Overcoming My Fear of Green Smoothies (and learning to love them)
Most people have fears, some of spiders, some of small spaces, just the usual. Me, I had a fear of green smoothies! Something about their 'green-ness' was a little bit nerve-wracking, a little off putting even. Please tell me I am not alone in these fears. Ironically, I drank green juices without complaint and enjoyed them, but there was something about blended vegetables that didn't seem quite right. But some months back I was lucky enough to meet Katie from Thrive Fitness and Wellbeing, and she changed my opinion of these nutritious gems instantly.
And now? Well I am a self-confessed green smoothie lover and advocate! So to all those fellow souls out their who have not experienced the amazing-ness that is green smoothies, you need to take a deep breath, throw caution to the wind and JUST DO IT. I believe in the quote that says you should do something every day that scares you, today, make a green smoothie. Start simple, add a handful of spinach to a tasty berry smoothie, then gradually move towards more greens and less fruit.
So what are the benefits of smoothies, in particular those of the green variety? Well, just like juices they are packed full of all the amazing vitamins, minerals and enzymes that green veggies are loaded with, and because the veggies haven't been cooked the enzymes are alive and buzzing. Furthermore, the blending process aids digestion, because it has already done the 'breaking down into little bits' part for you, meaning faster absorption into your cells and less work for you stomach (and we must treat our stomach right). Thirdly, in a green smoothie you can have many servings of veggies in one go, that you otherwise might not have the time or patience to munch on. And smoothies are fast! Put in blender, blend, drink, DONE. Now I am not going to get into the juices vs smoothies debate, because I love them both and believe they are both part of a balanced diet, but with smoothies you get all the fibrous stuff that is eliminated from juice. Fibre is great for your bowels and intestines and ensures everything, uh, runs smoothly, so to speak. Because of this smoothies can contain fruit because you get all the fibre to slow the blood sugar spike. To sum up, green smoothies are fantastic, and you will be surprised how tasty they can be. I love topping mine with goji berries for some textured crunch!
So for green smoothies there is no real 'recipe', but more a combination of possible ingredients, most importantly what you have available, organic and in season. Here is a basic 'recipe':
Liquid: water, coconut water, almond milk, nut milk, coconut milk (to either smoothie or smoothie bowl consistency). Veggies: avocado, zucchini, cucumber, celery, ginger. Leafy Greens: cos lettuce, kale, spinach, silver beet, rocket, or any leafy greens! Fruit: lemon, apple, pineapple, orange, lime, berries (frozen or fresh), pear. Superfood additions: chia seeds, goji berries, açai powder, maca powder, bee pollen, spirulina, chlorella, blue-green algae, Others: coconut oil, cinnamon.
Blend all ingredients together until well combined (no chunks), adding enough liquid for desired consistency. For smoothie bowl it should be thick, so you eat it with a spoon, and for a smoothie thin enough to drink. Top with anything you like.
How do you like your green smoothies? Have you been brave enough to try one of these creations?
Keep healthy, enjoy your green smoothies, Erica xx