Those of you who know me well, know that I was pushing green smoothies on everyone for a while a couple of years ago.... I was losing unwanted weight, getting endless servings of fruits and vegetables in one drink, my skin was clear and I was feeling good. Then, why did I stop? No good reason - some of the same excuses as to why I don't work out as often as I should come to mind "I got too busy." I couldn't afford to (buy some of the ingredients)." "I didn't have time to shop for and make them."
Well, today I am trying to get back into it again. I know that I have a hard time eating lots of fruits and veggies each day. I sometimes forget to drink enough water. I sometimes breakdown and buy Skittles. Yes Skittles candies. (Don't judge!) But when I drink these smoothies, I tend to be less likely to buy and eat junk food and I just eat healthier.
I first learned about green smoothies from Lisa Hubler who taught a one time "Stress less to weigh less" yoga course. At the time I was stressed and found myself supplementing my diet with lots of junk because it was easy to grab and eat when I was busy a work. I wanted to figure out a way to stop stress-induced eating and also relax my mind so this seemed like a great class to take. Although I don't feel like I was hypnotized necessarily, I did feel relaxed during the class and learned a lot about what I could do to stress less. Lisa introduced the class to the green smoothie concept which I was TOTALLY not interested in...at first. Who wants to drinks a green smoothie? It sounded gross to me. I want my smoothies to be pink or orange and creamy (and chock full of sugar and fattening junk). But I gave it a try and REALLY enjoyed it! Turns out they are tasty AND good for you! Over the years I've changed the ingredients up from the original but it's always healthy and never has any added sugar or milk or ice cream. Give it a try - I know it sounds weird, but coming from a sugar addict, you know it has to taste good.
1 small pitted apple (keep skin on), cut into chunks
1/2- 1 small banana, cut into chunks (to make the smoothie creamier, freeze the banana overnight)
1/2 c fresh or frozen frozen fruit (pineapple and mango are my favorites) cut in one inch chunks
1 1/2 c of coconut water* (or filtered water or fresh squeezed orange or grapefruit juice)
2 or more cups of raw spinach or raw kale (hard stems removed), ripped into smaller pieces
1 T flax seeds (freshly ground)**
Put all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth. You can mix it up with other frozen fruit such as raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc. The lighter the color of fruit, the greener the smoothie. If you use a lot of red fruits, the color of the smoothie will turn purple or brown. So keep this in mind if you have a difficult time stomaching certain color foods.
Before you say "KALE or SPINACH: are you out of your mind???" Both vegetables are virtually tasteless when raw. So you get the benefit of consuming a nutrient dense food in smoothie form! And adding naturally sweet fruit makes it taste more like a smoothie shop smoothie without all the added junk.
*Coconut water has lots of amazing stuff in it - a very mild, fresh taste, lots of potassium, natural electrolytes, no fat, no cholesterol and no added sugar! It is also pricey - so I give other options.
**Flax seeds are also a super food - rich with antioxidant properties, high in fiber, and good fatty acids. It is recommended that if you eat the seeds ground and that you buy them whole and grind as you go.
I am not a nutritionist or a doctor so do talk to your doctor before making any changes to your diet. Your kids will enjoy them too!
These smoothies are super filling, can be eaten any time of the day and have at least five cups of fruits and vegetables!
Money saving tip: If you notice some of the fruits listed above are on sale when shopping, buy a bunch of them fresh, cut up into one inch chunks and place in a freezer bag in your freezer. This works great with bananas, pineapple, and all berries. When adding frozen fruits makes a thicker smoothie.
If you'd like other recipes, check some out here: http://www.rawfamily.com/recipes
Have you tried a green smoothie? Will you now? Tell me more!
Chow for now! :)