Green Smoothie Deconstructed

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I love it when people ask me what I put in my green smoothies. This is the kind of conversation that I truly look forward to having with someone. It’s a fun give and take. I know the way I make my smoothies has been influenced by what I have learned from other people and a lot of experimentation.  ‘Cause, let me tell you, I have made some pretty yucky smoothies in my time.

So I thought I’d break down the different components of my smoothie. This is SO not scientific in any way. I’ll share some nutritional info, but do your own research and trial and error to see what is right for you.

Liquid Base

Nut milk

Rice milk

Coconut milk

Coconut water

I usually mix half non-dairy milk and half coconut water. I don’t like my smoothies too thick, so I adjust the amount to my liking. Coconut water is great for electrolytes, potassium, magnesium and calcium. It is supposed to be the closest thing to our bodies’ plasma. I generally use unsweetened nut milk, such as almond milk, which has calcium and vitamins D, E and B12.

Frozen Fruit

Bananas

Mangoes

Berries

I almost always use frozen bananas. This is my personal preference. I like the taste and texture the best. Just the right amount of sweetness and I don’t need to add any ice either, but you can if you like it that way. When my bananas start to get ripe, I peel them, cut them into chunks and store them in plastic bags in the freezer. Bananas are an awesome source of potassium.

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Green Leafy Vegetables

Kale

Spinach

Collard greens

Swiss chard

Kale and spinach are my favorites for green smoothies. I like the long flat-leafed tuscan kale, but curly kale is fine too. Regular or baby spinach works for me. Both these guys are nutritional powerhouses. They are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein. A must for my smoothies!!!

You really could stop with the liquid, fruit and greens and you would have a great smoothie. But I can’t help myself, I love adding powders, nuts and seeds. It’s kind of part of the experience for me. A little of this, a little of that. It’s so fun.

Supplemental Add Ins

Hemp seeds and/or powder

Pea protein powder

Maca powder

Chia seeds and or ground chia

Spirulina

Ground flaxseed

Extra virgin coconut oil

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So for protein, I add the hemp seeds or powder and/or the pea protein powder. This is especially good to do for an after-workout smoothie to help build those muscles back up. The chia and flax are good sources of dietary fiber and omega 3 fatty acid. Maca helps build stamina and fight fatigue and I’m a big fan of this stuff. The spirulina is a blue green algae that contains tons of trace minerals and elements. And the coconut oil is a healthy fat, which our bodies need to keep everything running smoothly.

Sweeteners

Agave nectar

Honey (not vegan)

Coconut nectar

Brown rice syrup

I think a little sweetener is fine. I don’t add a lot and sometimes none at all, but if you are loading up on kale, it’s nice to balance it out with a little sweetness. You need to play with this. Often, I will make the smoothie without sweetener, taste it and add some if it needs it. You do what you want here, but I would stay away from refined white sugar. And there is debate out there about agave, so do your research if you are concerned about it. I use such a small amount that I’m not too worried about it.

Now it’s time to play and throw everything into your blender. My brother recently introduced me to Blender Dude, so check out his page for more recipe ideas and blender tips.

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Green Smoothie

Makes 1-2

1 cup non-dairy milk, such as almond milk

1 cup coconut water

1 cup frozen banana chunks

4 cups mixed greens, such as kale and spinach

1 Tbsp each supplements of your choice (hemp powder, hemp seeds, pea protein, maca powder, chia seeds, ground chia, spirulina, ground flaxseed, extra virgin coconut oil)

1-2 tsp liquid sweetener, such as agave nectar

Place liquid in blender first, then add remaining ingredients. (Add less liquid if you like a thicker smoothie.) Blend on high until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness if desired.

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