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Recipe: Green Smoothies 101

by Caitlin Cady

Recipe: Green Smoothies 101

One of the questions that my friends, family and clients ask me on the regular is "what's the go with green smoothies?" So I've created a go-to series of posts for folks who are just jumping on the green smoothie bandwagon, or for those that are wanting to inject some inspiration and variety into their existing green smoothie routine.

I've got three great little posts on going green including a quick and dirty rundown on why I love green smoothies and a couple of my favourite recipes. Plus I've thrown in some timesaving tips and tricks - and my picks for best blender. Sound good? Ladies and gentlemen, start your blenders!

What's So Good About Going Green?

Alkaline Shine: A diet rich in greens helps to alkalise your body and maintain an optimal acid/alkaline PH balance, which studies show is essential to good health and will get you glowing from the inside out.

Gimme A Boost: Greens gives us a major nutritional boost as they are more nutrient dense than any other food group and are filled to the brim with amino acids. Plus, energy! Greens are a live, high vibe, super refreshing food that will give you a boost of energy as well. Booya!

A Clean Sweep: Fibre-rich greens give your digestive tract a good scrub, fill you up and help to support your liver by removing fats and toxins from your body. See ya later, suckers.

Why Smoothies? Why not just eat some extra salad, you say? Good question.

The Blender + The Bod = BFF: Nutrients are encased inside plant cells, so to make nutrients more easily digestible (and absorbable) the plant cells need to be ruptured. Kapow! Kapow! Enter your new best friend, the blender. Basically, your blender buddy helps your bod to absorb the maximum nutrition. You'd be chewing for daaaays to get the same effect with your pearly whites.

Kick Start Your Day, Nutritional Ninja: Let's be honest, you're probably not going to eat a salad for breakfast, right? By blending your greens with a yummy mix of fruits, veggies, superfoods and more, you're going to come up with a truly tasty morning treat that gives your day a serious energetic and nutritional kick start. Plus when you find a mix you love, we think you'll actually wake up looking forward to your jar of green goodness every damn day. Hiyaaaa!

Grand Central Station Hydration: Green smoothies are super hydrating, and good hydration is essential to overall brain function. Your brain is Grand Central Station for your body, sending and receiving signals 24/7. Give that beautiful brain what it needs to keep the lines open and running smoothly.

Juicing V. Blending: Most of us are sorely deficient in fibre. When you juice, you remove all the fibre from your fruits and veggies, whereas smoothies leave the fibre intact. Don't get it twisted, juices are great too, I love them for a pick me up between meals (and for their super healing powers when I'm under the weather or cleansing). But for a daily dose, I pick smoothies over juice because they leave the fruit and veg in their fabulous fibre-filled natural state.

What Do I Need To Get Blending?

Don't Panic, It's Organic! I always recommend going all-organic wherever possible. Not only is it better for the environment, it's better for our bodies. Organic food is grown in mineral dense soil with no chemicals or toxins. The result? Organics have been shown to be more alkaline and have higher nutritional value than conventionally grown food. The fact that you're skipping the cocktail of chemicals and creepy engineered plants (organic is always non-GMO) makes choosing organic a no brainer, we think. Yeah, I know it's more expensive, we get that. I spend most of my dolla-dolla-bills on food (true story), so we feel you. But it's your BODY, it's your HEALTH and I think it's worth it to opt for organics whenever you can. Stepping off the soapbox now!

The Smoothest Smoothies + Which Blenders Are Worth the investment: So, here's another truth bomb for you, to make super smooth smoothies, you need a high speed blender. Put your pennies and your pesos in a piggybank because these bad boys are worth every cent you spend. Like I said before, your blender will be your best bud, so a good one is definitely worth saving up for. All green smoothie junkies have their favourite blenders and I am no exception.

My first choice is Vitamix, which is basically the gold standard. The Vitamix has a motor strength of 1000-1200W and is made in the USA by a company that has been around for 90 years. Yep, they are pricey (especially here in Australia as they come from the USA) but I think they are the blender bomb. Get one. Life. Changing. Best thing for smoothies, juices, sauces and the smoothest, creamiest soups ever.

Now, if the price of the Vitamix is a bit too dear, check out the Omniblend. It's is commonly referred to as the Poor Man's Vitamix and I think it's a reasonable choice if the Vitamix is out of your price range. The Omniblend is made in China and has a slightly weaker motor (950W). Whichever choice you make, the sky is the limit with what you can whip up in your blender. Smoothies are the top priority for me, but I also use my blender to make soup (the Vitamix will actually cook your soup for you if you like!), salad dressing, fruit ice cream and even baby food. I promise you'll use your blender every day, and in the long run, you'll save money on smoothies by making them at home.

