Saturday, February 23, 2013

Going Green Smoothie

We have been gluten-free since late October after I read Wheat Belly.  I haven't lost any weight, but my carpal tunnel syndrome is almost gone, my husband is not lactose-intolerant anymore, and the kids feel great. My mother is doing it too and her aches and pains she was blaming on her weight and age have disappeared.  My sister and her family have stopped eating wheat and my sister's allergic asthma has disappeared.   We all have more energy and we don't eat out as much because it is too much trouble.  ;-)

I didn't want to replace the wheat with empty carbs and junk gluten-free products, so we have been trying to eat more whole foods, including more fruits and vegetables.  We usually eat a lot of cooked greens, but Imp wasn't really loving them.  So I did some internet searches and discovered the big "green smoothie craze" and it is now a part of our daily life.

I didn't believe you could make a smoothie with spinach or kale and it would taste delicious and kid-friendly, but believe all of the hype.  If you add bananas or berries you won't even taste the greens at all.  I needed a new mixer and purchased this Oster Blender (it was only $65 at Walmart and works as well as those pricey Vitamixers, everything gets completely chopped up) and we started blending.

I have used a combo of vegetables and fruits including carrots, greens, salad, cucumber, zucchini, avocado, basil, celery, banana, berry, kiwi, apple, orange, and grapefruit.  I wanted to share my favorite recipe that the husband and kids love.

Rita's Green Smoothie Monster (serves 4, organic):

1 1/2 cup regular yogurt
1/2 can of Coconut Water
1 grapefruit or juice from one grapefruit and additional juice/milk/water if needed
1/2 cup slithered almonds (Costco sells a huge cheap bag)
1/4 cup ground flaxseed (Costco, cheap)
1 large carrot
1/2 cucumber or zucchini
1 stalk celery
1 box of mixed greens (kale, spinach, chard)
3-4 ripe bananas
1-2 kiwi fruits if I have them

I add the yogurt, almonds, and flaxseed on bottom in the blender and then pour on the coconut water (you can substitute milk, water, or fruit juice).  I then thickly chop carrot/cucumber, and celery and put that in the blender.  Then I stuff in the greens and pour the grapefruit juice on top and blend.  Once mixed, I throw in the kiwi/bananas and blend.  Then we drink and enjoy.  Leftovers can be put in the fridge and enjoyed the next day.

There are so many combos and you can mix and match fruits and vegetables.  There are a few things I have learned and wanted to share with you.

Don't use very much basil/parsley or it will add a very strong flavor that will scare off your husband.  Stick to 1/4 cup chopped or less.  If you add berries, particularly blue berries, your shake will turn a disgusting brownish color.  But it will taste great.

If the stuff is not mixing, don't use your wooden spoon to mash it all down when the blender is running or you will likely get splinters in your smoothie.  Luckily my blender is very powerful and the splinters get blended into digestible fiber.  ;-)  If the greens are not going down, turn off your blender, add more liquid, push everything down with your spoon, then blend.

If you want to go non-dairy then add water and lots of almonds and make your own almond milk. We don't buy the almond milk at the store because it full of all kind of junk.  But I found that without yogurt/milk the smoothie is not as delicious and it will separate if you store it overnight in the fridge.

I don't add any additional sugar because 3-4 bananas make it really sweet.  But I have used honey if I am low on bananas.  The kids love bananas and if you add enough the smoothie will taste mostly of banana.

There are so many free recipes out there, but I usually just use what I have in the fridge.  It can be simple (spinach/banana) to complicated (see my recipe above).  But green smoothies are a great way to get plenty of fruits and veggies during the day and are fun to drink.  If you add milk/nuts then they have added protein and keep you satisfied for longer.  We usually have them just before lunch so the kids won't drive me crazy while I am cooking.

If you have a favorite green smoothie recipe please share it in the comments.  And if you are new to green smoothies, get a good blender and start making some.  They are so delicious and healthy.  And best of all, the husbands and kids love them.

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  1. We make these all the time- I usually add plain Greek yogurt, wheat germ, flax, juice, frozen banana and another fruit (strawberries, peaches, blueberries) and then a few cubes of frozen spinach.
    I buy the organic baby spinach at Costco and will blend it up in a blender and then pour into ice cube trays to freeze. The when making smoothies I will just throw a few cubes into smoothie.

  2. when you say "ONE BOX"of the greens ....
    what size are you talking about - we buy the mixed greens in the clear plastic container at costco ...

  3. Serving raw and leafy greens for smoothies is a good way to make kids have their daily dose of veggies.

  4. Sounds great recipes! Yummy and delicious… I just tried it… I always dig up for the great healthy recipes... Keep offering