Thursday, May 17, 2012

Go,Go Green...Smoothie?!

Okay, before you scrunch your nose, turn your head, or make a dramatic & uncalled for heaving noise (as one of my besties, Enzo, just loooooves to do), please hear me out. I'm the kind of person to try anything twice; you know in case I was wrong the first time. And I'm not one to shy away from anything off the beaten track. Enter the exciting & deelicious world of Green Smoothies! Yes its true, there are green veggies in it ( up to 40% if you ask the smoothie aficionados). And yes, the smoothie is GREEN, sometimes prettier shades than others, depending on the fruit you decide to add. But most importantly, they taste AMAZING!

Green smoothies are not only super tasty, but easy to make! Just grab a some of your favorite fruit, a fist-full of greens, a splash or 2 of water and...TA-DA! You have a healthy & deelicious breakfast or snack. Any combo will do, and personal taste trumps all, but I've found certain combos more successful than others. (I've included a few recipes on the bottom). Banana is always a great base, lending its creamy texture to a more indulgent feeling smoothie. However if you're like me & hate bananas, you can do one of 2 things; use the right fruit to mask the flavor, OR substitute 1/4 to a 1/2 of an avocado in place of the banana. The avocado lends an even richer consistency and is virtually flavorless. Berries are always a great choice as well. If you have children who detest anything green, of if you're a big baby & can't bring yourself to drink something green, I suggest using blueberries or blackberries as your fruit of choice. They instantly turn anything a lovely shade of blueish purple. Strawberries are great too, but the color of the smoothie is definitely not appealing ( we eat with our eyes too, after all). As far as greens go, baby spinach or romaine lettuce (yeah, I said it) are great starters. They truly are completely tasteless in the presence of fruit, and the nutrition benefits are endless. If you're feeling gutsy, go for kale, arugula or any other dark greens you can think of. These are more pungent in flavor, however.

My personal favorite is pineapple, mango, banana & baby spinach. Its sweet, creamy & refreshing (and you can barely taste banana! woohoo!) Another great tip is to buy fruit when they are super ripe and/or on sale, dice up, bag & store in the freezer. Not only do you have perfectly ripe fruit in any season, but you literally grab, toss in the blender and GO!

As you would most likely assume (because I know you're a smart cookie, if you're still reading) there are countless benefits from incorporating green smoothies into your daily, or weekly, routine. Here are a few gems:

  • being a blended drink, green smoothies are easily digested by the body, and vital nutrients are absorbed almost INSTANTLY into the body.
  • that quick nutrient absorption gives you a killer energy boost, so much more effective & better feeling than the mid-morning coffee jitters
  • unlike green or fruit juices, which is lacking all the healthy fiber that comes with your fruits & veggies, green smoothies are your one-stop-shop for utilizing all the natural goodies your ingredients have to offer; plus that fiber will keep you fuller, longer
  • easy to make, easy to clean-up! (I mean seriously- throw stuff in blender, hit button, pour. Not exactly rocket science)
So what are you waiting for?! Get up, get out & get started on a green smoothie today!

A Few Of My Faves

3/4 C mango
3/4 C pineapple
1 med. banana (can substitute 1/4 avocado)
2 handfuls baby spinach (tear leaves)
1/4 C water (or enough to create desired consistency)

Berry Cool
1/2 C frozen blueberries
1/2 C frozen strawberries
1/2 C frozen blackberries
1 med. banana
2 handfuls baby spinach (tear leaves)
1/4 C water (or enough to create desired consistency)

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