For those of you who don’t know, I am obsessed with vegetables. Why? Because there is nothing nutritionally more beneficial for you to eat than vegetables. Sadly, many people aren’t even close to getting in the daily amount recommended for a healthy diet.
(By the way, I have put together an incredible info guide on how to get yourself out of an unhealthy eating rut and you better believe that vegetables play a big part! Click here if you would like to receive the guide.)
Enter GREEN smoothies.
Notice the emphasis on green. Because unless that smoothie has greens in it, then it isn’t the nutrient dense one you should be drinking first thing in the morning.
Green smoothies are awesome for a number of reasons:
1) They give you a head start in terms of packing in the daily amount of veggies needed for a healthy diet.
2) They are easy to make.
3) You can bring them with you on the go.
4) By having vegetables for breakfast, you are treating your body with respect and setting the tone for the entire day.
5) You can put other super foods in the smoothie as well, resulting in a nutritional powerhouse of a breakfast.
6) They keep you full until lunch.
7) They are freakin’ delicious!
Don’t get me wrong – I certainly don’t have them every day. Many mornings I just truly don’t have the time (even though it only takes 5 minutes) because I’m out early and am not home to prepare it.
But I DO aim to have them at least 4 days per week. Weekends are easy, and then at least 2 days during the week.
Sometimes I’ll have one for lunch if I didn’t get one in at breakfast.
Bottom line – I HIGHLY suggest you make smoothies become part of your eating regimen. You can use any blender, and if you don’t have one, they are affordable and worth the investment.
I follow a basic ‘recipe’ when it comes to smoothies:
I am a big fan of almond milk as we don’t drink regular milk in our home. But of course you can use regular milk, or any type of milk for that matter (coconut, rice, cashew, etc). You can also use coconut water and even plain water, although I find that smoothies taste better when I use a liquid with more flavor and/or a creamy consistency.
2. Leafy green
My favorite leafy green to use is spinach. It has such a mild flavor and you don’t even taste it. I used to use kale often, although now it is hard for me ever since I had bad kale last year and threw up on the side of the road on the way to pick up my kids from school! TMI? You can use romaine, or any leafy green for that matter, although I like sticking to spinach or kale as they don’t affect the flavor of the smoothie.
Also, don’t be afraid to use frozen vegetables. In fact, I decided to give FROZEN kale a try yesterday to see if I could tolerate it and I could! So kale is now BACK in my smoothie regimen, along with spinach. I will alternate them so I get the benefits of both kale and spinach.
3. Fruit to sweeten
Really ANY fruit works. My favorites are bananas, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. I’ve used pineapple, pear, apples, and even peaches and plums when is season.
This is where frozen really is a help. You can buy frozen organic fruit and have a stash ready to go at all times. I always have frozen blueberries and mixed berries in my freezer.
As for bananas, you can buy them frozen, or you can even freeze them yourself. To freeze bananas, you need to take them out of their peel first, and then store them in a freezer safe container. For me personally, I prefer to use fresh bananas since I almost always have them in the house.
4) Extra ingredients for added nutrients.
This is where you can really pack a punch in terms of health benefits. I use this as an opportunity to get superfoods in such as ground flaxseeds, ground chia seeds, goji berries, walnuts, almonds, and other veggies such as avocado (YES – avocado is AMAZING in smoothies), celery, and broccoli stalks! (They are the sweetest part of the broccoli, although I don’t suggest using this unless you have a very powerful blender.)
5) Something to chill it
I find that smoothies taste better when chilled, so I will either use a frozen vegetable, frozen fruit, or ice cubes. Blenders can totally crush ice cubes – I usually put around 5 in if I don’t use a frozen fruit or vegetable.
And there you have it. The formula for the perfect smoothie. Below you will find the recipe for my favorite morning smoothie. Give it a try and do your body good!
Morning Go To Smoothie
- 1 cup almond milk
- 11/2 cups spinach
- 1 small banana
- 1 teaspoon ceylon cinnamon
- 3 or 4 walnuts
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
- 1/4 avocado
- 5 ice cubes
- stevia to taste or 1 tablespoon raw honey to sweeten (optional)
- Blend the almond milk and the spinach first.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on high for 1 minute.
Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? If so, please share it by posting in the comments section below.