Thursday, June 16, 2011

Green Smoothies - "Berrylicious Recipe"

I briefly mentioned in Saturday's blog post about my new found love of green smoothies, so I thought I'd share a little about them with you today.

Green smoothies are a new addition to my life - in fact any smoothies are.  I read about them in Dr Fuhrman's "Eat for Health" book and also the book "Green Smoothie Revolution" by Victoria Boutenko.  Since I bought these books however, I rarely follow their recipes! But that's because Victoria's book gives great outlines on the do's and don'ts of making green smoothies, so you can just create a great tasting smoothie with the fruit and vegetables that you have on hand.

So what is a green smoothie?  It is a highly nutritious drink made my blending lots of fruits together and then adding green leafy vegetables to the mix. The taste of the fruit dominates over the taste of the vegetables, so it tastes like you are drinking a lovely fruit smoothie, but at the same time you are also getting a large serving of healthy greens and thus micronutrients.

It should be noted that when you mix certain fruits and greens, the resulting smoothie isn't always green in color however even if it can be termed a "green" smoothie! For example, if you use a lot of berries with greens, you may end up with a red smoothie, but if you use less berries with greens, you may actually get a brown smoothie.  Even though the green and brown smoothies may not look as appealing as the red smoothie, look past that and enjoy the taste!  Whatever the color, they still taste good.

An important factor to remember is that the "green" in a smoothie is green LEAFY vegetables - it is not all vegetables.  Those green leafy vegetables that work well in a green smoothie
  • INCLUDE  kale, collards, spinach, parsley, romaine, salad mix, chard, lettuce, avocado, cilantro, celery,dandelion, arugula, dandelion greens, mache, watercress, carrot tops, radish tops, beet tops,...etc, etc and also a couple of vegetables that aren't leafy, namely celery, cucumber and avocado.  but  
  • DO NOT INCLUDE cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, beets, peas, corn ie any starchy vegetable. If you add these, it won't taste good!  Some hardy green smoothie drinkers include these, and Dr Fuhrman has them in his recipes, but in my experience, they don't taste good!  However, you can add these to a smoothie and then make it into a soup instead.
The goal is to make a highly nutritious drink that tastes good, so stick to leafy greens and you'll be more inclined to make green smoothies and drink them everyday.

One more thing you should note is that you should rotate the type of greens you include during the week.   Greens contain alkaloids and in small quantities, they don't bother you.  But if you keep consuming the same green everyday without rotating, alkaloids will accumulate and can be toxic.   Fruits on the other hand contain very few or no alkaloids so you don't need to rotate them - but it is much more fun and interesting if you do!

To make smoothies, the higher the powered blender you use, the better. The top of the line blenders are Vitamix - but they are expensive.  If you use a lower powered blenders it just means that you have to chop up more of the food yourself before putting it in a blender and then blend for longer.

Here is this week's favorite green smoothie (which is actually red!):
Berrylicious Recipe
1 cup of strawberries
1 cup of frozen blueberries
1 1/2 cups of water (you can increase this if you feel it needs to be more runny)
1 banana
2 cups of kale

If you don't have kale, substitute spinach or a salad green. This yields enough to be shared with the family or else, any that's left over can be refrigerated for a couple of days!

Let me know if you give it a try.

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