Hi guys! I've had a few requests to share some tips on 'green' smoothies so here it is! I have quotes around 'green' because for me, green just means there are vegetables in it. I feel bad drinking a smoothie without veggies, since I know how easy it is to sneak in those easy extra nutrients!
I started making shakes when I was 11. My dad showed me how to put milk, a frozen banana and chocolate protein powder in a blender in grade 6 for a snack (bulking season?? hahaha!). They were delicious! Over the years I continued having shakes like that, and even more when I got into working out with my mom in my early 20s. Green smoothies started gaining popularity and it was basically the same formula, but with soy/almond/coconut milk, but a handful of spinach to make it a green smoothie.
Since then, I have tried to venture out in new and different smoothie territory. The important things to me are: getting at least one serving of vegetables, good fats, a hit of protein, and as much nutrients as possible while still being tasty and drinkable. I don't have any specific measurements, because it's something to play by ear. And the more you 'eye-ball it', the better and easier it will be for you to come up with your own. Smoothies have been so good for me because I know I can cram lots of nutrients in one big glass jar, and still do other mom/life things. I often drink them while steering the stroller. It's a talent. I hope you find something useful here! If you have ideas, send them my way! Here we go!
Alex's smoothie formula:
Frozen fruit + veg + nut/nut butter + liquid + something to cut the veg taste = good green smoothie
Frozen fruit options (in order of most fave to least fave)
Banana* - so easy, so cheap, good in literally every smoothie. Pairs well with chocolate or coffee. Already portioned - sweet!
Pear* - high fibre, also cheap in large quantities, yummy - nice fall flavour!)
Apple - good fibre, also cheap
Mango - delicious. less cheap. Stronger flavour
Pineapple - Amazing. hard not to make a tropical smoothie with pineapple.
Berries - yummy. nutritious. not cheap. prefer to save for crumbles, u feel me?
Romaine Lettuce - I saw my mom put it in a smoothie and I was like WTF THIS AINT SO CEASAR SALAD, but then I literally drank that kool-aid and have been sold since. I buy a 7 pack at superstore. It keeps really well, and is good in salads. It is actually more nutritious than kale too....CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? It is really important with most vegetables, but especially with romaine lettuce, to CUT it with something. What I meant by 'cut it', is to make the taste go away (hahaha). I want my smoothies to taste as much like chocolate mint, or carrot cake or whatever I choose. Not romaine. 'CUT' ingredients include: peanut butter, any nut butters, mint, and cocoa (are my go-to's).
Spinach - easy. highly nutritious. doesn't keep as well.
Kale - although I find kale that isn't steamed or broken down to be draining to eat. Plus it's so dang good sauteed with sesame oil. Still good in smoothies!
Microgreens - toss em in!
Beets - peel and then shred them first. Makes it easier on your blender. I also freeze shredded beets (I use my food processor to shred! Amazing tool.). Highly nutritious and almost sweet! More fibre. Great all round veg. Huge fan.
Carrots - same as beets ^. Very cheap. I am much more likely to eat carrots raw if they are shredded. Handful of goodness ready to eat - boom. Salad topper ~~~
Cauliflower - I steam mine before freezing. I have had raw as well.
Zuchini. Cut a couple times, then frozen!
Avocado - a creamy addition!
These are all the vegetables I have tried so far. Open to more for sure. But wanted to share what's been good so far!
Nut/Nut butter/Seeds (don't overdo nuts - they are high in fat, so watch serving sizes! Good fat, but still!)
Natural peanut butter - cheapest nut butter. Really great at making smoothies taste yummy and not really greeeeeeen.
Almond butter - delicious. Costco's Kirkland makes an amazing version.
Flax Seed (ground)
Coconut (unsweetened shreds, or flakes!)
Options are endless!
Coconut milk - Cartons or cans. Cans are much fattier so use in moderation. I will do like a 1/4-1/2 cup with water as the rest
Water - I was shocked at how easy it was to phase out almond milk. Smoothies are still rich and tasty with just water as the liquid).
Coffee - I will freeze some if we don't drink it all, or put fresh coffee in. Two drinks in one!
Tea - I've brewed tea and refrigerated or froze it. But I haven't had time/thought of it since having kids.
MCT oil - I usually put it in my Bulletproof coffee, but if I don't have time for both, I a tbsp in.
Adaptogens - substance/compound/herb to elevate your physical health and mood (and decrease cortisol/stress). I've used cordyceps and ashwagandha. Both have been great!
Chocolate - in cocoa powder, cacao nibs (energy!!!), or even in chocolate chips if I'm desperate.
Mint - Fresh mint is amazing. I put a huge handful in with something chocolatey for a girl guide mint taste. I've also bought mint extract when mint isn't in store.
Medjool dates - I will throw 1-2 in for some sweetener (natural, unprocessed, high fibre)
Oats - extra thickness. Keeps me full a bit longer. I like it with more 'blonde' (non-chocolate) shakes.
Cinnamon - also better for those oatmeal cookie/carrot cake type shakes.
Himalayan Sea Salt - because minerals and yummy.
Collagen peptides - pure protein. Makes my skin/hair/nails amazing! Flavourless.
Protein Powder - always tasty, I've just been trying to use as many 'single' whole food
ingredient items as possible.
Turmeric - incredibly nutritious! Warm flavour. Good with 'blonde' shakes.
Maple Syrup - if you need some sweet and are out of dates, this is still a good option. A little goes a long way.
Some of my favourite shake flavours/ideas:
Chocolate Mint - frozen banana, cocoa, mint, water, MCT oil, romaine
Blueberry Beet Vanilla - frozen bluebs, shredded beet/carrot mix, vanilla, oats, water, flax, vanilla, almond milk
Mocha - coffee/espresso, frozen banana, almond butter, hemp hearts, romaine
Tropical - coconut milk (canned), pineapple/mango, spinach/kale, mint, cashews, coconut flakes, collagen peptides
Chocolate PB - frozen banana, natural peanut butter, cocoa powder + cacao nibs, water, zucchini, spinach
Oh god I hope this was clear, but not too ramble-y. Thanks for reading!