What’s the number one question you’ve been asking us about smoothies?
You wanna know how to seamlessly get veggies into smoothies when you’ve been dabbling with fruits, seeds, almond milk, etc.
As registered dietitians, and authors of our most recent book, The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure you can imagine how excited we are that you’re ready to dive in to the good stuff! Yes, veggies! Greens, specifically, are the number one food you can eat regularly to improve your health. And we’ve got some easy breakfast-friendly ways to help you to start your day off right–on the green foot! 😉
We’ve got some great news… many greens become undetectable (like a chameleon!) when combined in a smoothie and they take just seconds to transform. Here are some tips for making the most of your smoothies and easy at home ways to get your nutrients.
Create your green smoothie by following these green smoothie basics and then blend! 🙂 (If you simply want to try a Green Smoothie recipe that’s tried, true and delicious, you’ll find many on our site, just search smoothie, or green drink, etc.)
1. Begin with your greens: In general a few large fistfuls (about 2 cups) will do the trick. Spinach is one the mildest of the greens and is barely detectable, but all greens from kale, to romaine, and even parsley and mint are fabulous additions. Experiment and see what you like best.
*** If you’re worried about your greens spoiling, check out our awesome solution for your busy mornings.
2. Toss in some fruit: Hello natural sweetness, fiber and phytonutrients for even more of a beneficial boost to your morning. We go for frozen fruits because they make the smoothie more refreshing and “dessert-like”. Plus, they don’t spoil! One half of an overripe banana is a one of our favorite ways to add sweetness—and frozen berries are great too. Frozen pineapple chunks can add a lot of sweetness with just a few pieces, but most fruits work well. The key is to keep the fruit portions in check (about half the portion or less, compared to the green) to keep the calories from getting too high (if you’re watching your calorie intake).
3. Add your protein/ “satiety factor” (If you skip this, you’ll need to eat a source of protein with your smoothie to keep you powered, satiated and to provide for longer lasting energy). Great options? Greek yogurt, nuts or nut butters, hemp seeds or a scoop of protein powder. One to two tablespoons of a nut or seed add nutrients and healthy fat—but stick to just that portion (about 6-8 nuts), as the calories from nuts add up quickly and could cause your smoothie to contain a lot more calories than you bargained for.
4. Pour in liquid: Add ½ to 1 cup of either water, unsweetened nut milk or coconut water to make your smoothie. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk adds a nice flavor perk.
5. Ready to get fancy? The sky is the limit! Try adding grated ginger (a personal favorite of ours!) or spices like cinnamon and turmeric (this one has quite a bitter kick that will give you a real charge to start your day!)
Leafy vegetables (think spinach, kale, romaine, parsley, etc.) are a great source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that protect against heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Adios damage from free radicals, as they help to prevent chronic inflammation and the associated diseases in their tracks, as well as cell deterioration and the age-related decline (including age-related mental decline!) that comes with it. If you’re looking to keep skin youthful and radiant greens are your friends thanks to their collagen-promoting vitamin C and their vitamin A/ beta carotene content, which also aids in the inflammation battle and calms the redness surrounding a skin flare-up, while also acting as a natural sunscreen, helping to prevent wrinkles from sun damage.
Your liver loves greens because they aid it in its’ detoxification process—so if you’ve had a couple cocktails, a few too many refined foods or been in a smoky room, greens will help “undo” the damage. In fact, greens like kale and bok choy are two of the few foods that actually assist the liver in both phases of its’ detoxification process, so they’re rock stars when it comes to flushing the body of toxins.
And– The most telling habit that we see when it comes to long-term weight loss success is including low-calorie veggies in a daily routine. So if weight loss if your goal, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting your daily dose!
- 1 frozen, very ripe banana
- ¾ cup spinach, loosely packed
- ¾ cups curly kale, stems removed, loosely packed
- ½ cup carrots, chopped
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley (or cilantro)
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 8 ounces water
- 4 ice cubes
- Place the frozen all of the ingredients in the blender. If you let the drink sit for a while, stir before serving.