeten the smoothie and not simply adding them to mask the taste of the green vegetables.
If the fruit does not create the taste you want, you can add a teaspoon of:
• Natural honey
Honey is a natural sweetener that many people enjoy, and it pairs well with the tart flavors of many fruits. It also makes your green smoothie nice and creamy.
I love using honey because it’s delicious and has a lower glycemic index than other sweeteners, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar as quickly—great for those who are watching their weight or have diabetes or insulin resistance.
• Maple syrup
Like honey, maple syrup is a natural sweetener that people enjoy. It adds a bit of earthiness to the flavor of the smoothie, and it will also help bring out some of the deeper flavors in your smoothie ingredients.
Maple syrup is full of antioxidants, so it can help cleanse your body of free radicals (unstable molecules that can cause aging and diseases) and reduce your risk for heart disease. It has antibacterial properties, too, so it can help you ward off infection.
• Agave syrup
Agave nectar is similar to honey and maple syrup in that it’s another natural sweetener you can use in place of white sugar or artificial sweeteners in your green smoothie.
Agave nectar has been gaining popularity in recent years, but it’s important to note that it’s not a low-calorie sweetener—one ounce contains 100 calories. It also tends to have a strong flavor that may spoil the delicate flavors of your fruit.
• Chopped dried fruits
You can use dried fruits to sweeten the smoothie. Which fruits you use depends on your mood. If you have a bunch of raisins, dates, prunes, and figs in your pantry, just pick one of these and add it to the blender with the other ingredients.
Avoid adding sugar.
5. The smoothie does not have to be green
It’s important to remember that the smoothie does not have to be green. There are many delicious non-green smoothies, and it would be a shame to forgo one because of a misconception about what you think it should look like.
There is no law requiring smoothies to be green. The secret behind a green smoothie is that it uses a lot of leafy greens, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. But you can use any combination of fruits and vegetables that you prefer.
The easiest way to get started is with a basic recipe that includes bananas, berries, and greens. This gives you a solid base, plus the sweetness of the fruit helps mask the flavor of the greens.
If you want your smoothie to be more creamy or thicker, add frozen fruit or ice cubes, or purchase frozen yogurt (and then use less liquid). If you want your smoothie to be more fruity, include only fresh fruit and juice or water (you may need to use more greens).
You can use green leaves, but if you put berries or a lot of yellow fruits, or carob, or turmeric powder, the color will not be green, but it does not mean that your smoothie is not as healthy.
A green smoothie can be a quick and easy choice for someone looking to consume more veggies, trying to gain weight, or who just wants a good tasty drink filled with healthy ingredients.
Building your green smoothie can give you a lot of flexibility and control over what kind of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your body is receiving. Plus it gives you the ability to add things like fruits, seeds nuts, and even fish oil that would otherwise be on the “banned” list if you were following a regular diet plan.
A green smoothie-based diet can satisfy both your growing hunger as well as your desire for flavor and texture.
We know how hard it can be to get started making green smoothies. Now you have the information you need to effectively shop for ingredients, make a great base, and finish off each blender with delicious extras.
It might take a little trial and error, but once you get going you’ll be drinking these nutritious drinks regularly, and wondering how you ever lived without them in the first place!
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