I love green smoothies, they are my go to breakfast. I make one almost every day, and while I try to make my smoothies different to keep my body supplied with the most amounts of nutrients, I usually follow the same formula to get a great full meal smoothie.
Sometimes smoothies get a bad wrap because they are “high in sugar” but that is not always true, there are easy (and yummy) ways to enjoy a smoothie in the morning while keeping it low sugar. Also, if you are concerned about not “chewing” your breakfast, you can make a thick smoothie (reduce liquid, use frozen ingredients) and eat your smoothie with a spoon! If you suffer digestive issues, consider not using a straw, sometimes this causes us to drink something too quick, or swallow lots of air, so stick to drinking it like you would any other liquid, or use a spoon.
Start by choosing your smoothie base
I always use a liquid to start my smoothies. I put the liquid in first to ensure great smooth results every time. You can use any kind of liquid, here are my go to choices!
I usually go with ½-1 ½ cups of liquid depending on the rest of my ingedients
Grab a little Green
I almost always use leafy greens in my smoothie, but it is important to rotate and choose different greens. I like to rotate between chard in the summer from the garden, spinach, kale, mixed greens, bok choy, and anything else I have.
You can also add in celery (a personal favorite!) or cucumber, or anything else you like the taste of or that is mild. I sometime throw in a few pieces of broccoli if I have it too.
Another option is to add greens powder, there are many options out there. This is a good choice on the run or to use when you don’t have any greens to spare. I always think it is best to use the real stuff.
I go for 2-3 cups of fresh greens or a large handful, use your green powder as directed (usually a tsp or two)
Choose something tasty
I like to use some frozen fruit most of the time, but you can use any kind of fruit. Pineapple is so yummy in the summer time, and strawberries lead a great taste. A banana is also a good choice; it is a strong flavor but offers a creamy texture too.
I will go with ½-1 cup of fruit, a variety, or ½-1 banana.
Add in Fats and Protein
I recommend that meals have a mix of protein and fat, so it’s a good idea to add some things into your smoothie to up the nutritional value. Fat can come from the coconut milk you used, too.
¼ to ½ (or even a full) avocado depending on your needs, I will use 1 tbsp of chia and 1 tbsp of hemp in mine, but do what works for you, just remember that these can sometimes change the texture, so keep that in mind.
This is totally an option. Depending on your lifestyle and health status, superfoods can be added to help boost an already nutritious smoothie. Maca, spirulina, bee pollen, cacao nibs, cacao powder, golgi etc., can all be added for a whole variety of nutritional support. Personally I don’t often add in these additional things unless I am in need of something extra.
Follow the dose that the superfood suggests, some can have strong flavors (maca, spirulina, cacao, bee pollen), which will change the taste of the smoothie. These shouldn’t be providing the bulk of the smoothie nutrition, so stick to the smallest amount, unless you follow a strict diet needing more.
Here is my two favorite smoothie recipes:
Low-Sugar Green Smoothie (Serves 1)
1 cup homemade almond milk
2 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup raspberries/blueberries/blackberries (frozen)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp hemp seeds
Put everything into a high powdered blender (I use my Blendtec) in the order listed, and blend until smooth. Add ice if your berries are not frozen.
Classic Green Smoothie (Serves 1)
1 cup pure water
2 cups mixed greens
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 cup strawberries (frozen)
1/2 banana (frozen)
1 tbsp hemp protein powder
Put everything into a high powered blender in the order listed, blend until smooth. Add ice if you don't use frozen banana/strawberries.
note: you can omit strawberries and use a full banana, try adding in homemade almond butter for a banana almond butter milkshake feel.
Have you experimented with green smoothies before? What do you love (or hate) about them?
Amanda is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist out of Southwest Middlesex, and London ON. She works with clients to help them achieve their health and wellness goals!
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