Here are our top three green smoothie recipes we'd like to share to inspire your own smoothie making potential. These smoothies are a great way to consume lots of greens in one delicious tasting morning drink.
Normally, greens like kale, collard and bok choy aren't all that appetizing for most people. But, you don’t have to give up taste for nutrition. There's actually a few ways to make the greens in your smoothies more palatable. It’s all about finding the right balance of ingredients that can be tailored to your own personal taste buds as well as unique health goals.
The "green smoothie" is only a recent phenomenon that began less than a decade ago. The concept was originally invented by Victoria Botenko, author of "Raw Family", in her search to find ways to integrate more dark greens into her families diet. She came out with the book entitled "Green Smoothie Revolution" and from then on green smoothies became quite the rage in kitchens around the nation.
Since then, many people all over the world have been blending them up with positive health results such as weight loss, energy gain, muscle strength and overall health improvement.
They are a great way to get more green leafy vegetables into the diet in LARGE quantities because you can pack a whole lot of leaves into a single blended drink.
Why is it good to eat more greens on a daily basis?
Green leafy's are an alkaline food source that provides a nice nutritional balance to other more acidic heavy foods common in the average diet. Achieving a more alkaline pH allows any excess stored acidic waste materials to be dissolved into liquid and excreted through the urine, sweat and feces.
They are packed with the alkaline-rich minerals like boron, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, nickel, potassium and zinc. These are minerals that many people are deficient in and important for numerous bodily functions as well as healthy bones and joints.
Greens also contain a high amount of chlorophyll that helps to detoxify the blood, liver and lymph system. Next, we will discuss the benefits of eating them in greater quantities, which is made possible by blending them into green smoothie recipes.
The idea behind "green" smoothies is that they are an easy way for you to eat more leafy green vegetables. Most people would have a hard time eating the amount of greens that you can consume in a 8 oz smoothie. Gorillas, one of the largest primate body builders on earth, have no problem grazing all day eating massive quantities of leaves that make up close to 90% of their diet.
One of the major reasons to consume more greens in green smoothie recipes as the foundation of your nourishment, is that they are particularly high in omega fatty acids, specifically the hard to get Omega-3 fatty acid, ALA or alpha-linolenic acid.
Many health experts have concluded that when we eat a more balanced ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3, we are able to more easily convert ALA to DHA and EPA. These are two essential Omega-3 fatty acids that we need to consume for proper neurological function, hormone response, inflammatory regulation as well as cardiovascular health.
Green smoothie recipes are muscle building meals that concentrate high amounts of protein into one relatively small glass. It would normally take a lot of chewing to eat the quantity of green leaves in this simple blended drink. Furthermore, the proteins and amino acids are easier to assimilate.
In an article written by Dr. Joel Fuhrman he states that "We should follow the example of our closest living relatives – chimpanzees and gorillas – who consume tens of pounds of green leaves every day. The majority of calories in green vegetables, including leafy greens, come from protein, and this plant protein is packaged with beneficial phytochemicals."
Many people these days have a hard time digesting fibrous foods like greens. This could be the result of not chewing them up completely or the fact that the digestive enzymes required to break them down are severely depleted.
Drinking your greens in this raw predigested form can provide greater nutritional value and is a great way to inoculate the system with the living enzymes that are naturally present in raw fruits and vegetables.
Increased amounts of fiber in the diet is helpful for satisfying the appetite (so you don't over eat), providing for healthy elimination and is known to assist in blood sugar regulation.
The trick to making green smoothie recipes is packing in as many green
leafy's as possible while simultaneously creating a nice balance of flavor that
tastes good to you. Because dark leafy greens tend to be somewhat
bitter it is important to balance them with sweet tasting fruits.
This could be in the form of sweet fruits like banana, mango,
blueberries, peaches or apricots.
The smoothie got its name because they have a "smooth" texture. This smooth consistency is produced when you use some kind of frozen fruit. It is not absolutely necessary, but it does provide a nice texture to offset the fibrous green leaves in your recipe. In addition, other ingredients like nuts and seeds, chia, or coconut oil can be added to create a creamy thickness.
The healthiest green smoothie benefits come from those blended without too much fruit sugar or fat content. But this all depends on your unique situation and health goals. Below we give some ideas for customizing your own green smoothie recipes.
For Weight Loss - Use a blend of greens, fruits and chia seeds. Chia seeds, along with leafy greens, help to provide a feeling of fullness that keeps the appetite satisfied for many hours. Chia, as well as aloe vera, also acts as a natural mild laxative to help move things through the digestive tract.
For Energy - Blend in additional energizing superfood ingredients like moringa, pine pollen, maca, goji, spirulina, astragalus or ginseng extracts or teas as well as mushrooms like cordyceps.
For Diabetics - These would be green smoothie recipes that are low in sugar content. That means frozen bananas and mangos are a no go. Chia seeds are an excellent choice to provide thickness and also help to regulate blood sugar levels. To generate a "sweet taste", so your smoothie isn't all green to the palate, fruits low in sugar like maqui berries, green apple, acai powder, goji, kiwi or blueberries are better options. For a no sugar smoothie you can use a nice fruit flavored stevia extract. This is a natural sweetener that contains no sugar content and is also a great alternative for those with candida.
For Weight Gain - A smoothie for gaining muscle mass would include protein-rich dark greens like kale and collard blended with raw protein powders, like Sunwarrior or hemp protein. Additional nuts, seeds and fats can be included as well as muscle building superfoods like maca, coconut kefir, spirulina, colostrum (for non-vegans), pine pollen and cordyceps.
For Children - Limit the amount of greens you put in the blender, using mostly sweet fruits with maybe some added nut milk. This will make a less "green" tasting and looking smoothie recipe that your kids are more likely to drink. Overtime, as they get used to the idea, you can slowly add in more greens for added nutrition.
This is for all you cilantro lover's out there. Cilantro (or also called coriander) is one of our personal favorite green leafy herbs we've been blending up into smoothies for many years. This recipe has a delicious balance of flavors we think you will enjoy.
Cilantro is known for its cleansing effects at removing heavy metals, like mercury, from the body. Chemical constituents in the leaves loosen toxic metal substances from the tissues, bind to them and safely eliminate them.
Wash your greens and blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. This recipe makes between 3/4-1 quart. You can store the smoothie in a sealed glass jar for a 24 hour period, but it is best consumed immediately after blending.
This smoothie is a great way to get more dandelions into your diet without actually having to eat them. Because they tend to have a overpoweringly bitter taste, we often blend them up in this smoothie recipe using tasty tropical sweet fruits and coconut water from a fresh Thai coconut.
Dandelion greens are a blood purifier and liver cleanser. You can often find them at most produce markets, but they also grow as wild edibles in most moderate climates around the world. Milk thistle also adds additional detox benefits. We use a touch of ginger to help activate the cleansing actions of these two liver herbs.
Wash your greens if needed and blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. This recipe makes about 1 quart or 32 ounces. You can use the whole dandelion green, including the stalks or cut them off half way down.
This is a very hydrating green smoothie recipe using water-rich lettuce leaves and cucumber. If your one of those people who don't like to eat salads, this is a great option and saves you a lot of chewing time. Any kind of lettuce can be used. We even add in miners lettuce sometimes when we find it growing wild.
It also contains a bit of hemp protein as well as one of our favorite green powders, Vitamineral Green.
Clean your greens and blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. This recipe makes between 3/4-1 quart.