Have you tried adding greens to your smoothie yet? Below, I’ve outlined a few tips for those of you who haven’t tried adding greens before, as well as a simple recipe to get you off the fence and into the vibrant world of emerald drinks.
1) Start with milder greens. Baby spinach (which is usually pre-washed) and baby Swiss chard are my two favorites.
2) Remember the non-leafy green goodies. Cucumber and green apple blend seamlessly into most beverages.
3) Check out green powders. My personal favorite, Raw Reserve by Amazing Grass, is available by special order at Earth Zone and contains dozens of varieties of algae, wheatgrass, and probiotics. You can also add a dash of kelp or dulse flakes if you happen to have those around the house. Remember that powders are meant to be used as a supplement to and NOT a replacement for living veggie goodness.
4) If at first you don’t succeed, try again. The first time that I made raw juice I was overzealous in my mixing. I juiced lettuce, broccoli sprouts, and a few leaves of cabbage. My theory was that since I loved these veggies in their whole form raw, they would have to make a delicious drink. Nope. I gagged down my 32 oz and swore off juicing for a few days. When I regained my courage, I started out again with a fruit-intensive blend that included half a cucumber and a handful of baby spinach. Sweet green nectar of the Gods! Over time, I have adjusted the ratio of greens to fruit (roughly 50/50 these days) to one that works for the whole family. Yes, even my toddler loves green juice!
Looking for a starter recipe? Try this:
Stella’s Favorite Smoothie*
12 oz coconut water
2 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 green apple, quartered
1/2 banana, frozen
1 TB Raw Reserve Green Powder
2 TB chia seeds
Blend until smooth and enjoy immediately. Try to freeze some fresh berries this summer. If vacuum-sealed and frozen shortly after picking, these little gems will fill you with antioxidant-rich goodness for at least six months. If you don’t have access to fresh fruit, commercially-prepared frozen fruit is fine as long as it is 1) organic and 2) not packaged in syrup or with preservatives. Berries that you freeze yourself will always have a higher nutrition profile, but that isn’t always practical. The important thing is that you keep drinking green smoothies all year long!
Do you have a favorite green smoothie recipe? If we feature your recipe on this blog, we’ll hook you up with some Earth Zone gear!
*Stella is my 15 month old daughter. She has been drinking smoothies like this one since she was six months old. It is amazing what children enjoy when parents have an open mind!