During this cleanse, I’ve been experimenting with smoothies. I’ve managed to discover some tasty concoctions while getting in a remarkable amount of dark leafy greens! To those of you who have never had a green smoothie, try to keep an open mind. It’s not like drinking wheat grass, which anyone will admit tastes exactly like liquefied lawn greenery. No, these are two truly tasty, smooth, and luscious smoothies with endless possibilities. One is fruity, one is tangy and neither would lead you to believe you’re sipping on kale, collards or other highly nutritious, low-cal greens. The only caveat is that you need a powerful blender. Not the $20-$50 ones that only mix soft foods and a couple of ice cubes. You need a Vita-Mix (which I highly recommend) or equivalently high-powered machine that can withstand the feats you will be asking of it–pulverizing whole kale, collards, and parsley into a dreamy consistency is no easy task! It’s an investment for sure, but is totally worth it if you want perfect smoothies, dips, soups, frozen drinks, and nut butters, among other things. These smoothies keep you full and satisfied for several hours because of the fiber from the whole fruits and greens.
Green Smoothie #1: Fruity!
This smoothie has bright notes of apple, perkiness of strawberry, and a touch of greeny goodness! It’s like I’m describing wine 🙂 This recipe was adapted from the one I found on Jenny Sansouci’s blog Recipe for Life.
½ to 1 cup coconut water
½ or whole banana, peeled
1 Granny Smith apple, cored and quartered
handful strawberries (about 6 large), stems cut off
2-3 leaves kale, with stems
2-3 leaves collard greens, with stems
2-3 handfuls baby spinach
couple ice cubes (optional)
Add ingredients in order listed. Blend for around 45 seconds or until smooth. You’re done! If you aren’t using a Vita-Mix, I would recommend adding first four ingredients and blend before adding greens and ice. Adjust amount of coconut water and ice to your consistency preference. If this kind of smoothie is new for you, add more fruit to ease in your taste buds.
Green Smoothie #2: Tangy!
This tangy smoothie is a great perk-me-up in the morning! I adapted this one from the blog Sarma Raw–this feisty, fun lady owns the raw foods restaurant Pure Food and Wine in NYC. If you don’t have some of the specialty items listed in the ingredients, don’t sweat it. You’ll get a nutrient-loaded smoothie anyway.
½ cup coconut water
1 lemon, peeled (don’t worry about getting all the white pith off)
1 lime, peeled (ditto about pith)
2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into big chunks
couple chunks of pineapple, mango, or banana (if frozen, add at end)
2 tablespoons E3Live
1 tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
1 squirt green or white tea extract
1 tablespoon green powder
handful parsley, with stems
handfuls of kale, collards, and/or spinach
¼ to ½ inch of fresh ginger, peeled
couple ice cubes
5-16 drops stevia (optional, see note in directions)
Add ingredients in the order listed. Blend for at least 45 seconds. Taste. If you desire more sweetness, add a couple drops of stevia at a time; stir, taste, and adjust if needed. Stevia is very concentrated and, in this case, it can be too much of a good thing!
4 more ways to enjoy the green smoothies
Ok, here’s where I might lose some of you…this gets pretty hard-core for the non-weird-eating segment of the population. I’ve always intrigued my friends and co-workers with the homemade foods I eat. So this is not weird for me. If you’re willing to drink green smoothies, I think you can handle this next part…and these suggestions are totally tasty!
Additional Way #1 (see 5th pic above): Take Green Smoothie #1 (Fruity) and pour it over whole grains. I tried it over cooked barley and topped the whole thing with shredded coconut, almonds, and cashews. It’s like a sweetened warm grain cereal, but with the added nutrition of greens!
Additional Way #2 (see 6th pic above): Take Green Smoothie #2 (Tangy) and pour it over chopped apples (I used Fuji). Add goji berries, bee pollen, almonds, and sesame seeds. Stir. The tanginess of the smoothie complements the fruit and nuts. This is heaven for those of us who love lots of stuff in their bowl!
Additional Ways #3 & #4: Switch the two smoothie combos! I didn’t do this yet–I’m confident Fruity Smoothie would combine well with the apples/nuts/crazy stuff combo; not as confident about Tangy Smoothie and the grains, but I think it would work.