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Ever felt the need to reboot your system with something pure, fresh, and absolutely healthful? Let’s talk about the trending elixir of life – the Green Smoothie. With this article, I aim to share the wonders, benefits, and of course, the secret behind crafting the ultimate Green Smoothie Recipe – How To Make A Basic Green Smoothie.
I am a big fan of smoothies, not only because they are so good, but because it’s a great way to get a punch of nutrients and fiber in your diet. It makes for the perfect breakfast, post-workout snack, or treat.
One of my favorite go-to smoothies is this Basic Green Smoothie, which you can drink on its own or use as a base to add in more ingredients and flavors.
Why Green Smoothies?
You might wonder, why go green when countless colorful fruits are out there? Well, the answer lies in the powerhouse of nutrients that green leafy vegetables offer.
Packed with Nutrients: Green vegetables are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals, providing the body with a burst of sustained energy.
A Digestive Boon: With high fiber content, they aid in digestion, ensuring that your gut remains healthy.
Detoxifying Properties: Green veggies like spinach and kale have a natural ability to cleanse the system, making you feel rejuvenated.
How To Make A Basic Green Smoothie
1. Pick a liquid base
This can be anything from your milk of choice (cow, soy, almond, oats, hempmilk, etc.), or coconut water. I personally like using plant-based nut milk or coconut water or a blend of both. Coconut water adds an extra dimension to the smoothie compared to just water and is a great source of electrolytes.
2. Pick a creamy base
Avocados and Bananas make for a great creamy base that blends all of the ingredients together. If you use avocado over banana, only use 1/4 of it, or it will be VERY thick.
3. Add 2 parts greens
Your greens should be one of your first ingredients in the blender. This way, the other ingredients will weigh the greens in the blender and ensure they are blended. Otherwise, the greens tend to stick to the side of the blender.
If you’re new to green smoothies, start out with a mild leafy green vegetable like baby spinach. You will barely taste it in your smoothie. As you get accustomed to making green smoothies, you can add other greens like kale, broccoli, cucumbers, Swiss chard, or microgreens.
Tip: I do recommend steaming your greens like kale and broccoli and freezing a head of time. The steaming process will make it easier for your stomach to digest and will minimize bloating caused by raw kale and broccoli.
I typically add two handfuls of greens to my smoothies: 1 handful of baby spinach, which is the equivalent to about 1 cup.
Because you want your smoothies to be as balanced as possible, adding a protein boost helps. I personally love using plant-based Sakara’s Protein & Greens Super Powder. It adds a creamy, slight hint of sweetness to my smoothies. I love that it has an organic mix of pea, hemp, pumpkin seed, and sesame proteins, forming a complete protein that your body can absorb and use as fuel. Together, the seeds and proteins in this blend have the essential amino acids the body needs to support lean muscle development.
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7. Add a healthy fat
Adding nut butters, seeds (like chia, hemp or ground flax seeds), and avocados can make your smoothie extra filling, and depending on which one you choose, may bring heart-protecting omega-3 fatty acids or monounsaturated fats. But these additions also drive the calories up, so be mindful of how much you’re putting in. If you add avocado as your creamy base, you might want to skip adding nut butter.
Freeze all ingredients: I recommend freezing your ingredients beforehand. This will give you an ultra-smooth smoothie, and you won’t have to use much ice.
Steam your greens & freeze like kale and broccoli ahead of time. The steaming process will make it easier for your stomach to digest and will minimize bloating caused by raw kale and broccoli.
Liquid: Start with one cup and add more if needed. The ratio that I like is: 1 cup nut milk + 1/2 cup water.
Freezing Bananas: Prep your bananas by slicing them into medallions vs freezing the entire banana, then freeze. It will make the blending process easier and smoother.
If you use the tip above, blend the seeds and oats with your liquid base for 90 seconds to break them down. Stop the blender, add the rest of your ingredients, and blend for another 90 seconds or until smooth.
The Don’ts of a Green Smoothie
It’s easy to go overboard, but remember:
Avoid too much fruit to keep sugar levels in check.
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender, starting with the protein powder, peanut butter, spinach, bananas, strawberries, ice and any other add-ins, and blend up for 90 to 120 seconds or until smooth.
The recipe makes 1 serving.
To bulk it up as a meal replacement, add in the following:
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Why does my green smoothie taste bitter?
Your choice of greens might be the culprit. Some greens like arugula or certain varieties of kale can be bitter. Blend with sweet fruits or add a natural sweetener.
Can I use frozen greens?
Absolutely! Frozen greens can be a convenient and equally nutritious alternative to fresh ones.
How many calories are in a basic green smoothie?
How many calories are in a basic green smoothie largely depends on the ingredients used. However, a basic green smoothie with spinach, banana, and yogurt is roughly around 150-200 calories. My basic green smoothie recipe has the following ingredients: 1/2 a medium banana, frozen, 1 handful spinach, washed, 1 cup almond milk (unsweetened), 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 sachet Sakara Protein + Greens Super Powder, and 3–4 ice cubes. The recipe, based off of MyFitnessPal has 324 calories, 18.7g of protein, 7g of fiber, 30.8g net carbs, and 12.6g of fat
Is it okay to have a green smoothie daily?
Yes, it’s perfectly fine to have a green smoothie daily. Just ensure you mix up your ingredients to get a variety of nutrients.
Can I replace meals with green smoothies?
While green smoothies are nutritious, they shouldn’t replace all meals. It’s essential to have a balanced diet.
Which blender is best for green smoothies?
A blender that is best for green smoothies a high-powered blender with over 1000 W, like Vitamix, is great. But many mid-range blenders also do a fine job, like the Nutribullet.
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I'm an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200), offering guidance to high achievers in aligning their lifestyle with well-being through daily wellness and self-care routines, promoting balance and harmony. Join me at Wellness Bum for tips on living well, and consider subscribing to my newsletter or booking a coaching session.