The Year of the Green Smoothie

21 Jan

So, I asked for (and received) a Nutribullet for Christmas this year from Pat. I had always been intrigued about the whole smoothie phenomenon, but I admittedly have never loved smoothies; I always felt like I would rather chew my food. I know lots of other people are like this too, but I thought I’d give it a shot, knowing how healthy it could potentially be!

After using it daily for almost 30 days now, the verdict is: I LOVE IT!

To start out, I had no idea how to make a tasty smoothie. All I knew was what the Nutribullet book told me, which gives the basics, but I found it does take a bit of trial and error to get it right. I grabbed some mixed frozen fruit, almond milk, spinach, and a bag of chia/flax mix, and tried my luck. Now that I have it under my belt, I’m also using protein powder, nuts, some veggies in addition to different types of fruits, greek yogurt, and spices. Sometimes you’ll make one that is kinda gross, but just roll with it. It happens.

The awesome part of these smoothies is you can make them however you want, to fit your favorite tastes. I’ve been drinking one of these smoothies every day for breakfast, and I think I’ve made a new habit out of it. I make sure that I include a protein and fat source as well as the carbohydrates from the fruit, because often times, it is the only thing I’ll have for breakfast. I feel full and satisfied and energized, ready to conquer the day. It also makes me want to eat healthier through the rest of the day, which is also awesome.

AND it’s super quick. Literally throw a bunch of healthy stuff into a blender/Nutrbullet and let ‘er rip. It’s the best “fast food” you’ll ever have!

The general formula to follow looks something like this:

1 ½ cups fruit/veggies (60%)
1 cup leafy greens (40%) – spinach, kale, arugula, romaine, swiss chard
1 cup liquid – coconut water, orange juice (no sugar added), almond milk, milk, water
“Boosts”  – flax, chia, goji berries, cacao nibs/powder, hemp seeds, maca powder, nuts, protein powder– as desired

Here are some recipes for the green smoothie newbie:

On the Beach
1 handful spinach or kale
Frozen Tropical fruit mix – banana, mango, peach, pineapple
¼ cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 scoop protein powder
Chia/flax mix
Splash of orange juice, and fill the rest with water

Berries & Creme
1 cup spinach or kale
1 cup mixed berries
½ banana
¼ cup vanilla greek yogurt
1 scoop protein powder
Chia/flax mix
About ½ cup vanilla almond milk, and fill the rest with water

Apple Pie
1 handful spinach
1 banana
1 apple (cored & sliced)
Vanilla greek yogurt
Sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg
A few ice cubes
Fill with almond milk/water

Orange Creamsicle
1 large handful spinach
1 frozen banana
1 orange
1 cup vanilla almond milk, about 1/4 cup orange juice
Splash of vanilla extract
A few ice cubes

AB&J
1 cup/handful spinach
1 cup red/purple grapes
1 banana
1 tablespoon/spoonful of almond butter
10-15 almonds (soaked in water overnight as described below)
½ cup almond milk, fill the rest with water

Holy Kale
1 big handful of kale
1 banana
½ cup mango
1/4 avocado
1/2 cup of almond milk, fill the rest with water 

Almond Butter Cup
1 cup spinach
1 (frozen) banana
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tablespoon cacao powder/nibs
½ cup Chocolate almond (or dairy) milk, and fill the rest with water

IMG_3257

Some overall tips for beginners:

Spinach is the mildest green and you won’t be able to taste it much, if at all.

Frozen fruit mixes (berries, tropical, summer, etc.) make the process easy and give a nice variety of tastes and nutritional benefits in your beginners smoothies.

Add some ice cubes before you blend if you like a colder/more frozen smoothie. Typically if you like your smoothies cold, use at least one frozen fruit.

Frozen fruit is just as nutritious as fresh, and is a great option in winter.

Frozen banana gives your smoothie a very creamy texture. Almond milk, greek yogurt, and avocadoes do, too.

Try adding a squirt of honey, agave nectar, or an extra half banana if your smoothie isn’t sweet enough. (I rarely have to do this)

If you’d like to add raw nuts for extra protein & healthy fats, soak them in water overnight for easier blending.

Don’t be afraid to go a little out of your comfort zone. When you’re comfortable with the beginner smoothies, start adding in some different veggies to these base recipes. Add some baby carrots to On the Beach, add ½ of an avocado to Berries & Creme, add cucumber to just about anything!

Just remember, these recipes are totally customizable and flexible!

Happy blending!

Advertisements

2 Responses to “The Year of the Green Smoothie”

  1. Maria January 21, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

    celery is really yummy in smoothies too!

  2. Kathi S. January 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Just made my first green smoothie, Julie! I used your Berries & Creme recipe and it was delicious! I’ve definitely been wanting to try the green smoothie craze but was overwhelmed. Thanks for making it so simple! I used a mini food processor that I had and it worked well, but if smoothies become a habit I might have to invest in something better!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: