Green Smoothies

By Melbourne Holistic Health Group | November 7, 2013 | 0 Comments

  • Do you struggle to reach your daily requirement of fruit and vegetables?
  • Do you need an alternative to packaged juices that have hidden added sugar?
  • Do you love fresh juice but don’t own a juicer?

Green smoothies could be the solution for you. Packed with valuable minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants, they are a great daily addition to your diet. With summer around the corner, they are a refreshing beverage that is not only good for you, but delicious as well.

A green smoothie is made by blending together leafy green or other types of vegetables, fruit, and a liquid base. By blending our fruit and vegetables, we can retain the fibre from them, which means that a green smoothie will keep you full for longer and can be drunk as a mid morning or afternoon snack. The fibre also helps to slow down the absorption of sugars from the fruit in the smoothie.

Greens

There are numerous types of greens that you can use. For beginners, spinach is probably the mildest tasting. Other options are kale, Swiss chard, lettuce, bok choy, broccoli florets, alfalfa sprouts and any other green vegetable that you can find in the fresh produce section. Celery and cucumber are also good to use. For added flavour, add in herbs like mint, parsley and coriander.

Note: Spinach is high in oxalic acid, which in large amounts can be detrimental to your health. Therefore it is best to keep it on a rotation and change the greens that you have every day.  

“Colourful Smoothies” – You don’t have to be restricted to green vegetables. If you feel like being adventurous, use beetroot or carrot in your smoothie. Red and orange vegetables are rich in beta-carotene which is beneficial for your skin and your gut lining. These vegetables tend to be harder to blend, so if you don’t have a powerful blender, you might have to cut them up into smaller pieces.  


Green smoothie with mint leaves

Fruit

It is recommended to avoid fruit with a high sugar content when making green smoothies, as overconsumption of these types of fruits can interfere with normal blood sugar control. These effects will then outweigh the benefits of having a green smoothie.

Fruit that is low in sugar include:

Oranges (or any other citrus fruit), apples, pears, kiwis, berries, bananas, stone fruit and avocado (this will make your smoothie very creamy).

Fruit to restrict:

            Mangoes, pineapples, melons, grapes, dried fruit.

Individuals who are sensitive to fructose may find that a green smoothie will irritate their stomach. Low fructose fruit will be necessary to minimise these effects.

Fruits that are low in fructose include:

Bananas, berries, kiwis, oranges (and all other citrus fruit), stone fruit, passionfruit, avocado.  

Ideally, you should limit your intake of fruit to 3 servings daily, so if you have used up these servings in your smoothie, don’t have any other fruit for the day.

Liquid Base

The good thing about a green smoothie is that the fruit and vegetables give it so much flavour that you only need to add water to get your desired consistency. If you are after different flavours, you can use coconut water, almond milk or rice milk as these complement the flavours of greens and fruit quite nicely.

For a super nutrient dense smoothie (and for those lucky enough to own a cold press juicer), use beetroot or carrot juice as your liquid base.

Smoothie Extras

These can be used to spice up the flavour, change the texture, and increase the nutritional value of your smoothie:

Ginger, cinnamon powder, almond butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, goji berries, almonds or raw cacao powder.

Quantities

It is best to experiment with quantities to work out what kind of consistency you like. Try just tossing a range of things into a blender without really thinking about quantities and see what eventuates. Chances are you will have created something delicious.

However, for those who would like to have some measurements to start you off, these are basic guidelines:

  1. 2 cups of green leafy vegetables (2 servings out of the minimum of 5 you should be having daily).
  2. 2-3 serves of fruit. 1 serve is a large fruit (ie 1 orange or 1 apple) or 2 pieces of smaller fruit (2 kiwis) or 1 cup of berries.
  3. 1 cup of liquid. You can add more as you blend if you would like the smoothie thinner.  

Recipes

This is a collection of recipes from the receptionists at MHHG.

Basic Green Smoothie

  • 2 cups of spinach/kale/chard
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 2 kiwifruit
  • 1 cup (250ml) Coconut water

 

 

Sarah's Fave

  • 2 bunches of baby Bok Choy
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • 1/2 a banana
  • 1 orange
  • 1 small piece of ginger
  • Water to desired consistency

Viv’s Fave 1

  • 4-5 silverbeet (or any chard) leaves with the hard stalk removed.
  • A quarter of a lemon (peel the skin, but leave the pith)        
  • 1-2 green apples
  • 1 small Lebanese cucumber
  • 1 small handful of mint (or to taste)
  • Water to desired consistency

 

Viv’s Fave 2

  • 3 large kale leaves (hard stalk removed)
  • 2 small bananas or 1.5 large
  • 6 to 10 strawberries
  • 6 almonds
  • 1-2 tablespoons coconut flakes
  • Coconut water and water to desired consistency


Viv's Fave 1

 

Michelle’s Fave

  • 2 cups spinach
  • ½ cucumber
  • ½ cup each of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries
  • ½ cup rehydrated goji berries (ie soaked overnight, and use the water that you have soaked them in for your smoothie too!)
  • 6 almonds
  • 1 tsp spirulina
  • 1 cup coconut water.

 


Viv's Fave 2


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