Smoothies are the ultimate, jam-packed nutrient bomb! Green smoothies, in particular, are a fantastic way to get greens into your diet in a very easy, delicious way. Building the perfect smoothie isn’t hard, with these tips.
Fill your blender with the following ingredients:
1. Choose your fruits and veggies (1 1/2 cups): Try fresh or frozen bananas, mangos, pineapple or berries; fresh cucumber, carrots, radishes, avocado, or bell peppers.
Tip: Adding bananas will help mask the bitterness of any dark leafy green, as well as a creamy texture when frozen. The deep purple shade of blueberries will cover up the green color of most green smoothies, too.
2. Add your greens (1 cup): Try fresh or frozen kale, collards, spinach, chard, sprouts, arugula, basil, parsley or cilantro.
Tip: Variety not only contributes to a delicious flavor, but it will provide you with a wide array of nutrients. Be sure to mix and match those greens!
3. Flavor it up (up to 1 teaspoon): Toss in some potent flavors, such as fresh ginger, lemon juice, lime juice, or mint; or dried coconut, cocoa powder, cinnamon, or turmeric.
Tip: Use flavors that complement the theme of your smoothie (i.e., coconut with pineapple and bananas).
4. Add healthy fats and protein (1-2 Tablespoons): Spoon in nuts (pistachios, almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, or pecans), seeds (chia, flax, hemp, sesame, sunflower, or pumpkin). Tip: These healthy fats and protein sources will help you sustain energy throughout the day.
5. Choose your liquid (1/2 – 1 cup): Try a protein-rich unsweetened plant-based milk, such as soy milk, and a touch of 100% fruit juice for added sweetness. Tip: Avoid using too much juice.
Now you’re ready to push the button and blend up your perfect smoothie! Smoothies are great anytime of day, for breakfast, snacktime, or even dessert. If you need to bulk up your smoothie, try adding some rolled oats or cooked quinoa. For added sweetness, add a dried date.
Written by Sharon Palmer, RDN with Angela Dennison, Dietetic Intern
Image: Tropical Green Smoothie from Plant-Powered for Life, by Sharon Palmer, RDN