I’m sure many of you are familiar with the green smoothie trend that has consumed the health and fitness industry. Every time I turn around (or open Instagram), I see loads of bright and colorful smoothies full of nutrients. Are you interested in making smoothies like this at home, but don’t know where to start? Making green smoothies is actually much easier than you would think, just follow these simple and healthy guidelines:
1. Start with a lush green base.
Whether it’s spinach, kale, swiss chard, dandelion greens, or even romaine lettuce, the base of your green smoothie should be something green! Personally, I like to to use either kale, swiss chard, or dandelion greens as my base–going organic if money permits! Remember that these greens are where you’re going to get a ton of your nutrients; few people eat enough vegetables every day, and you’re going to almost meet your quota in one smoothie!
2. Experiment with herbs.
Parsley and cilantro are two of my favorite herbs to include in smoothies. They are both alkaline, meaning they help balance the body in terms of hydration, metabolism, and other physiological processes. Parsley is a particular rich source of chlorophyll, vitamin A, and vitamin C. Cilantro is known for helping eliminate heavy metals like mercury from the body. Both of these herbs provide a lot of flavor that might be overwhelming at first, so start with a few tablespoons and work your way up to larger quantities.
3. Choose two AND ONLY two fruits.
The problem with a lot of the smoothies you buy in restaurants or fast food chains is that they’re about 50-60% fruit. While fruit it by all means great for you, going overboard on it can easily lead to too much sugar, making your blood sugar spike. Moreover, while fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, your leafy greens actually contain far more nutrients. That’s why it’s best to make leafy greens the bulk of your smoothie.
If you’re afraid you won’t like the taste, or your smoothie won’t be sweet enough, try this technique: add three pieces of fruit for the first week. Gradually cut down on the fruit until you grow accustomed to the taste. You’d be AMAZED at how easily your taste buds will adapt! When I first started making green smoothies, I would often use two large pieces of fruit as well as some frozen fruit. Now, I use maybe half a banana and a handful of frozen pineapple chunks or frozen berries.
4. Choose some superfoods!
You all know by now that I’m a huge fan of superfoods. I love incorporating them in my smoothies every morning! Some of my favorites include:
- Goji berry powder
- Cacao powder
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Beet juice powder
- Maca root powder
- Hemp seeds/hemp seed powder
- Camu Camu powder
- Nut butters (almond, cashew, hazelnut, etc)
- Coconut oil
Mind you, I don’t include ALL of these in every smoothie. Usually I pick 2-4 for each smoothie and rotate the superfoods for a variety of tastes and nutrition. After all, variety is the spice of life!
5. Add liquid.
I see recipes where coconut waters or nut milks are often used. Personally, I like using plain water. There’s no need to add extra calories here, and water works just fine! You want enough so that all the fruits and veggies will combine, but not too much that your smoothie will be too thin. I recommend 1/2 to 3/4 a cup of water, maybe more if you’re making an extra large smoothie.
A Few Other Tips about Green Smoothies:
- Sometimes, you’re smoothies won’t look green. Based on the ingredients you use, it could come out as brown or black! While this might not look the most appetizing, it will certainly taste great!
- Invest in a good blender. I can’t rant and rave enough about how much I love my Vitamix! Sure, it’s a bit pricey, but you can often find a great deal at wholesale markets like Costco. Also, did you know that this blender has a 7 year warranty? High speed blenders like the Vitamix have an extra strong motor, allowing them to break down tough vegetables like carrots and celery easily.
- Go organic when you can. It’s well known today that organic fruits and vegetables have higher nutrient content than conventional produce. The ultimate goal of green smoothies is to consume a tasty drink packed with vitamins and minerals. Buying organic produce will increase the nutrient content of your drink!
Hope you all enjoyed these green smoothie tips and tricks! Stay tuned for more green smoothie recipes and ideas