SSFC: Green Smoothies
A day late and a dollar short to the party (oh heck yes, I’ll mix metaphors if I want!), I’m here offering a humble green smoothie. Bright green. Super green. And chock full of fresh, local fruits and veggies like chard and nectarines and blueberries.
The green smoothie revolution started a long time ago, and heaven knows I’ve always wanted to jump on board. But I’ll admit–the fact that it was green freaked me out. The kale-spinach-chard-collards-any-kind-of-greens lover than I am just could fathom pureeing the greens with fruit and then drinking it. It sounded like the youth group thing that I saw in middle school where the youth pastor put a McDonald’s hamburger, fries, and milkshake into a blender (and, of course, some half-deranged kid drank a sip of it). Something that you could do–you could throw veggies and fruit into a blender–but something that you shouldn’t do.
So I come here today, apologetic for my naivete, and offering what the world has already offered a million times before–the utterly delicious and somehow addicting green smoothie.
Green smoothies aren’t for everyone’s taste and, over the past few weeks, I’ve discovered that I have a lower threshold for sweet than most. It takes time to figure out what ratio of greens to fruit you want, but I’ve come closer to a handful of fruit (berries, peaches, nectarines), one banana, and four big leaves of kale or chard. But green smoothies are all about experimentation–hence, the ultimate locavore’s breakfast.
G decided that we simply must get on the smoothie train after we watched the documentary Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. The film follows Joe Cross as he heals his body through a juice diet–and then drives around America convincing others to give juices a whirl. I found the second half of the movie to be a bit more convincing when Joe narrows in on the story of one truck driver who really turned his life around (lost hundreds of pounds, dropped his cholesterol, and reached healthy levels of pretty much anything you monitor in your body), but the entire thing is worth a watch if you’re interested in a whole foods, juice/smoothie diet.
Even though I’d run across green smoothies for years, I’d never had one, so I turned to two of my favorite bloggers to unearth the secrets of a good smoothie–Megan Telpner and Becky Striepe. Megan’s blog is chockful of fantastic nutritional info and recipes and Becky, who also has utterly delicious recipes ranging from cupcakes to stir-frys to canning, featured a “40 Days of Green Smoothies” series this year. Combining thoughts from both Megan’s Green Smoothie Formula and Becky’s 40 Days formula, I’ve come up with something that works for G & I–super green but not bitter and definitely sweet, but not cloyingly so.
Each week, we stock up on kale or chard at the farmers market and enough fresh fruit to last for the week and then I make the drinks every morning before work. Since we drink them at work, we’ve gotten a lot of weird stares and “oh my gosh what is that stuff you’re drinking,” and it’s been fun to share the smoothie love. I’ve yet to convince a coworker, but I think G has a few who have started to look into it or even try one out.
I’m no nutritionist, so I can’t vouch for the science or whatnot behind it, but ever since switching to green smoothies I’ve felt incredibly energetic and ready to meet the day. Especially more so now that I’m caffeine-free too. Easy to digest, full of fiber, and made with all organic and mostly local ingredients, I personally can’t find anything wrong with them. I also typically have a hard time eating enough fruit, so the two servings I drink in each smoothie goes a long way for boosting my diet.
In short, play around with what you have accessible to you–but always use the best ingredients you can find. If you like things a little sweeter and less “green,” start with spinach or chard. Throw in 1/4 cup of fruit at a time on top of the banana and see how much you need to add to make it taste the way you like. And then drink down & face the day!
Basic Green Smoothie Formula
4 large leaves kale or chard
1/4 c fruit of choice (strawberries, blueberries, nectarines, peaches, etc.)
1 tbsp ground flax seed or whole chia seeds
1/4 c almond milk (+ more to make it smooth enough)
2 ice cubes
Place everything in a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Add more almond milk as needed to make the smoothie liquid enough to drink. Enjoy!