At my initial introduction, I must admit that my reaction to putting kale or spinach or other green leafy things into a drink (other than the occasional celery stalk in my beloved bloody mary) had me retching. But, like so many other things in this life, you must first try it before you knock it.
And so began my love affair with green smoothies.
My first step, though, was to buy a NutriBullet. I got mine at Bed Bath & Beyond with a 20% off coupon, which would be my recommended way to go if you're looking at the most inexpensive way to get a new NutriBullet. I'm sure you can also find used ones on eBay if you're in the market, but I'll leave that up to you. I went with the blender/extractor-type concept rather than a juicer for a couple of reasons:
- ease in cleaning
- no loss of fiber
Now for the good stuff...
Nearly every smoothie I make starts with a handfull of fresh organic spinach. I have been known to use frozen in a pinch, but I prefer fresh. Others like kale, but I find the taste of raw kale in my smoothies to be overpowering, I'd rather eat my kale in salads. I sometimes also throw in a couple of pieces of fresh organic carrot, not even peeled. To that, I add whatever fruit is in season. Cantaloupe, watermelon, apples, strawberries, blueberries, bananas - you name it, it can become a smoothie. I also have used frozen fruit: berries, mangoes, etc. Freezing is also a good use for bananas on the way out, by the way. Just peel and chunk them and toss into the freezer. You can put them on a tray or plate in the freezer first before bagging them to make pulling them out easier. I also know people who put avocado into their smoothies, but I am an avocado nut and would much rather have my avocado straight up so I can enjoy the taste, rather than hidden in a smoothie...
As far as nutritional add ins, here's where you can get crazy! Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts), seeds (chia, sesame, flax), berries (acai, goji), herbs (mint, parsley, dill, tarragon), spices (cinnamon, turmeric, pepper), cacao nubs or powder, yogurt or milk (including rice, almond, hemp)...get the idea? There is a ton of research out there about the benefits of these add ins - do your own due diligence and you can concoct your own special drink for whatever ails ya! I keep a basket on the counter to corral my 'extra' ingredients and spare parts for my NutriBullet, and when it's smoothie time, I just go there for inspiration.
Here's what's inside:
And here's this morning's smoothie: Fresh spinach and peaches, frozen mango:
I apologize if this sounded like an infomercial for NutriBullet -that wasn't my intent, but rather to introduce you to the wonderful world of green smoothies! And if you have little ones running around - what a great way to sneak extra nutrition into their daily lives - and with cool green stuff!
How about you?
Do you imbibe in smoothies? What do you like to put into yours? What health benefits do you look forward to?