Green Smoothies Pack a Healthy Punch

Blending winter greens like kale, collards and spinach is an excellent way to get your antioxidants.

It's that time of year again: the beginning. With the beginning comes our sudden collective urge to clean house, be better, eat healthier. 

Maybe it's something about those big slices of pumpkin pie, buckets of egg nog and giant roasted meat meals we've been consuming since November. It seems like right about now we all need to reboot the system. Like many, I've been toying with the idea of doing a cleanse or diet. But I wanted to find a plan that was the least painful possible. Believe me, I have tried some painful ones. Think gallons of lemon juiced water laced with cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Pancakes will never taste the same again. I made it five traumatizing days on that lemon water diet and I've decided since then that not eating is not good for me. 

However, eating more green veggies is always good for me. They are extremely rich in antioxidants but not always that easy to get down. I've found that one simple, tasty and most importantly, pain-free way to give your system a natural boost and cleanse is to drink green smoothies. They pack a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins and because they are blended (and not juiced) fiber. I decided this would be my resolution. To drink my greens. I've had a green smoothie every day and I feel great. 

At the this time of year, you'll find bushels of fresh and fantastic winter greens. Kale, spinach, mustard greens, romaine, parsley, spinach. You can literally throw any of these greens in a blender with a variety of fruit. Apples, pears and oranges are in season this time of year but bananas and frozen berries are nice too. Add half an avocado or some coconut milk for a creamy texture and some healthy fat. You can add a couple teaspoons of Chia seeds for an even bigger boost. Chia seeds are known as a 'super food' and are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and essential minerals. 

Green smoothies are one of the easiest ways to digest the nutrients in fruits and vegetables. Even if you really liked raw kale, chard and beet greens, it would take a long time to chew them up. Pulverizing them in a blender makes dense greens much easier to digest and be absorbed by the body. The fiber in a smoothie also act as chimney sweepers clinging to and dragging out the stuck bits of toxins lining our insides. 

Green Smoothie Recipe

  • 2 cups spinach and kale mix 
  • 1/2 chopped apple
  • 1/2 chopped banana
  • 1 cup carrot juice
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 3 ice cubes
  • 2 tsp Chia seeds

Throw all ingredients in a blender. Blend and drink up. 

Maya Durie January 20, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Alison, I bought the Green Smoothie Revolution recipe book by Victoria Boutenko that said its important to vary the greens you use because,"Plants carry a trace of alkaloids in their leaves to ensure that animals will move on to eat other green plants and will not exterminate any one species. Although alkaloids are poisonous in large quantities, in small quantities they cannot hurt you, and even strengthen the immune system. Most greens contain different kinds of alkaloids, which is why rotating the variety of greens in our smoothies, we can avoid poisoning and strengthen our immune system."p.20 So I just use different greens each time. They really are a wonderful way to get fruits and veggies. I just am not so wild about drinking cold drinks in the winter, but I haven't tried warming them yet. I am afraid it might just ruin the flavor! Have you tried this before? Any warm green smoothie recipes you can recommend?
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