Monday, January 9, 2012

What do you put in a green smoothie?

One of the main questions a lot of friends ask me is, "What do you eat if you don't eat dairy, gluten, meat, or processed foods?" A typical breakfast always includes a green smoothie, and then I'll maybe eat some sprouted Ezekiel bread with coconut oil & honey or almond butter & fresh raspberries on top. Or I'll sauté some garlic, veggies, spinach, etc., in coconut oil and then add a couple eggs. Then friends usually want to know what I put in all those green smoothies. To be honest I don't usually go by recipes, I just follow my heart and throw in whatever I'm in the mood for or whatever happens to be in my freezer or fridge.

Here's what I'm drinking this morning. Today I was in the mood for orange and yellow fruits. These measurements are approximations, so feel free to add more or less of any of these ingredients. The most important thing when creating your own smoothies is to balance the liquids with the frozens to keep your blender working.

(Makes 3–4 cups)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon flax seeds
1 orange, peeled and quartered
3 handfuls fresh spinach, frozen
1 cup sliced peaches, frozen
3 cubes of fresh pineapple, frozen
1 cup fresh sliced mango, frozen
1/4 large banana, frozen

As you can tell I like to freeze the fruit and greens that I buy. That way I can buy fruit in bulk and in the season (e.g., a case of fresh raspberries from a local roadside stand), freeze most of it, and then enjoy it for months at a time. Summer months are especially great for buying fresh fruit, so most of my freezer is stocked with fresh peaches, pears, asian pears, and raspberries, as well as fresh papaya, mango, pineapple, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, and black berries. I usually buy my greens on a weekly basis, so I like to freeze them too so that they aren't wilted and yellow by the end of the week. I buy spinach and a variety of kales, chards. It's always fun to experiment with a new green to mix it up a bit and find your favorites. Typically my favorites are the most mild-tasting ones and the less chunky ones!

Green smoothies are the best way I've found to get the daily energy I need from all-natural, out-of-the-ground means. You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel after adding a green smoothie to your day, and there are always ways to get creative and add new and interesting ingredients to the mix*. Have fun drinking green!

*Some other ingredients I'll often add to my smoothies are chia seeds, coconut oil, and protein powder, specifically a sugar-free powder that is made from plant protein (usually brown rice and pea protein), not whey or soy proteins, for the best health benefits. For my body I've found that Lepterra protein powder is the best, but I'm sure there are other great ones out there. I was using a Nikken's Kenzen Body Balance for a while—it tasted great, but when I took it to my homeopathic doctor Barbara, her computer showed that it just wasn't working for my body. She looked over the ingredient list, which looked great at first, but then she noticed that the powder didn't contain any digestive enzymes. Apparently those are important! So even though I'm not an expert, this at least has been my experience with protein powders.


Nicole said...

I am excited to try this! I like the idea of freezing everything so that I portion it out into a individual serving amounts. I've done it with fruit before but have been nervous about greens. Do you blanch your spinach and greens before freezing them? They don't change the texture or flavor at all? This is a helpful blog post. Thanks!

Kate said...

Hi Nicole! I agree about being nervous to freeze the greens. I used this website to help me weigh the pros and cons: You can compare the nutritional value of spinach or kale raw and frozen, or whatever other food you're interested in.

I found that my kale was going yellow and wilted before I could eat it all, so I started freezing it as soon as I bought it. Even though you do lose some of the Vitamin A and C by freezing it, I was still getting more than enough of these vitamins and I wasn't letting my greens go to waste. It all comes down to what you feel is best for you. If you can go grocery shopping more often to always have fresh greens, I'd still opt for that. And I don't blanch my greens before freezing. I wash, chop, bag, and then freeze. Hope that helps! Thanks for your comment.