The other night, the hubs and I were invited to a presentation given by a local Acupuncturist (Susan from The Laughing Buddha) about the health benefits of green smoothies. I’ve made green smoothies before (they usually turn out brown from berries..mmm) but have only used spinach so I was interested in hearing about other, more adventurous recipes. I’ve heard of smoothies with kale and even broccoli (which still would terrify me…not ready for broccoli yet) but haven’t been brave enough to try them.
Anyway, Susan discussed why adding green smoothies to your diet on a daily basis will help eliminate toxins in your body, take care of nutritional deficiencies, and fill you up. She referenced the book Green for Life (which I’m interested in buying on Amazon) and blended some smoothies from Green Smoothie Revolution.
Susan also explained the benefits of plant proteins versus animal, how natural sources of fiber will increase the efficiency of your digestive system, and the importance of alkaline foods (like greens) in maintaining a balanced pH in the body.
Honestly, I didn’t feel like I needed to be convinced that green smoothies were good for you.
I personally don’t think I get enough vegetables on a day to day basis mostly because I’d rather eat something else. I wish so bad I was one of those people who loved having big, veggie filled salads for lunch but I’d really rather have a sandwich. So, I’m actually thinking blending up green smoothies everyday is a great and easy way for me to get more veggies.
This past summer, my husband and I bought a juicer. The juicer is awesome but honestly, it’s kind of a lot of work. To make enough juice for both of us, we had to buy a TON of produce (which still didn’t yield a lot of juice), we were left with loads of pulp and skin, and the cleanup is kind of annoying.
I do love fresh juice, but we haven’t even used the juicer since this summer (it’s been sitting in the garage). By the way, the parsley smoothie was surprisingly good. Such a pretty color too!
Susan used the famous Vitamix . I’ve never used one or even seen one I don’t think, but I know people love those things.
Overall, I didn’t notice that Susan added very many supplements to the smoothies except for Spirulina. I’ve heard of Spirulina before but I’ve never actually used it. It’s definitely touted as somewhat of a superfood and here are some of the potential benefits:
- Boosts immune system
- Aids in digestion
- Reduces fatigue
- Natural detoxifier
- Reduces inflammation
- Controls Appetite
Another good smoothie. Could not taste the kale…which I appreciate.
Last smoothie we tried was spinach based.
I left the green smoothie party feeling super motivated to start making my own green smoothies on a daily basis. So far, I’ve stuck to my guns. (By the way, if you’re ever in the Vail Valley check out Susan’s Acupuncture clinic..it’s pretty nice!).
I went to the store and bought a big bag of spinach and a huge bunch of kale. Another thing I like about the smoothie idea is you actually use the produce you buy. Well, maybe you do use your produce but I have a tendency to buy tons of produce (good intentions), then half of it goes bad. So, I like how I can use big bunches of greens in these smoothies and none of it goes bad!
The first smoothie I attempted to recreate was the spinach one. I got out the blender we received as a wedding present (and have never used) and set myself up.
Into the blender went 1/2 bunch of spinach, 1 banana, 2-3 ripe peaches (I used frozen so I just guessed), and 2 cups of water.
I kind of guessed on all the proportions (except the banana..and water). I threw in what I thought looked good, blended it up, tasted it, then added a couple more peaches.
I also decided to add some Chia seeds because…why not?
It turned out great! They taste really good too after sitting in the fridge for a while. I love that I can make a big batch the night before then have a smoothie for breakfast and maybe for a snack later in the day.
Smoothie #1 was a success!
Yesterday I made the kale smoothie. This was my first experience (at home) using kale in a smoothie. Since I don’t have a Vitamix, I wasn’t sure how my blender would handle it.
This recipe consisted of 1/2 bunch of kale (eyeballed it again), 2 stalks of celery, 1 banana, 1 mango, 1/3 cup pineapple, and 2 cups of water. It also technically called for Spirulina but I don’t have any. I figured its’ absence wouldn’t necessarily ruin the smoothie.
I blended that baby up and it turned out great! It didn’t blend the kale up perfectly, but I couldn’t taste it so it’s okay.
I’m actually drinking some for breakfast this morning!
So far, so good as far as green smoothies are concerned. Susan recommended using all kinds of greens, not just sticking to 1 in particular. Besides kale and spinach, you could use watercress, arugula, lettuce, mint, dandelion greens (I don’t even know what those are)…whatever you’d like!
The key is mixing the veggies with the right fruits so it’s drinkable :). You can definitely mix these with berries, you’ll just get an uglier color which is fine (kinda brown).
I’m a fan of the green smoothie though. I think it’s a great way to sneak in more veggies, which I need!
Do you drink green smoothies? Ever tried one? Thoughts?