We are an over fed and under nourished society. Which is sad considering the abundance of food we have available to us. It's everywhere we turn. The sheer volume of options we have to wade through at the grocery store is mind boggling. We have 1000's of items to pick from, yet we continue to pick things that do not offer our bodies the nutrition it needs to thrive, we shoot ourselves in the proverbial foot.
We know that we should eat the rainbow, but how? How can we make it quick and easy and something that we can easily maintain?
Enter the wonder of The Green Smoothie!
Start your day with a pitcher of this and you are well on your way to proper nutrition and a healthy body.
A dear friend of mine directed me to http://www.greensmoothiegirl.com/ a while ago when she knew I was looking for ways to improve my family's diet. Since that time I've drank this concoction more days than not and I noticed an improvement in my energy and my mood almost immediately. When I drink my green smoothie I feel upbeat, positive, energetic, at times when I was first starting out I feel a little too energetic! I just wasn't used to feeling great.
So, what's in mine? Let's dissect! Two cups of water are put into the blender and to that I add baby spinach up to the top. Word of caution, when you're starting out on green smoothies, use the baby spinach, it's mild, it blends well, it's a great way to get started. After you're used to them then you can branch off and use kale, collards, mustard greens, whatever you might feel inspired to use but for now, stick with baby spinach and definitely stick with that for the wee ones! I add 1/2 of a pitted avocado to the blender, our brains need that healthy fat, and flip that bad boy on for about a minute. Once the greens are well blended I open the top and start dropping in my fruits. For this particular smoothie I used what I had on hand. I had 1/2 of a nectarine left over from making Paulo's lunch. I had 1/2 of an apple in the fridge too, cored that, and tossed that on the plate. I peeled an orange-leave some of the white stuff on it does have a lot of good vitamins. I had frozen blackberries and frozen pineapple and a banana. One by one add each fruit until it's well blended and looks like this:
Yeah, I know, it's not green. That's because of the blackberries. You can use whatever fruits you have on hand. Blueberries are really good in this-but I ran out. Mango, peeled and frozen is delicious too! Frozen cherries are amazing. This is a great way to use up fruits that are close to being too ripe. When the bananas get brown, peel them and freeze them. When the big tub of baby spinach is getting close to the expiration date, put it in a bag and freeze that too. Since it's blended and not juiced you have a greater leeway with using frozen foods-and your smoothie comes out even better. This is a great breakfast drink for gluten free/dairy free/egg free kids-like mine has to be for the next eight weeks. I typically have a medium sized glass of this for breakfast then I take the leftovers to work with me and drink more mid morning and then the rest mid afternoon. I often go to the gym after work, I notice a difference in my energy level if I've had my afternoon green smoothie.
How long does it take me? Between five to ten minutes, including the clean up of my blender. How much does it cost? I have no idea. I have not sat down and analyzed the cost of my smoothie because I know the rewards are so great and the cost to my health of not drinking them is even greater. Do I buy all organic? No. I do buy organic spinach, even my trusty low cost market Winco has that. I do buy organic stone fruit and berries-frozen or fresh. I also buy organic apples. I base my decisions on the "Dirty Dozen" list. There are some things that my family eats a lot of, and we eat the skins that cannot really be cleaned, those are the things that are non-negotiable in my book for buying organic. I know it is not a realistic goal for me to buy 100% organic produce, I really wish it was, but for me the decisions come down to:
How much of a certain fruit do we eat. For instance apples, we eat a lot of apples.
Can I peel it or does that remove a great deal of the nutrition? Mangos, pineapple, avocados, etc., we eat a lot of but we don't eat the skin and the pesticides can't get through the tough skin.
Where does it fall on the dirty dozen and the counterpart, clean dozen, list? http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/13737389 :a link to just one of MANY articles about it. Google dirty dozen, read about it, and make the choice that is in your family's best interest, both financially and health wise.
Try it out, make a blender full. A word of warning, is you're making this part of your lifestyle, get a high powered blender-especially if you want to use any of the other tougher greens as your base. A cheap blender will do well with baby spinach but not with kale! Trust me, that was one nasty batch of smoothie! Seriously though, try it, tell me what you think. Your health is worth the 10 minutes in the kitchen.