Getting Greens With Organic and Fresh Green Smoothies

I mentioned in my organic and healthy snacks for kids post that I have been recently experimenting with green smoothies.I wanted to try a new way of thinking about what goes in to my body and how that will affect the various things I ask my body to do for me.

I have experienced some fairly debilitating health issues in the last year that I have not been sharing too publicly, for reasons I am not too certain of to be honest. Part of it is the unknowing. Part of it is because I don’t want to tread the slippery slope of whining. Part of it is because, while I believe that in some ways what I write about is intrinsically linked, this is an escape.

However, I did not intend for my foray into green smoothie drinking to be solely about an impact on any health issues I may have. I also did not intend for it to be solely about weight loss, although it is a nice side benefit. I wanted this to be about an overall shift in my thinking of health, food, and how to accomplish some of the things I know deep down to be right about eating.

Leafy greens for delicious and healthy green smoothies

Leafy greens for delicious and healthy green smoothies.

 

One of those things is to eat as fresh and close to the source as possible. Eating organic and fresh from the farmers market, fresh from friends’ gardens, and fresh from our own has been wonderful.

Another is to include as many greens in your diet as possible, and to do that by not adding in other things to make them more palatable (oils, salts, cheese).

The last was to reduce the amount of sugar I was consuming. Interesting I have found that just by incorporating these smoothies into my day, my once insatiable sweet tooth has completely changed. I have no real explanation for that, but I am not going to question it at this point!

I don’t know if green smoothies are the answer to anything. I am not sure if they will help me feel better in regards to any of my health issues, but if my general health is better it certainly won’t hurt.

I am still learning a lot, but if you are looking to try something new; if you are searching for ways to incorporate more greens and more variety of greens into your daily diet; and really if you want to find new uses for all that yummy goodness exploding in the garden right now – look no further than green smoothies.

I am loving that my green smoothies means that I am virtually wasting nothing edible from my garden and from my farmers market runs – from the beet and carrot greens, to the way too ripe peaches, to the mountains of lettuce, to the overflowing bounty of spinach, collard greens, and kale, and everything in between.

Here are a few tips I have learned:

  • You don’t need a fancy, high-powered blender to start.
  • When you first start, it can be nice to have recipes to refer to, but then just start experimenting with what you have.
  • Variety is the key to keeping it interesting and maximizing the health benefits.
  • Shoot for 60% greens to 40% fruit.
  • Add a healthy fat (coconut milk or oil, avocado) to help your body absorb the nutrients better.
  • Drink your smoothie slowly throughout the day with lots of water in between.
  • Kids also love them, so make extra!

Recipe of the Day:

Smoothie greens go in and it's blender time

Smoothie greens go in and it's blender time.

 

Start with the greens. Today I had 2 cups of green cabbage, 1 cup of red leaf lettuce, and 1 cup of frozen spinach. Spinach is a great and fairly inexpensive filler.

Add a little liquid and now it's time to blend

Add a little liquid and now it's time to blend.

 

I add one cup of liquid generally. Today I added 1/2 cup of unsweetend coconut milk and 1/2 cup of water. You can always add more water later if it seems too thick. You can also add ice cubes for a little extra water and some chill. Blend the greens well.

Fruit and superfoods for green smoothies

Add fruit and superfoods for green smoothies.

 

Once the greens are all nice and blended, add the fruits and superfoods of the day. Today I added one peach, half a banana, thick slice of lemon (including the peel), a chunk of ginger, teaspoon of bee pollen*, and a tablespoon of chia seeds. (I highly recommend clicking the links to learn more about the superfoods I used today and taking a look at my table posted previously.) Blend again.

*Do not use if allergic or if pregnant or breastfeeding. ;)

A delicious and healthy green smoothie

A delicious and healthy green smoothie.

 

Have you tried green smoothies before? Please share your tips! If you haven’t, would you think about adding them?

This post was included in the Green Moms Carnival hosted by Abbie from Farmer’s Daughter. The theme was “food preservation” and I encourage you all to go check out all the other wonderful posts. I know I have a lot more ideas to try out now.


Comments

Getting Greens With Organic and Fresh Green Smoothies — 35 Comments

  1. I’m so sorry to hear you are having some health issues, Brenna! Thinking of you.

    I have been making green smoothies for Baby every day this week, and they are a huge hit. I was actually planning to write a blog post about it. They are such a great on the go lunch. Today at the beach, I was able to feel good about his nutrition and hydration while also giving him the easiest possible lunch when he was covered with sand. :-)
    Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: Baby’s Outdoor Summer Fun

    • Thank you, Charise. Let me know when you write your blog post, I will be excited to see it! It is fun to see how much our little ones really do enjoy the healthy food we provide them. Do you have a favorite recipe or tip? Maybe we should wait for the post. ;)

    • Well this is definitely one way to add some fiber and greens! My kids have been loving them. I don’t make them every day for the kids and not nearly as much quantity for them right now, but I think it has been a great addition to their diet.

