Make Your Own Green Smoothie

Most of us don’t get adequate vegetables, healthy fiber, or good fats in our daily diets. A good way to fill the gaps is to drink a “green smoothie” as a meal replacement or supplement to your diet several times/week. This is an excellent way to jump start those recommendations by our doctors to lose weight, lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugars and improve overall health.

 

The basic recipe includes leafy green vegetables and/or root vegetables, seeds or nuts, and fruit. This is the equivalent of a good quality, food-based, multi-vitamin and a healthy dose of both soluble and insoluble fiber. It gives you high levels of complex nutrition, boosts energy and contributes to  repair from daily wear and tear as well as surgeries and injuries. 

Seeds and Nuts
  • Flax

  • Sesame

  • Sunflower seeds

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Oatmeal 

  • Soy beans (tofu)

  • Walnuts

  • Almonds

  • Hazelnuts

  • Peanuts

  • Cashews

  • Pine Nuts

  • Pecans

Fruit
  • Raspberries-tonic for the digestive tract and female reproductive system

  • Apples-good for stomach acid balancing

  • Papaya - good for acid reflux

  • Coconut - helps to thin mucus

  • Cranberries--soothe the urinary tract

  • Tart Cherries--cleansing of the gallbladder

  • Mango and peaches - good kidney aids

  • Plums - help liver congestion

  • Pineapple-good for augmenting the stomach acid and enzymes

  • Blueberries

  • Strawberries

  • Bananas 

  • Grapes

Root Vegetables
  • carrots

  • beets

  • parsnips

  • fennel bulb

Leafy Greens
  • Spinach

  • beet leaves

  • dandelion leaves

  • kale

  • kelp

  • arugula

  • celery

  • Basil

  • parsley

  • fennel (use sparingly)

Spices and Flavorings
  • Cinnamon

  • nutmeg

  • vanilla

  • lemon/citrus zest

  • bay leaf

  • fennel seeds

  1. Place a handful of finely chopped greens or root vegetables you like and/or have on hand, making sure you have at least 2 varieties of dark greens in the blender. If this is too much work, use 1-2 tsp. of a green powder (freeze dried, pulverized, without other additives, bright green colored) available commercially. 

  2. Add 1-3 tsp. whole seeds or a small handful of nuts (soaked overnight if you want a smoother drink) This is the component that adds creaminess (and good fats) to your drink and can make a drink extra thick and milkshake like in texture.

  3. Add ½ to 1 cup of chunks of fruit (frozen or fresh) and enough water (or ice) to cover the other ingredients.

  4. Add your flavorings, spices and honey, maple syrup or a little natural sweetener (nothing artificial) to make it tasty.

  5. Blend well, adjusting the quantity of water to achieve the consistency you prefer.

 

Be creative and play around with different combinations until you find what tastes good.  When flavors taste good to you, they are the foods with the nutrition you currently need to fill your nutritional gaps.  Follow your cravings and change your ingredients when a combination no longer tastes good to you.  Using local, fresh ingredients which are in season is good for health, wallets and the environment and local economy.  Buy in bulk when you can and freeze fresh fruits and seeds for later use.  Be willing to try new fruits and don’t be afraid to throw a bad drink in the compost now and then.

 

When you have had long-term digestive issues, struggle with constipation, have recently had to take strong medications (especially painkillers, steroids and antibiotics), had surgery or dental work, have been out of a good routine with your diet etc., adding a bit of probiotic powder is an excellent way to improve your gut health and doesn't really affect the flavor and generally improves digestion.

 

An emulsion blender differs from a “regular” blender because it has a stronger motor and a special blade designed to liquify whatever you put in the container.  The original version on the market was the Vitamix, but there are many other brands available.  I use a Blendtec because the motor is strong enough to pulverize dry ingredients, the blade is blunt and you can’t accidentally cut yourself cleaning it, it is designed to be easily cleaned, and the polycarbonate pitcher is lightweight, durable and doesn’t break easily.  An emulsion blender can be pricey, but is a good investment for the elevated degree of nutrition (and pleasure) you’ll get from a smoother drink.