It’s Not Easy Being Green: Green Smoothies

Lizzie Leboyer

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GREEN. SMOOTHIES. WOOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!! Okay, so I may be way too eager about them, but green smoothies are totally worth the hype. You may be reading this and thinking “What the HECK is a GREEN smoothie?” and today’s post is all about what one is and why they are so awesome. I’m sure you know what a regular smoothie is and have been to the chain stores like Jamba Juice or Robeks (unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years). The beauty of smoothies though is that they are basically anything you want, thrown into a blender with fruit and some sort of liquid to blend. A green smoothie takes this up a notch though and uses leafy greens (yup, like kale and spinach) as the base. I know they might sound intimidating/gross and just plain weird, but trust me they don’t taste like you’re drinking a salad! Actually the opposite; green smoothies are good (I know, crazy)! They are also so versatile and you can add as many or few ingredients as you want to create your own signature concoction. What’s also great is that you can blend up a smoothie in just a few minutes and then run out the door with a great breakfast to get you over that energy slump from 1st-3rd period.  But don’t just take my word for it, tons of celebrities also embrace the green smoothie trend!

Nutritional Breakdown: What makes a green smoothie so great?

  • The spinach and kale give you tons of nutrients like amino acids, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants
  • They contain lots of fiber to keep you full, making them a great meal replacement or snack to hold you over
  • Green smoothies also give your immune system and digestive tract an extra boost!

And now, onto the recipes:

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***Disclaimer: I normally add around 2 and a half cups of leafy greens to my morning smoothie, but I’ve gotten used to all the greens. If you’ve never had a green smoothie before or are a little scared to try one, start with just a handful of spinach or kale and then work your way up gradually. I also like to blend my greens and liquid first to avoid having any lettuce chunks in my smoothie, and then to blend the rest of my ingredients. I also use almond milk that I make myself for smoothies, but coconut water, regular milk, and juices are also great options!

 

One: The Classic Revisited

-1 cup spinach

-1 cup almond milk (or any other milk)

-1 ripe banana

-1 cup of frozen strawberries

-optional: 1 tablespoon of almond or peanut butter

Blend the milk with the spinach for a few seconds until they have a juice like consistency, then add the remaining ingredients and blend until creamy. This one should taste like the good ole’ strawberry banana smoothie, only with a some added green goodness.

 

Two: The Tropical Greenie

-1 cup kale

-1 cup milk, coconut water, regular water, or any other liquid

-1 small orange

-1/2 cup frozen mango

-1/2 cup frozen pineapple

Combine kale and liquid and blend before adding the orange first (I find that adding a softer fruit before blending helps achieve the right consistency for smoothies) and then the frozen fruit. Paper umbrella and coconut shell to serve are optional, yet encouraged.

 

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Three: The Weekday Breakfast

-1 cup spinach

-1 cup milk

-1 banana

-1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, blackberries, or mixed berry blend)

-2 spoonfuls of rolled oats

-1 tablespoon of nut butter

I like this smoothie too as a great one for green smoothie newbies-if you want to try having one for breakfast or a meal replacement then the added oats and nut butter will give you some more fiber and protein to help keep you satisfied. Blend and enjoy!