The Green Smoothie
Makes approx 2 servings
2 cups greens (I love kale, but use whatever is your fave)
2 medium sticks celery
1 medium apple (preferably green), cored OR ¼ cup low sugar berries (eg wild blueberries)
1 lemon or lime, peeled
¼ avocado or 1 tablespoon coconut oil (don’t leave out the fat - it is important)
1 tablespoon spirulina (nutrient-dense, protein-rich equals weight loss!) OR a vegan protein powder (I would avoid soy. When I am not using spirulina I use hemp powder)
1 cup cold filtered water
Chunk of ginger (I use 2 - 3 inch piece)
1⁄4 cup minced fresh cilantro (stems are okay)
1⁄4 cup minced fresh parsley (stems are okay)
¼ raw beet
TOO “GREEN” FOR YOU?
1 or 2 chunks of frozen winter squash (steam before freezing) OR
½ frozen banana OR
This is more of a suggestion than a recipe. I tend to go to the refrigerator and just see what is there.
Set yourself up for success. Make this super simple. Shop for the ingredients and portion your daily amounts into containers so you can just throw it into the blender and go - no excuses!
Which blender is best? I have a vitamix which I would recommend to anybody who intends to take the green smoothie on a regular basis. The consistency is super velvety. It also makes the process faster because you can throw everything in, add half the water then blend, adding more liquid as you need. Before the vitamix I had a waring which was also really great. No matter what you have, just go with it for now. If your blender isn’t as powerful you may need to chop up the ingredients a little, add the more dense to the blender first, get that going then add in the softer items after. Blend your ingredients for as long as you need to make it smooth. In a vitamix that is around 30 seconds.
A few notes. You can juice the lemon but lately I have been just peeling it with a knife and throwing whole thing in (extra fiber!)
Don’t skip the fat or the spirulina/vegan protein powder. Firstly, the avocado really makes the smoothie come together (if texture is an issue, try also adding in the frozen squash). Secondly, these are the things that will help to keep you full for longer. Plus, the benefits of the spirulina/vegan protein powder are huge. We will explore them, and other powders I use, another day. For now I would simply suggest that you avoid soy.
Optional extras. I added ginger as an “optional extra” but I have to say this really makes the smoothie for me and I do have it every day. Combined with the lemon it really gives a zingy flavor. Plus you get all the extra benefits that ginger delivers - weight loss, immunity booster, anti-inflammatory to name just a few. The same goes for parsley or cilantro, they are both super cleansing. And beets. If they are in the fridge I will throw some in. I think you get the general idea. Begin with the basics and then you will gradually get to know what you enjoy and what makes you feel good.
Issues? If you are new to the green smoothie and the flavor isn’t doing it for you, first of all know that it does grow on you! When I began with the green smoothie years ago I did add in frozen banana. They are amazing but are high in sugar so I don’t use them any more but they are a great way of transitioning into this. A lovely friend also made the suggestion of adding in some frozen winter squash which creates a velvety texture. Steam the squash ahead of time, cut into cubes and freeze on a parchment paper lined tray - if you allow the pieces to touch they will be super hard to separate when you want to remove them from the freezer! The banana can either be used at room temperature or you can also freeze it for a more creamy smoothie. Peel the fruit cut into pieces and freeze in the same way as the squash.