Beginner Green Smoothie: The 1st Step
As I contemplated what recipe or tip I would like to share first as I entered the world of blogging about healthy food, I decided that if you were only going to change one thing to make your family healthier, this would be it. Most everyone enjoys a good smoothie, whether it’s for breakfast, after school snack, or after a good workout. They are the perfect way to power pack nutrition into a drink without them even knowing it.
My kids use to freak out when they saw the spinach on the counter next to the blender, but now it’s just part of the routine. So, my advice to you is to not let the kids see you put it into the blender and then they’ll never know it’s there! After a while if they see you putting spinach in, just tell them that you put it in everyday and it’s going to make their muscles big like Popeye!
There are a lot of variations you can do with a green smoothie but this is just one of them. Play around with it to see what your family likes!!
Spinach contains a synergy of multiple phytonutrients, lutein, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, glutathione, ALA, Vitamins C, E, B, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, zinc, polyphenols, and betaine) Along with blueberries, spinach is right up at the pinnacle of the Super Foods powerhouse choices. Spinach has more demonstrated health benefits than almost any other food. Spinach is also an important source of the critical antioxidant, CoQ10. It helps prevent cardiovascular disease, a host of cancers, AMD, and cataracts.
Beginner Green Smoothie
There are so many ways to make a smoothie, but here is a good place to start:
(This portion is for a big Vita-Mix container, so if you have a smaller blender, make 1/2 at a time)
- 1 c. water
- 1/4 lemon or lime (skin on if you have a high powered blender)
- 1 c. juice (any kind is fine, we usually use OJ- with pulp) The pulp is very good for you
- 1-2 big handful of spinach leaves (I buy the big package at Sam’s or Costco. Once it starts to look wilted, just put it in the freezer and use it up until it’s gone)
- 1-2 c. of any combination of frozen fruit (Costco usually has the best frozen fruit. The mixed berry blend will help color your smoothie purple for your little ones, if green scares them!)
- 1 banana
- 1/2 c. yogurt (I prefer Greek yogurt-the honey vanilla flavor is so creamy & delicious)
- 2 T. ground flax seed, flax oil or fish oil (good supply of plant Omega-3’s, which the American diet is greatly lacking. I prefer Barlean’s flavored fish oils to sweeten it for the little ones)
- Add 1 scoop of protein powder (I prefer plant protein powders-especially hemp & rice. I only use protein powder if I am using this as a full meal)
Put the water, juice, lemon or lime & spinach in the blender first and blend until you don’t see any more green leaves.
Then add the rest of the ingredients into the blender in the order I’ve listed and blend until very smooth. If you want it thinner, add water. If you want it thicker, add ice or more frozen berries. If it’s too sour, add a little agave, sugar, juice, banana, or sweet pineapple. I would suggest making them a little sweeter at first so your kids get hooked on them, and then as their taste buds change, I would start to decrease the sugar. They’ll never know 🙂
After I pour my kids smoothies, I leave the rest of the smoothie in the blender, add another handful of spinach, and blend it up to get in the extra nutrition for me! You can really add anything to your smoothies that you need to be eating more of. Experiment and have fun! Find your families’ favorite! Almost 100% of any friends, kids, or family I have tried them on, love them!! I love hearing my friends tell me about how their kids love their smoothies every morning. It’s music to my ears!!