Green smoothies are a wonderful “fast” food that everyone should try at least once. Here are just 10 reasons why:
1. They are faster than fast food. Making a green smoothie is easy and takes less time than ordering a burger at your local fast food joint.
2. Everything in a green smoothie is good for you, from the sweet ripe fruit to the leafy greens and even the added water.
3. They are a whole meal in a cup and can be conveniently consumed on the go or in a car with a cup, lid and straw, and will not make a mess.
4. Smoothies are both hydrating and satiating at the same time.
5. They are high in protein, calcium, and many other nutrients essential for good health.
6. They make a great, replenishing sports drink rich with electrolytes. (Perfect as a pre-workout energy boost or post-workout recovery drink.)
7. Smoothies are superior to juicing. Juicing removes the fiber which is important to help regulate your blood sugar and elimination, whereas in a smoothie you’re getting the whole food.
8. They are an easy way to sneak more greens into your diet without really noticing.
9. They digest very quickly and easily (no bloating!), leaving you with plenty of energy.
10. The relatively low caloric intake in smoothies are great for weight loss efforts, while raising immunity against illness and disease.
Here’s how to make a basic green smoothie:
In a blender, add 3-4 or more soft ripe bananas, peeled and broken into a few pieces. If the bananas are green or not spotted, they will be starchy and may cause digestion issues. Ripe bananas digest well and they are so sweet that you will not need to add any sweetener.
Bananas make a great smoothie base because they are sweet and creamy and take other flavors well. To this, add a few large handfuls of your favorite tender greens, like romaine lettuce, celery or baby spinach. Add about 2 oz of water and a few pieces of ice. Blend into a smoothie, and enjoy.
For variations, you can mix in a smaller amount of a different fresh or frozen fruit or spice to flavor the banana base. For example, berries, apples, mango, pineapple, dates, cocoa or carob powder, ginger, cinnamon, and/or vanilla. The simpler you keep your recipe, the more easily your body will be able to digest the smoothie.
Another great smoothie base is fresh squeezed orange juice with pulp, or just plain oranges, peeled. This tastes particularly wonderful with any of the berries or tropical fruit.
Stay away from the tougher, starchy dark green leafy vegetables (like kale and chard). Although on paper they are chock full of protein, calcium and other nutrients, their high levels of oxalic acid and other unfriendly compounds do not digest well in our stomachs. Additionally, not many enjoy their taste.
You may also not want to add fats like nuts, seeds, nut butter or avocado as fats do not digest well with most sugary fruit and may cause you discomfort and gas if eaten together at the same time.
So this week, ripen a few bananas and buy a tub of baby spinach, it may just revolutionize your life and health!