I see a lot of people on here use these and I'd like to try. My 2 y/o is pretty good with other veggies but doesn't eat any leafy greens. I'm hesitant to just throw a bunch of random stuff in the mixer without some guidance though... seems like the outcome could be very unpalatable. Recipes (with at least approximate amounts indicated) anyone? TIA!
What goes in your green smoothies?
I love green smoothies but I found out the hard way why my friend always removes the whole stalk and uses only the sides of the leaves (the stalks are MUCH stronger and a little spicy). Pineapple is the best thing to temper kale with, papaya and/or banana smooth it out and maybe a little lime or something else tangy (we have lilikoi which is perfect, don't know if it's available to you) to pique it just a little. YUMMY!!!
So far I've only tried spinach, but it works great. I've found that if you use enough strong flavors (coconut milk, bananas, pineapple, for example, all together or just one of them with other stuff) it hides the taste of the spinach. I've also done blueberry banana smoothies sweetened a bit more with dates (soften them up in hot water and chop first) -- enough blueberry hides the color of the dates and spinach, and the dates make it extra sweet.
Been making this for years, and it is very, very tasty.
2 cups spinach (fresh)
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen blueberries (or strawberries, chopped mango, peaches)
1 cup of milk (skim, soy, whole)
Blend the spinach and milk first, and then add the frozen fruits. The frozen banana makes it very creamy, like a milkshake. You can substitute any fruit you want, but you must have the banana, otherwise you will be able to taste the spinach.
You can substitute fresh fruit for frozen fruit, but it won’t be as thick and creamy. No need to add ice if your fruit is frozen!
I'll definitely try this! I've got some frozen spinach in the freezer. DS loves banana "milkshakes" (banana, soy milk or almond milk, and a squirt of honey - mmm!). He's been really off with his appetite lately (not knowing what he wants to eat, asking for more sweets when he's actually just hungry) but I have noticed that he's been craving more fruit. Maybe this will be a yummy treat for him :)
One of the favorites I've made, and I haven't made it in a while so memory is kinda fuzzy.. but I do a ton of spinach.. maybe 4" or so deep in the blender packed down really hard. a handful of grapes.. not tons, but enough to make a solid layer on top of the spinach. about an inch thick of fresh pineapple, core included.. and honestly I can't remember if I did the whole circle, or just half. one orange, peeled. a *sliver* of lime, with the peel still on. I... think thats it? Sometimes I added a spoonful of coconut oil. I don't think I added any liquid to it but grapes and oranges especially are pretty juicy. Oh, I probably threw in a banana too. Theres a lot of really sweet fruits in there and all the spinach tempers the sweetness a little and gives it a very refreshing taste! And all the fruit makes you not really taste the spinach. Tastes like tropical paradise.
spinach smoothies are our favorite- come out smooth and clean-tasting. This size is perfect for one toddler-size serving and one mama-sized serving
1 frozen banana (or fresh, but frozen is better)
1/2 cup of yogurt, or about 1/4 of a package of tofu or a mixture
1 cup of water, or to desired consistency
2/3-1 cup berries (we like blueberries and strawberries)
4 or 5 good handfuls of spinach, or as much as you want
We also nearly always add flax oil to ours, or cod liver/coconut/whatever-you-prefer oil. The fats help the sugars digest slower, I have heard, but mostly we do it for the healthy fats
Spinach, to the top of the blender (loose) - about 5 cups or thereabouts.
I add a banana, and blend that down to make space. Then, I add about 3/4-1 cup of yogurt, and 1.5-2 cups of frozen fruit (usually berries). The colour is a little strange, but it's really yummy. DD1 won't touch it, but the other kids and I all love it.
I've been thinking of trying the same thing with coconut milk in lieu of the yogurt. The above recipe comes out really thick.
I apologize for the novella, but I ran across this thread and I've been drinking green smoothies daily for 4 years and thought I could share!
Check out Victoria Boutenko's book "Green Smoothie Revolution." She originated the concept of a green smoothie and goes into more depth on the benefits of greens in her book Green for Life (excellent read), but Green Smoothie Revolution is the idea bible. It is not possible to fall into a green smoothie rut because you can access any item and find out which green smoothies have them in it. ie...picked up fresh cranberries at the store and instantly had several great smoothies I can incorporate fresh cranberries in.
Spinach is totally the gateway green for being just about flavorless.
Kale, swiss chard, parsley, cilantro, dandelion greens, beet greens, carrot greens, romaine, etc can also be used.
I never put any milk-type products in my smoothies, but always add 2-2.5 cups water/ice.
I use the ratio of 3:1 when I'm making smoothies up. 3 parts fruit for 1 part green. ie...2 frozen bananas, a cup of grapes and a packed cup or more of greens (depending on which green/how strong I know it will be), add water and blend. Delish.
Regarding the blender, I've used a $20 blender to make multiple smoothies per day for weeks with great results. I've used an ancient osterizer found at a garage sale, also fantastic. We have a $35 blender from Target for travel, and I own an OLD vitamix (like...25 years old). Every one has made amazing smoothies. The non-vitamix ones will do better with adding flax meal rather than the flax seeds, take off the hardest part of the kale stem, take the seeds out of the apple, things like broccoli and carrots might not blend, but I don't mix my veggies in with the fruit and greens so no experience there. IMO, not having a vitamix is absolutely no reason not to make some amazing green smoothies. You might end up with a couple small chunks of frozen banana, but I get those in my vitamix too, and so does my Mom and she has a brand new one. Chunks gross me out for some OCD reason ;) so I pour my smoothie into the jar through a large-holed, hand-held colander thing to catch them.
Buy bananas in ridiculous quantities, peel them and freeze them in a bag = instant easy smoothie additions
Also, as long as you're blending the whole fruit you should have no difficulties with rapid sugar absorption. The fiber in the fruit acts as a slow-release system for the sugar, giving you stable energy for hours. Adding things like apple or pineapple juice will void the effects of slow-release because they will be without their fiber.
Something else that's important are your fruit combos if you want it to taste sweet. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, commercially frozen peaches, etc are not as sweet and your smoothie will turn out much tastier if it includes sweeter fruits like grapes, bananas, mango, apples, pears, or pineapple. The sweeter the smoothie, the more greens you can put in it. So, I usually use 2 cups sweet fruit, 1 cup sweet or sub-acid fruit (ie - berries), enormous fistful of spinach/1-2 swiss chard leaves/1 cup packed dandelion/1 cup packed parsley/1/2 cup packedbeet greens/3-4 leaves kale/3-5 leaves romaine, 2.5 cups water. I add 1T flax too.
This makes a quart mason jar and then some.
Anyway, smoothies are such an incredible addition to anyone's diet. My uncle experienced a total reversal of severe gout after doing a green smoothie per day. My allergies significantly decrease, it's stable energy and feeding your body great stuff.
Also, a quick note about organic vs. conventional. Eat more fresh produce, however you can get it/afford it. I struggled for a long time with inaction because I couldn't afford organic. Yes, organic is more nutritious, but conventional also contains lots of good nutrition your body needs and you'll feel a difference either way.
Happy blending! Sorry for the novel!
Thanks, Ginger! That was super helpful information.
I actually just made my first one! I get them at the juice store (crazy expensive) and my sister makes them all the time for me (on the Vitamix that my mom got as a wedding present, ha), but this was my first one. It came out great. Baby spinach, grapes, clementines, banana. I also added a bit of yogurt but I don't think it needs it. My Target blender mixed it up fine. There was a little bit of grape skin, but the pieces were tiny.