I have a green smoothie for breakfast almost every morning. It is a nutritious meal that keeps me going all morning without a need for additional food, nor with that mid-morning slump where I really need something to pick me up. I am often asked how I make one.
Making my Green Smoothie is not so much adhering to a strict recipe as grasping and using some principles that take advantage of the whole food plant based (WFPB) — foods that are available to you when you go to make one. As always, try to use organic ingredients.
There are basically two necessary ingredients and a couple of optional ones that I always include:
- 4 cups greens preferably a mix of organic kale, spinach, broccoli, etc.
- 8 oz liquid
- 1 serving fruit
- 1 serving omega oil source
- 1 tsp cinammon
- 1 tbsp unpasteurized honey
- Step 1: The essence of a green smoothie comes from the greens. These are some selection of various green vegetables (hopefully organic and freshly picked!) such as we see in the following photos. The greens that I select from always include at least some cruciferous green leaves (collards, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale) as well as some other dark green leaves from such spinach, beet, mustard, chard or dandelion. It just depends on what is available. I chop these up coarsely and put in my blender filling to the 4 cup level (this is four loosely packed cups) I am able to usually take at least collards and some other greens from my garden, depending on the season. I never have much luck growing spinach so usually buy bags of triple washed organic spinach at my local supermarket. I buy beets every week and these usually come with the leaves attached. I save these for my smoothies and soups. Our supermarket also often has triple washed chopped up kale leaves. So it is just some selection of these that I use in my smoothie -- no two days are the same.
- Step 2: To the greens I add about 8 oz.of liquid. Usually I use 'original, unsweetened' (30 cal per serving) almond milk. Do try to keep away from the sweetened versions -- added sugar is not good for your body! Sometimes I will use oat milk, or soy milk. It is a matter of taste. Some of these products come with a vanilla flavoring, which you might prefer. Or you might be happy to use water.
- Step 3: I almost always have a banana with my smoothie. This gives me one of the 4 or 5 fruit servings that I try to have every day. Bananas give a high glycemic load, but making it part of a smoothie reduces that impact. Other fruits that you might try include apples, oranges or berries such as strawberries, blackberries or blueberries. However if you follow the precepts of Ayurveda medicine you would probably not mix fruits with your vegetables.
- Step 4: If you follow a whole foods plant based (WFPB) or vegan diet you need to ensure that you include a source of omega oils in your diet. I do this by adding it to my smoothie. To do this I add some ground flaxseed (say 1 tbsp), and/or walnuts (about 4 or 5 whole walnuts or equivalent) and/or some chia seeds (about 1 tsp).
- Step 5: Cinnamon is an important spice that has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing cancer risks. However this effectiveness only appear to apply to the Ceylon version of cinnamon, not the others that are on the market. I usually add a tsp of Ceylonese cinnamon to my smoothie.
- Step 6: I don't add honey but if you find that your smoothie is too bitter for your taste you might to sweeten it. Stay away from processed sugar and fructose. Instead add a tablespoon of unpasteurized, organic honey
- Step 7: With all the ingredients in the blender, mix at high speed for a minute or two until very liquid. Then pour, drink and enjoy. The quantities indicated will produce about two large glasses. I drink both and am well nourished for the morning!