Green Smoothies are all the rage these days aren’t they? People (aka me) are chopping fruits and veggies and posting pics of their concoctions on social media, the stuff is everywhere. If you’re anything like me once you notice a new and interesting kick you want to try it out for yourself, but where in the heck do you start?
I have a confession to make… I’m kind of anal. I like order and certainty waaay to much. I don’t operate well in a the gray area. So the idea of buying a blender and throwing in a little of this and a little of that made feel all crazy like. I needed a recipe, a plan of action as to how I was going to transform my life with a green smoothie. Because that is of course what I thought I was going to be doing.
So I went to Amazon and bought a bunch of books that now sit in a drawer in my kitchen, I pinned a bunch of pretty smoothie pictures that I have never again looked at, and I even did some reading as to what fruits and vegetables pair well together and then tried to make the perfect smoothie. WHAT a waste of time.
You see after playing around in the kitchen for awhile I did find a system that I liked for making smoothies. I didn’t really realize it was a system though until I started sharing it with some friends who were intrigued (some disgusted) by my green breakfasts. So because I’m all about simplicity I’m going to teach you a SUPER easy way to make a green smoothie, a way that allows you think for yourself and YOUR taste buds, whatever they may be craving that day.
Why a System instead of a specific recipe?
Like I said, I tried countless “recipes” before I figured out how to simplify it. When I did concoctions that I liked then I would be tempted to just make those every couple of days and not try new things. Whats the problem with that? In the grand scheme of things its probably not a big deal, however, its a really good idea to vary your greens from day to day, same with your fruits, and “seasonings.” Variety is the spice of life and its good to introduce new things to your gut and each variety of greens have different health benefits so why would you want to limit yourself to just one? The way I do things allows you to mix and match depending on your mood or what’s in season.
So What’s this system?
Start with water. 2 cups. If you want to get crazy you can try coconut water instead of the regular stuff. I personally think coconut water tastes like pee so no thanks, but some of my friends just love it.
Add some greens (at least 2 different types of greens is best). 4-6 cups. So is it 4 or 6 you ask? If you’re new to smoothies start with 4 cups, gradually work your way up to 6. Options for greens include (but aren’t limited to) Romaine, Spinach, Swiss Chard (any color), Kale, Collard Greens, Dandelion Greens. Hint: Those greens are listed in order from the least “earthy” tasting, to the most, in my opinion of course.
Throw in a handful (or 2) of additional vegetables. Sometimes I do celery, or cucumber, avocado would be an option, I’ve been knowing to put some carrots in as well. This really depends on my mood so if I’m brave I might do celery and cucumber, but if I’m not feeling as much I might just throw in 1 stalk of celery and call it good. Special note: If you choose avocado, wait to throw that in until the end (I’ll explain more below).
Pick your fruits, 2 of them to be exact. Here is where things get fun. Fruit can totally change the taste and texture of the smoothie and you really can’t go wrong here (unless you put melon in, don’t do that. Melon doesn’t play well with other fruits and veggies). I put in a total of 2 handfuls of fruit, generally 2 different types of fruit. Some of my favorites are pear and pineapple or apple and pear. But don’t feel like you have to stick to those, try berries, kiwi, mango, peaches, just try new things. Special note: If you’re weird about texture don’t start with apple, though it tastes awesome, it makes things a little chunkier. A good option for a texture conscious person would be pineapple and pear.
Add a banana. Its that simple.
Mix in some “seasonings” I’m not talking about salt, honey, or anything like that. By seasonings I mean things like chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seed, macha powder, etc. I find this is a super easy way to get extra fiber and omega 3’s and you can’t even taste the stuff. Start with 2-4 Tbsp total of at least 1 if not 2 or more of these little bits of deliciousness.
Need a bit more direction?
Don’t worry my anal friends I will provide some more guidance. I know that for some of you the above direction just isn’t enough and you need a bit more in regards to step by step instructions so here you go.
1. Blend your water with your greens first. I recommend a medium low speed for 1-2 minutes. Just enough to get them torn up, but you don’t want them completely blended.
2. Once your greens and water are mixed start adding in your additional veggies and fruit a handful at a time (continuing to blend on medium low). Let them blend for 15 seconds or so before you throw more in there (note, most blenders have an unscrewable part of the lid, I like to throw my fruits and veggies in there while keeping the blender running the whole time).
3. Add your banana last. Its super soft so it doesn’t need much blending so we add that towards the end. If you’ve decided to throw all or part of an avocado in there now would be the time to add that. Like the banana it doesn’t need too much blending.
4. Throw in your seasonings. Might need to turn the blender off and pull the lid off completely for this part.
5. Time for one final blend. Now is the time to crank it up to high. Depending on how smooth you like it and the blender you have you will want to blend on high for an additional 45 seconds- 2 minutes. If you have something like a vitamix or a blendtec you are going to be on the low side, more of a traditional blender you are going to want to blend it for longer to get the consistency that won’t make you gag.
6. Your done! This is likely going to make 50-60 oz of green smoothie enough for multiple servings. I suggest finding a sealed cup you like (I suggest the blender ball cup) and dividing this based on how much you think you’ll drink in a sitting. If you’re new to this whole smoothie making business your probably going to be good with 12-16oz at a time, I generally drink upwards of 30 oz in a sitting so it really just depends on your taste. Your smoothie will last in the fridge for 2 days (as long as its in a sealed cup) and you can freeze any additional smoothie in individual cups and then pull them and defrost them in the fridge for about 24-36 hours before you want to drink them.
Special Note: Sometimes its good to get an extra hand (or paw during the blending process)
So there you have it.. You don’t need to buy a bunch of smoothie recipe books or scour the internet for ideas. Just follow this simple strategy and you’ll be golden. And if you don’t love your first mixture thats ok, try again tomorrow with different combinations. Maybe add more fruit if its too earthy for you. Just keep at it until you find something that works for you. Honestly, the health benefits of adding this to your diet are amazing. You’re getting vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein all things that we need more of. For me, I started sleeping better, pooping better (yes I said it), and I noticed that when I drank the smoothie first thing in the morning I made better food and exercise choices all day long. Funny how that works.
Now I want to hear from you
In the comments below I’d love to hear what your favorite combinations for smoothies are. I’m always up for trying new things so don’t keep your great ideas to yourself!
Curious why I choose smoothies over juice? Curious what the differences between juicing and smoothies are? I’ve written about that too, check out my post here.