Green smoothies have taken the world by storm in recent years. As we become more health conscious, we are beginning to understand the importance of incorporating more vegetables, particularly greens, into our diet. But this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Getting the family to eat half a plate of veggies is sometimes a challenge. Whether we serve them as salads, steamed or sautéed, convincing kids to eat “all their greens”, is often a losing battle. And really who can blame them? Without lots of dressing, chowing down on a plate of leafy greens can be hard going.
But green smoothie recipes can help solve this problem. Throwing in one or two smoothies a week as a meal replacement or as a snack is the easiest way to increase your daily consumption of dark green leafy vegetables. It makes drinking your greens far more palatable than chewing them.
Fortunately for those who don’t like the taste, green smoothies don’t have to taste anything like spinach. By using a combination of vegetables and fruit, green smoothies can be made to taste more like a healthy fruit drink.
Think 60:40. This is the ratio of fruit to greens that will make your green smoothies taste like a fruit drink rather than pulverised spinach and is recommended for beginners. If you are concerned about the sugar content, then add less fruit and more greens. It’s really a matter of taste. Over time as you become accustomed to the taste, you can gradually decrease the fruit and add more greens.
If you are just starting out, begin with spinach. This has a milder taste and is the most palatable for children. The other biggie is that it is chock full of vitamins.
Other greens you can use are:
Rocket or Arugula
To keep your blood sugar levels balanced, use mainly low GI fruit, with a smaller quantity of fruit labelled Medium GI. Bananas and mangos can be used to thicken your smoothies to make them creamy.
The benefits of green smoothies are many. But apart from the obvious health benefits, here are some other reasons why you should be sipping green smoothies:
They taste delicious. Green smoothies don’t have to taste like green slime and you can create some interesting flavors when you start adding fruits, nuts and spices.
They are so colourful. The various combinations of fruit, greens and herbs can create some really amazing color variations.
Smoothies are so quick and easy to make and are the perfect way to incorporate more fruit and veggies into our diet.
Because smoothies are made in a powerful machine, it is possible to add other ingredients for extra nutrition, such as seeds, nuts and grains.
If you struggle with your first meal of the day, smoothies are an excellent way to start your day. Quick and easy, they will give you that nutritional punch to jump start your system for the day.
Smoothies are wonderfully healthy and can very successfully be incorporated into a healthy, weight loss diet when combined with other healthy meals. Smoothies can certainly be a complete meal, but it’s not recommended that they replace more than one meal a day.
Remember, variety is the spice of life. You should not consume the same green vegetable daily for more than week at a time. This ensures that your body doesn’t get too much of any one vitamin or mineral.
This also holds true for other ingredients, such as fruit and supplements as well. Don’t use the same fruit every day. And substitute fruit juices with water, nut milks or coconut milk or water.
Make a different kind of smoothie each day trying out different ingredients and combos. Not only will this ensure you don’t get bored, but will give you a variety of different vitamins and minerals.
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