None of my friends are interested in learning how to make a vegetable smoothie. Well actually, that was before I got them to taste my kale smoothie.
They were very apprehensive at first. They screwed up their faces when I gave them the glass and it remained screwed up even to the point where they put it to their lips but you could see the dramatic change when they actually tasted the drink. They were pleasantly surprised. Who would believe that this not so attractive, green drink, could taste so good.
Introducing…..ta ta da….The Green Smoothie.
Who drinks Smoothies Anyway?
Can you believe that some people find it wearisome to eat?
I have heard my friend say “I wish I didn’t have to eat”. Unbelievable but true. She actually finds eating a chore.
That’s just incredible! Eating is one of the joys of life. At least that what I think. Don’t you agree?
Eating serves two functions; it gives pleasure and it provides nutrition.
However for those of you who find eating a tedious chore, smoothies are here for you.
What is a Smoothie
A smoothie is a thick drink of fresh or frozen fruit and or vegetables blended with liquid such as water, milk or milk substitutes, juice and optional sweeteners.
Why drink a smoothie
For the person who does not like to eat, drinking a fruit smoothie or vegetable smoothie is an easy way to get the nutrition that the body needs. A key dietary recommendation is that we should consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Well good news……Many smoothies include large servings of fruits and vegetables.
Smoothies have gained popularity over the years and is very popular among health conscious persons.
Green smoothies which a few years ago was unpleasant even to the ears of some of us (we hear “green smoothie” and our response is “yuck”) is quite a common and surprisingly tasty drink nowadays.
Nutrition Boost in Minutes
Fruit and vegetables are power-packed foods – they are full of valuable nutrients which have lots of health benefits.
Fruits give us plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, including folate, potassium and vitamins A and C.
Having a smoothie is not only an excellent way to increase our intake of fruits and vegetables but the process of blending the entire fruits or vegetables (skin, seeds etc.) allows the food’s cell walls to be broken down even more effectively than if we used our teeth and this helps release the important phytonutrients. These are plant-based chemicals that support your immune system, improve health and longevity, and may reduce life-threatening diseases.
Another reason why it is important to use whole fruits rather than extracted fruit juice is because of the many health benefits derived from fiber and the fact that the phytonutrients are most times attached to the fiber..
Vegetables, like fruits, are low in calories and fats but contain good amounts of vitamins and minerals. All the Green-Yellow-Orange vegetables are rich sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, beta-carotene, vitamin B-complex, vitamin-C, vitamin-A, and vitamin K.
How to make a vegetable smoothie
The principle is quite simple.
In your blender, add your choice of vegetables, some fruits for flavor and your liquid base.
As simple as that.
Green smoothies normally consist of about 50% green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, Swiss chard, celery, parsley, or broccoli. The rest of the smoothie is mostly or entirely fruit. The liquid base………..good old water, or coconut water. As a matter of fact, free to experiment with whatever liquid base will work for you.
If you are new to this I would suggest you start out with mainly fruit and add a little more vegetable each time until your taste buds acclimatize and you can go 50% vegetable and 50 % fruit. If you start out with your two cups of spinach (for example) right from day one, you might find that your drink tastes quite “green” and you might not enjoy it very much. You will be less inclined to try it on day two…….and we don’t want that to happen.
I started with two leaves of spinach in my green smoothie………..yes only two. With lots of fruits. I worked my way up though. Now I easily toss in a handful of spinach and much less fruit and guess what?……..It tastes great.
Here are some suggestions for you to try
1 cup spinach (or kale, or Swiss chard……whichever leafy vegetable you desire)
1 cup fruits (as many varieties as you wish)
Water to blend (the amount of water depending on how thick or thin you want your smoothie)
- Banana is a wonderful addition to smoothies. It gives a good texture and acts as a sweetener.
- For a nutritional boost to your smoothie, add a spoonful of nuts or seeds such as almond, cashew, pumpkin seed, chia seed, flax seed etc.
- Put together the ingredients for one smoothie in a zip lock bag and place in the freezer for easy retrieval and processing.
My Vegetable Smoothie Secret
Let me let you in on my little secret for great tasting vegetable smoothies.
The secret is apple juice. Yes. Good old Motts or whichever 100% apple juice you which to use. You can even do your own juice extraction at home. Use the apple juice as the liquid base for you vegetable smoothie and even the greatest of skeptics will enjoy it.
There. The secret is out.
Get the most out of your food. Add a smoothie a day.
Even on your lazy days you can just grab a smoothie pack from the freezer and in no time and with very little effort you can be drinking your way to great nutrition.
Give it a try and let me know how it turns out for you.