Benefits of Green Smoothies and How to Make Them

By Michelle
26 November 2014

Everyone knows they’re supposed to eat their greens but eating the recommended amount on a daily basis is not always that easy.  As many have discovered, adding a green smoothie to your daily food intake is a great way to ensure you meet your daily quota.

More than just convenience, green smoothies also boast nutritional benefits that can positively impact on your health and fitness.  Leafy greens are a great source of non-dairy calcium, magnesium and Vitamin C.  In addition, they contain folate to guard against heart disease and cancer, and carotenoids that may help protect against macular degeneration.

It’s important to recognise that smoothies are a superior option to juices because they are a complete food.  By using a blender rather than a juicer, the fibre of the ingredients is retained, which is vital for elimination processes within your body.  The included fibre also makes them more filling than their juice counterparts and you waste less of the food too.

Why green smoothies are convenient

  1. Easy to make
  2. Blenders are easy to clean (one jug)
  3. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days
  4. Can be consumed at any time of the day
  5. Once made, they’re portable

Coming up with the right combination

If you look around the internet, you’ll find plenty of inspiring green smoothie recipes.  I like to look at a couple of recipes, see what’s in the fridge and come up with my own green mix.  After a few goes you can work out what suits your tastebuds and makes you feel good.  Experiment with ingredients, add what you like and leave out what you don’t.

The ideal mix will have approximately 60% veggies and 40% fruit.  If you’re watching your weight, then you may wish to further reduce the fruit portion to cut down on sugars or stick to low fructose fruit such as kiwi and berries.  

If you’re just starting out, are making one for kids, or the thought of a green smoothie turns you green too, then start with a 60% fruit and 40% veggie ratio.  You can always adjust this as you get used to the taste.

Building your green smoothie recipe – it’s easy!

First of all, you’ll need a blender.  If you have a high powered blender, you’ll get a much smoother mix.  To build your green smoothie, you need a liquid base, some greens and some fruit to sweeten it.  Add to the blender with a handful of ice cubes and blitz until smooth.

Choose from each of the groups below.

Liquid - 1 cup (pick one)
  • Coconut water
  • Water
  • Almond milk
  • Rice milk
Greens - 1-2 big handfuls
  • Kale
  • Spinach or baby spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Beetroot leaves
Fruit/veg - pick two (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 green apple
  • 1 kiwi fruit
  • Handful of berries
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 1 banana

 

Supercharging your green smoothie

You can stick to the 3-4 ingredient smoothie or you can add some additional ingredients to make it work even harder for you.  Here’s our guide to smoothie supplementation!

Additional flavours/nutrients
  • Lemon juice
  • Lime juice
  • Parsley
  • Mint
Fibre
Protein
Vitamins & mineral boost
Healthy fats
  • Coconut flesh (2Tbsp makes it thicker)
  • Avocado (1/4-1/2 makes it creamy)
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
To satisfy a sweet tooth
For healing purposes
  • Vanilla bean powder (antioxidant)
  • Cinnamon (regulates blood sugar)
  • Ginger (digestive)
  • Turmeric (anti-inflammatory)
  • Cayenne (gut cleanser)

 

My favourite green smoothie mix

I’ve cut out a lot of sugar so this might not be to everyone’s taste.  However, by adding a banana it would be sweet enough for most, especially green smoothie novices.  Give it a go!

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • Handful of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 kiwi fruit peeled
  • 1/2 Lebanese cucumber, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/4 teaspoon spirulina
  • 1 teaspoon True Greens Powder
  • Handful of ice

Blitz in a high powdered blender and pour into a jar so you can take it to work with you and impress your colleagues with your healthy attitude!

green smoothie

Best of all, doing anything you think of as being healthy affects the way you feel about yourself and your lifestyle.  The pyschological boost can bring down stress levels a couple of notches and leave you with an attractive glow.

For even more convincing reasons why you should drink green smoothies and another great green smoothie recipe, see: http://www.trueprotein.com.au/articles/going-green

 

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