Did you know that green smoothies do not have to taste like grass to be good for you? What? Yes, you can buzz up delicious concoctions at home using your favorite flavors and ingredients from the fridge. Inexpensively add seeds or proteins to boost the nutritional value, and do it for a fraction of what retail juice and smoothie bars charge.
Good smoothies start with a good blender, and there are many to choose from on the market. Find one with minimal removable parts to make cleanup easy, and enough power to fully grind fibrous foods. Use cold water, kale, spinach and banana as the base of your smoothies because they are packed with vitamins and minerals, they are inexpensive, and they don’t overpower other flavors. I tend to avoid dairy and other milks because they add unnecessary fat and calories. Be creative! I love to throw a lemon or orange (my very favorite flavor) in my Vitamix, along with anything I scavenge in the refrigerator – carrots, broccoli, apples, pears, beets, parsley, even peppers. I buy bulk flax seeds for essential fatty acids, and chia seeds and wheat germ for fiber.
Smoothie Tips & Tricks
- Buy in season and on sale with shopper value or rewards cards.
- Freeze berries and ginger so they last longer and are ready when you are.
- Cleaning and freezing items yourself saves oodles of time and money.
- Keep frozen spinach in the freezer, just in case you forget to pick up fresh greens.
- Frozen foods do double duty at ice cubes!
- Shop in more than one store to see the real savings.
- Local farmers markets are ideal, but they can be expensive. Shop wisely.
- Shop according to your priorities and values – organic, local, all green, etc…
- Remember that ‘organic’ means different things, depending on where and what you buy.
Why make smoothies? Simple. They’re good for you! Swapping one meal a day for a liquid meal saves metabolic energy and can maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Just imagine two o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon without the burger and fries coma and the need for caffeine before that important meeting.
Why You Should Embrace Your Inner Smoothie
- Blending is a satisfying, easy way to prepare meals at home.
- Pureed foods are more efficiently absorbed and utilized by the body.
- Astringents like citrus fruits and ginger combined with raw fibers cleanse the digestive tract, keeping you regular, and may ease problems such as acid reflux.
- Blending foods that require less (or no) peeling means more bang for your buck because you use the whole food, reducing trash.
- Fruits and veggies are incredibly hydrating, more exciting than plain water, and set you up for a focused yoga practice.
- Blending integrates a raw meal once a day without committing to a major dietary makeover.
- Connecting with the energy of raw, whole foods can be a meditative, grounding experience. Take time to honor your unique creative process and offer gratitude for the bounty of benefits that fruits and veggies deliver.
Finally, blending creatively is a mindful path to a healthier long-term outlook. You know exactly what is going into your body. Mind-body awareness alleviates stress on all your internal systems, and fosters a sattvic physical and mental state.
What is sattva? http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/sattva
Here is a recipe I call The Kitchen Sink. Looks like a lot, but make one for breakfast or take one to-go when heading to the office, the gym, and of course, yoga. See you on the mat, green yogi!
The Kitchen Sink
- 1 cup raw spinach
- ½ cup raw broccoli florets
- 1 ripened banana
- 1” ginger
- ½ lemon* or lime
- ½ orange or other citrus fruit
- 3-4 strawberries or other seasonal berries
- ½ apple (awesome thickener)
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 tsp. chia seeds
- 1 tsp. golden flax seeds
- 1 tsp. wheat germ
- 1 tsp. raw vegan hemp protein powder
- 1 tsp. optional agave or honey
*If your blender doesn’t easily grind whole fruits, simply zest and use the juice!