If you’re one of those people who has a hard time eating greens on a plate at mealtime, toss them into a smoothie and drink them instead!
Pairing veggies with fruit in a cool, blended drink is an excellent way to ensure you’re getting a healthy serving of vitamins, minerals, and immunity-boosting antioxidants for the day.
You may not be partial to kale or other leafy greens, but you won’t taste them one bit when they’re blended up with other delicious fruits and veggies. The combination possibilities are limitless when it comes to smoothie making. A good template to start is to use about 2 cups of leafy greens, 2-3 cups of fruit, and about 2 cups of liquid. Fruits like banana, mango, avocado, and even acai lend a luxurious creaminess to the smoothie, while other fruits like pineapple and berries add another dimension of sweet, tangy, and tart. Try combining both a creamy and a non-creamy fruit into your next blend. Great liquid bases include nut milks, coconut water, or even water. And for your greens, they can run the gamut from delicate spinach to heartier swiss chard or kale. Hearty greens, like kale, require a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, to thoroughly pulverize the leafy bits. Bitter greens, like dandelion and arugula will need some extra love from the addition of more sweet fruit to counterbalance the astringency, but nevertheless, all greens are fair game! And beyond just greens, don’t underestimate other veggies to use in your smoothie too! Sweet potato, pumpkin, beets, or cauliflower, just to name a few, make wonderfully delicious smoothies when mindfully paired with other fruits and veggies.
Once you establish your base greens or veggies, fruit, and liquid, you can adjust the quantity of each and even add in “smoothie boosters,” such as nuts, seeds, nut butters, protein powders, nut and seed oils, and superfood powders, like maca and spirulina.
For a refreshing, post-workout, vibrant green, Hulk-ish smoothie, combine fresh kale with frozen pineapple, frozen banana, avocado, and coconut water. Coconut water is a powerhouse of naturally occurring electrolytes to replenish your body after a sweaty workout, while the natural sugars in the pineapple and banana restore the glycogen supply your muscles need to rebuild and repair. Avocado revives your body with healthy fats needed for hormone regulation and satiation. Still yet the kale offers an immune boost of healthy fiber, vitamin k, calcium, and so much more! Who wouldn’t want to drink that!
Green smoothie (makes about 2 large smoothies)
2 cups kale, stems removed
1 cup frozen pineapple
½ cup avocado (fresh or frozen)
1 frozen banana
1.5-2 cups coconut water, more as needed
In the bowl of a blender, place the kale first, then layer in the pineapple, banana, and avocado. Then pour in about 1 cup of the coconut water to start. Place the lid on the blender and pulse the smoothie until the kale begins to break down. Add more coconut water if needed and use the smashing wand to move the smoothie contents around as you turn on the blender again. Continue to blend until you have reached a consistency you desire, adding more coconut water as needed. Pour into tall glasses and enjoy immediately!