Starting off your day with a green smoothie is like injecting rocket fuel into your body! It’s the easiest, cheapest, yummiest and most efficient way to increase the volume of green leafy vegetables in your diet.
We all know they’re good for us, but few of us have the time or desire to sit down and eat a head of lettuce or a big bunch of silverbeet! I have tried this once, and I assure you I felt sick and like I never wanted to look at green leaves again!
Blending greens with fruit enriches your body with countless vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, phytochemicals, antioxidants and enzymes in an easily-digestible form that is delicious. Swap the type of greens around daily – so you don’t overload on any one in particular, and so you can reap the benefits of many different kinds of plants.
I tend to use frozen bananas, as they lend a different, creamier consistency to the smoothie. You will need a high-powered blender. The finer the machine can chop up the bits, the easier it will be to digest, and the better the mouth feel – unless you like chunky smoothies that is!
These recipes each make enough for one to two people. You can save any leftovers for later or take it to school or work with you in a wide-mouthed bottle. Taste as you’re making it and, if the end result is not sweet enough, add a bit more banana, a few drops of stevia*, or a little honey until you can wean your tastebuds off sweetness.
This is what I tend to have more regularly than any other smoothie. I love the zestiness of lemons first thing in the morning. If it’s your first time trying this one, add the lemon slowly as it can be quite a strong punch to the face. Blend these ingredients until smooth, adding water as needed:
2 frozen bananas
1 handful flat-leaf parsley
3-4 silverbeet leaves
½ a lemon, skin on (unless your blender isn’t very powerful, in which case remove the skin first!)
water to blend, approx. 2 cups
Simple and tasty!
2 cups fresh greens such as kale, baby spinach, bok choy or a mixture
Juice from ½ lemon
2 cups water
Despite what the name might have you think of, this baby not only gives you the leafy things your body craves, but a little bit of extra on the side with the chia and spirulina. I’m not a huge advocate of ‘superfoods’, but, if you have the money and wish to experiment, they provide a bit of extra minerals and protein, which can round out your diet and boost the variety of nutrients your body is getting.
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 handful frozen blueberries
2 cups water
1 teaspoon spirulina
5 leaves of kale
The pears make this smoothie a delectable concoction… it may have the colour of mud, but it certainly won’t taste like it.
1 handful frozen mixed berries
4-5 kale leaves
2 cups water
Green green wine
One way to use all those grapes that fall off the main vine thingy after you buy them.
6-8 leaves romaine lettuce
1 cup red grapes
2 cups water
*Stevia is a natural, plant-derived sweetener from South America that contains no sugar or energy and so has no effect on insulin levels, and in fact works to stabilise them. It is non-carcinogenic, won’t cause blood sugar peaks and falls, and is 30 times sweeter than sugar. It has been banned in the EU due to the lobbying power of artificial sweetener companies.
If you expect it to taste ‘sugary’, then you will be surprised, as its sweetness is something else entirely, and can take a bit of getting used to. I prefer to use it in baking and green smoothies rather than in tea, as it tastes different depending on how you use it. You can buy it from natural health stores in liquid or powder form, and a small amount goes a long way! I buy it as a liquid and two drops are equal to the sweetness of a teaspoon of sugar.
Dr Casey Conroy, MNutrDiet, BVSc, is a holistic dietitian and nutritionist, naturopath in-training, yoga and AcroYoga teacher who specialises in women’s health, hormones, and ‘non-diet’ approaches to weight management. She is the founder of Funky Forest Health & Wellbeing on the Gold Coast, and she loves making and eating raw chocolate.
Share this Post