Green smoothies are the beginning
and the end for many people.
The beginning because it’s often the easiest way to start incorporating more raw food into the diet. The beginning because once you feel the immediate buzz of energy you’ll want to replace your morning coffee ritual with the green smoothie. The beginning because it’s easy to prepare. The beginning because it’s highly transportable and a quick way to get the whole fruit, vegetable and fibre into the body.
The end because if you’re not used to drinking green vegetables it’s a pretty foreign idea. The end because if it’s too full of kale it may be too chunky to swallow. The end because it’s dark green and looks like swap juice. The end because if you don’t know how to make it taste delicious you’ll never want one of these again.
Follow these simple tips to ease your family onto the green smoothie revolution.
Start with neutral or pleasant tasting greens.
A cucumber is perfect. It is high in water content, mildly flavoured, packed full of B vitamins and blends up easily. Mint leaves are another favourite of mine. They are super green and packed full of chlorophyll, yet they have a lovely pleasant minty taste which enhances the drink’s flavour. Save the Kale for the hardcore or the more experienced green smoothie connoisseur.
Make it sweet.
It’s kind of a cheat’s way of doing things, but hey, we want results. If it gets your family happily downing glasses of the green stuff then it is a good start. You can always wean them off the sweetness as time progresses. Start with a frozen banana. Make the smoothie on a base of coconut water which is naturally sweet. Don’t have a young coconut handy? try some liquid stevia drops with filtered water. Grapes are another good way to increase the natural sweetness. Or add a little apple juice. I’d recommend just one of these sweet boosters at a time. Mixing grapes, bananas, stevia and coconut water might be a little too sweet.
Blend it well.
A good quality high speed blender is a must. I started this green smoothie revolution years ago with the worst blender out there. I’m pretty hard core so I would suffer on stoically swallowing chunky lumpy drinks, sometimes with a fork. Then I got an excellent blender and life changed. But with or without the powerful blender there are some tips to make it more texturally pleasing – more like a drink. If you are using kale, then remove the hard spine and throw that away. If you are using ginger, you may want to grate it first with a micro-plane. If you are blending up large or hard vegetables like celery, chop them into smaller bits. And finally, let your blender whir for a good two minutes if your vegetable choice is robust or your fruit is frozen.
That’s about it. Check out my e-book for heaps of beautiful simple smoothie recipes or get started by making my zingy ginger green smoothie with the recipe below. Go easy on the ginger or omit if it’s for the kiddies.
Not so Green Smoothie Recipe with Buzz
- 1/2 Small cucumber
- 1 green apple
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tbs grated ginger
- 6 grapes
- 1/2 cup apple juice or water
- Ice cubes
- Blend all ingredients until smooth. Garnish with fresh mint sprigs. Makes 2 cups.
The buzz comes from the freshly grated ginger. I love ginger for it’s stimulating effect on the metabolism and it’s appetite suppressing effect (also the taste). But it has a host of other health benefits from anti-inflammatory, to relieving nausea. Just add a tsp at first if you are uncertain, or leave it out.
By Natalie Prigoone
Natalie Prigoone is the author of ‘The Great Uncooking’ a raw food detox book and A Piece of Cake: Easy Raw Desserts. She is a yoga teacher, high school teacher and raw food chef. Natalie discovered raw foods and their healing magic in 2011. She is passionate about healthy life hacks, and creating recipes that lead to greater health and healing. Follow her on Instagram @thegreatuncooking or Facebook.