  2. I love green smoothies but haven’t been making them as much as I should lately. I need to get back to it.

    Also sorry about the health issues, I have several chronic health issues so feel free to contact me privately if you want to talk about them and hear some of what I have done to help mine. *hug*
    Lisa @Retro Housewife Goes Green recently posted..My Air Pollution Story

  3. I love green smoothies. I’ve promoted them on my site before and it is interesting how strong the psychological barrier is to the idea. The fact they are so green puts people off but if you can get over that (and I had to too – took me two years to work up to trying one) you can learn they are delicious. I drink one several times a week and they are so filling, so yummy and make me feel so virtuous, I can’t recommend them highly enough!
    Alison Golden – The Secret Life of a Warrior Woman recently posted..19 Priceless Disneyland Tips for Introvert Mothers

  4. I was lucky to inherit a Champion juicer but that thing is HUGE. We just moved into a house with plenty of kitchen counter space. This is a good reminder to get back to my kale and spinach juicing. It has helped tremendously with my iron stores in the past!
    Mary @ This Human’s Condition recently posted..Psst! Here I Am!

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  10. Brenna- I love this post. We drink smoothies for breakfast every day here, and I’ve wanted to get into adding more than just fruit to them. I’m really interested in this topic- read & watch a lot of documentaries on the subject. Perhaps you’ve seen “Fat, Sick, & nearly dead?” This reminded me of that…
    Nancy recently posted..Made: Project Sewing 101- Market Tote.

    • Thanks Nancy! I haven’t seen that documentary yet, but it is on my list. It is kind of amazing that something as seemingly simple as food has become so complicated in the modern Western world. I think the trick is experimenting with what works best for you, but I don’t think anyone could go wrong with adding more greens to their diet.

  11. Hi Brenna, this is my first time on your website, but I’m going to have a good explore now. I’m sorry to hear about your health problems. A few years ago my health was so bad I had to give up work and could barely function. The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me apart from tell me I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I read many books and finally settled on the 80/10/10 diet. I stuck to this for 6 months drinking mainly green smoothies. All my health problems went and I was soon running for an hour a day. I love green smoothies but I found once I had my baby they didn’t fill me up for long enough so I invented Green Thickies and add oats and seeds and nuts to them now and they keep me going longer. I have still managed to lose my baby weight with them too and mostly still feel great these days. Feel free to email me if you’d like to chat. I started a blog as I really want to help people turn their health around and reach their ideal weight. Many thanks for this great post about green smoothies.
    Katherine @ Green Smoothie Recipes recently posted..Blueberry Broccoli Smoothie: Cancer Preventing

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  14. Green smoothies are an interest of mine. I SO agree with the phycologial barrier…I still have a little mental war before the first sip – then realize it tastes good so keep going. :) I got interested in green smoothies because I get SO tried of SWEET. I don’t have a lot of non sweet options…but yesterday was amazed how strawberries and banana and celery go so well the spinach. Wasn’t very sweet, either.

    My first green smoothie, looking for nonsweet was: spinach, celery, cucumber, tomato – maybe a red pepper hunk – 1/2-1cup water and three icecubes. I put one scoop of protein powder in it for substance (and protein) and sometimes one scoop of the healthy fiber I use which has a citrus flavor. That is close to non sweet. If I left off the powders – it would be just drinking my salad. :)

    I am interested in trying the kale! And, ladies…put it in a BLACK cup from McAlisters and you can’t see the green very well. :)

  15. Thanks for the primer on green smoothies! I’ve been wanting to try making one for a while…but I guess I’m equal parts scared and lazy! :)

    I’m currently breastfeeding – is the reason you shouldn’t do bee pollen due to botulism?

    • No, I don’t believe there is any risk of botulism. Allergic reactions are the greatest risk of taking it, so not worth doing when you have a little one so dependent on you. I haven’t yet decided how I feel about bee pollen either. There haven’t been many studies on the safety of bee pollen and the manufacturing is not very regulated.

      • That makes far more sense than my botulism idea.

        My naturopath suggested bee pollen/royal jelly for fertility, but, as you said, supplements aren’t regulated, and I just couldn’t wrap my mind around taking them for some reason.

        Thanks for the quick response!

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