Green smoothies are everywhere these days. Health nuts love them, moms hide vegetables in them and folks who hate salad have found their way. Even my roommate who 'hates' vegetables now makes them daily. He just calls them his morning milkshake.
Nutritionally speaking, it's unwise to assume a store bought smoothie is up to par with your home made version. The most popular ones out there (yes, even the green colored ones) pack a serious punch of sugar, often more than a can of Coke. What makes a green smoothie nutritious is up to you- so here are some tips below to help you create your ultimate smoothie.
10 Tips to Create the Ultimate Green Smoothie
- Use whole fruits (not fruit juice or puree) to add that sweet punch. Fruit juice and puree may still retain vitamins and minerals, but they are extremely high in sugar.
- I'm a firm believer you can add vegetables to all smoothies. Just know this - the higher proportion of veggies to fruit = lower sugar smoothie. Great for the waistline.
- Best veggie options? Leafy greens. Kale, swiss chard, spinach, etc...they're all jam packed with vitamins and minerals that will serve you in more ways than I can list here and have tons of fiber which will keep things 'moving.' We should be eating them daily, ideally multiple times per day.
- Some veggies add their own natural sugars and add fantastic flavors: cooked beets, raw carrots, roasted sweet potato.
- Follow this genius move so you can still make your smoothie when you're low on fresh greens.
- When using fresh greens - pop in the blender along with your liquid (water, coconut water, nut milk, raw milk, plain yogurt, etc.) before everything else to really pulverize all bits and pieces.
- Do yourself a favor and prep. Clean the veggies and store in plastic bags in the fridge at the beginning of the week. This makes the process a breeze.
- Get creative with flavors and ingredients. I love mint & practically everything. Cocoa & beets. Basil & berries. Ginger & sweet potato...just envision in your head what tastes delicious baked, and then experiment with your smoothie.
- Finally, add some nutrition power-houses which add serious bang for their buck. Think flax seed, chia seed (3 times more calcium than milk!), coconut oil, goji berries, raw seeds & nuts (and seed/nut butters!), raw cocoa and spices. Add a good quality protein powder and make this a meal that will keep you energized and happy for hours.