As I’m writing this, the sun is shining and it’s mighty hot out there! With the humidity it feels like 38 C, and that’s plenty hot enough by Canadian standards. Summer is definitely here and whipping up a green smoothie is a great way to cool off, while at the same time getting ample nutrition.
Now you may ask, what exactly is in a green smoothie?
The answer: leafy green vegetables and fruits.
I know that the prospect of putting in spinach or swiss chard in a smoothie would turn off even the most adventurous food-lovers, but think of it as a super healthy version of a V8 drink. Trust me when I say, you are not sacrificing taste in a green smoothie at all!
The trick here is the fruits; they mask the leafy flavour of the greens, and you mostly only taste whatever fruit you put in.
Since going vegan 6 months ago, I tried a green smoothie recipe for the first time, and loved it. I have not gone a week without a green smoothie. The one I use now, and the one I’m going to share, is the same one that I tried almost 6 months ago. It’s super easy, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try it!
So here it is, my favourite Green Smoothie:
Moon’s Favourite Green Smoothie:
- 1 cup Kale leaves, torn to pieces (no stems)
- 1 cup Spinach leaves, torn
- 1 cup rice milk (or water, or other non dairy milk, and if you’re not vegan, regular milk will do as well)
- 1 sweetener packet (I use stevia)
- 1 ripe pear, cored, chopped into chunks (I’ve used bartlett, packham and d’anjou, all were good)
- A couple of ice cubes (optional)
While most people would dump all the ingredients in the blender and blend the heck out of it, I prefer doing it in stages to ensure the best and smoothest result.
- Add kale and spinach leaves and rice milk into the blender, and blend until no little bits of leaves are visible. This may take a minute or so, depending on the blender.
- While the leaves are blending, cut up the pear if you haven’t already.
- Stop the blender and add the sweetener, pear chunks, and icecubes.
- Blend for another minute or two until smooth.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
- Add soy protein powder, or other protein powder (1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon) at the 3rd stage, for a protein boost after a workout or for a light meal replacer (even for breakfast).
- Add milled flax seeds (1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon) at the 3rd stage for added Omega 3. This is very important for vegetarians and vegans to have Omega 3 in their diet. This is a great way to sneak in some Omega 3.
- Add another fruit, or sub another fruit for the pear for a change of taste. Some works better than others, it is really up to you.
- Or you can change the greens for another, such as swiss chard, broccoli, dandelion greens, etc. I prefer the Kale/Spinach combo, but it all depends on your taste and what you have in your fridge or what’s available at your store.
- Pour into popsicle molds for an healthy icy treat. This is a great way to fool kids into eating vegetables.
Kale: low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
Spinach: low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
Pear: very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Vitamin C, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber.
Packed with nutrition and flavour, you probably won’t feel bad eating junk food for lunch. Because the vegetables and fruit are raw and you are blending it into a juice, your body readily and easily absorbs it for maximum nutritional boost. So go ahead, have that last piece of cake for lunch, you’ll make up for it with the nutrition in one of these green smoothies.
*Nutritional Info comes from the Self Nutrition Data website.