Other Bits + Bobs: Other good things to have on hand are a chopping board and a good knife, plus some glass jars with airtight lids for storing smoothies or taking them on the go!

Objections

Two of the most common objections I hear from people who aren't too sure if they want to go green... "ain’t got time for that" and "It tastes like grass." Fair enough. Life is busy. And maybe you've had an unsavoury green smoothie experience in the past. We've all had one we'd rather forget. Rest assured, I'm here to restore your faith in green smoothies. Here are a selection of hacks and tips to help you get in the habit of going green every day.

Hacks for the "ain’t got time for that" dilemma:

  • Make a big batch every other day and keep leftovers in a tightly sealed glass jars in the fridge. (Side note: it's easiest to clean the Vitamix blender straight after blending, rather than storing leftovers in the Vitamin itself!)
  • Freeze tons of ripe bananas so you always have them on hand (Added bonus: a cold smoothie without watering it down with ice!) Peel and slice the bananas. Freeze on a cookie sheet so they don't stick together, then transfer to a ziplock or container of your choice.
  • Pre-prep your fruits and veggies by washing them in advance.
  • Grab and go - it's a super nutritious meal on the move. Perfect for sipping on your way to work or at your desk while you excavate your inbox.
  • You get more efficient as you get the hang of things. Promise.

Top tips for working through the "it-tastes-like-grass" impasse:

  • Add a little extra sweetness - more fruit (like bananas or pears) or other sweeteners like stevia or dates. Your tastebuds change every 2 weeks, so you'll warm up to less fruit gradually.
  • Start with a less punchy green - like spinach. Kale is a bit on the spicy side for some peeps and certain lettuces may be a bit bitter for first-timers.
  • Make sure it's frosty. Smoothies taste better cold, so don't skimp on the ice.

Start Sipping

So there you have it, a quick and dirty rundown on what you need to know about green smoothies. What do you think? Ready to take the plunge? Ready to start sipping with me? A couple of recipes to get you started

GOOD VIBES GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

This is my go-to green smoothie that I make most mornings. It's fresh, clean and will have you your cells singing for more! The Good Vibes Green Smoothie recipe blends banana, pear and apple with a mix of greens and even some celery, parsley and cilantro if you're game! Trust me, it's super delicious and so good for you, too. Hot tip: to up the good vibe content of your smoothie, put on some happy tunes and sing along as you blend. Yeah, I'm for real. Singing to your food is a thing! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups of filtered or spring water (adjust depending on how thick or thin you want your smoothie to be)
  • 3 cups loosely packed spinach
  • 1 cup packed silverbeet (or kale veins removed), leaves torn
  • 1 cup loosely packed chopped organic romaine/cos lettuce
  • 1 stalk (about 1/2 a cup) celery
  • 1 apple cored and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 pear cored and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1-2 bananas (about 1 1/2 cups) peeled and chopped (adjust depending on how sweet you want your smoothie to be)
  • 1 orange peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 2 large sprigs cilantro/coriander (optional)
  • 2 large sprigs flat leaf/Italian parsley (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon raw almond butter (optional)

METHOD

Place spinach, lettuce and kale in the blender with the water. Turn the blender on a low speed and mix until smooth.

Gradually increase blender speed and add in the apple, pear, celery, bananas, orange and cilantro, parsley and lemon juice (if you opted in).

Blend until smooth. Chuck in the ice at the last minute.

COCO-NUTTY  GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

I call this the training wheels smoothie. Why? Because it's a great gateway greenie for those of us who need a little something sweet to help them ease into having a glass of greens first thing. The coconut butter adds sweetness and creaminess (and a helping of healthy fats and lauric acid) while the almond butter chimes in with a punch of protein (and as many antioxidants as a cup of broccoli or green tea!) This adds up to a super tasty and substantial smoothie that's a perfect foray into green smoothies for beginners. For you green smoothie veterans - this is still a great recipe to have on hand for those days when you need something that will stick to your ribs. Sometimes we crave something light and cleansing and other days our bodies need a little more substance! 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups of filtered or spring water (adjust depending on how thick or thin you want your smoothie to be)
  • 4 cups loosely packed spinach
  • 3 tablespoons raw almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons coconut (also labelled as coconut paste)
  • 1 cup banana (about 1 banana) peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 apple (about 1 cup) cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 orange, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup ice (optional)

METHOD

Place spinach in the blender with the water. Turn the blender on a low speed and mix until smooth.

Gradually increase blender speed and add in the apple, orange, bananas, almond butter and coconut butter.

Blend until smooth, then chuck in the ice and blend for another few seconds.

 

Happy blending, lovers! xx

Caitlin Cady
Caitlin Cady



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