As discussed in my previous post, replacing your usual breakfast with a green smoothie is a major step towards harmonizing your digestive system and setting the stage to slim down. Find out more about how to stop snoring naturally from Positive Health Wellness – https://www.positivehealthwellness.com/ Making the perfect green smoothie is simple. There are three basic components: leafy greens, a ripe banana (or avocado) and another “fun fruit” of your choosing. After lots of experimentation, I’ve come up with a few tips for a smooth transition
Use fresh or frozen greens. If you happen to have spring mix or romaine in the refrigerator, use these up first to keep them from perishing. Fresh greens don’t need much water because they quickly blend down to nothing. It’s always a good idea to rinse fresh lettuce leaves before blending. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of fresh greens. Arugula and baby spinach are nutritional powerhouses that work well in smoothies. Start by adding 1 cup of fresh green leaves plus ¼ of water. Blend thoroughly until smooth. Ultimately, you want blended greens to make up about half the total volume of your smoothie.
Frozen greens are equally nutritious and super convenient. I always use at least one frozen item to help instantly chill my smoothie. I’ve had great luck with both frozen collard greens and frozen spinach. Because frozen greens are more densely packed, you’ll want to reverse the ratio. Use approximately ¼ cup of greens with 1 cup of water. Blend well and add extra water if needed to reach a liquid consistency. There’s nothing worse than having to chew your smoothie! Kale is also very nutritious, however, its natural hardiness requires extra blending time.
2. Banana (or avocado)
Once the greens are thoroughly blended, its time to add a ripe banana. Use one small banana, or half of a large banana. Spotted bananas provide easily-digestible nutrients for a quick energy boost first thing in the morning. They also impart sweetness, which balances bitterness from the greens. If you have a bunch of bananas that are starting to become overripe, peel them and store in airtight freezer bags for smoothies.
If you’re not a banana person, replace with ½ ripe avocado instead. Avocados create a similarly rich texture, without the strong banana flavor. When using avocado, be sure to choose a showstopping fruit for your last ingredient. I find that pineapple has just enough punch to wake-up an otherwise bland smoothie.
3. Fun Fruit
The final ingredient is a fun fruit! Now is your opportunity to get creative and take advantage of seasonal produce. You’ll want to add about ½ cup of fruit, with extra water as needed. I suggest: mango, pineapple, pears, cantaloupe or kiwi. Watermelon tends to foam up in the blender (which I discovered after a watermelon-cocktail debacle…) Citrus fruits get kinda stringy, however, lime and lemon juice are easy add-ins. I don’t recommend canned fruit because both flavor and nutrients diminish through the canning process.
Frozen berries are an excellent choice, high in fiber and antioxidants. If you choose raspberries, be aware that the seeds tend to sink to the bottom quickly– shake up or drink up! Aim for organic berries whenever possible. Unfortunately, conventional berries are laden with pesticides. (See The Environmental Working Group’s report on which produce tested high for pesticide residue this year: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/index.php).
At first, green smoothies may seem like a stretch for the average taste bud. However, I can honestly say that everyone I’ve asked to try them has had same reaction: “It’s not bad!” You might be surprised how easily green smoothies become part of your regular routine– especially once you see how light and refreshed they make you feel. After you get comfortable with the basic green smoothie, fancy it up by garnishing with herbs, such as fresh mint or parsley. Mixing in small amounts of other green veggies (i.e. broccoli, celery or cucumber) is another way to change-up the flavor and boost the nutrient content of your drink.
I do not suggest protein powders, dairy, seeds, juice or nut butters in your morning smoothie. Remember, the purpose of the green smoothie is to detoxify and rehydrate your body, not necessarily to fill you up. Instead, have a small snack (with your usual coffee or tea) about an hour after finishing the smoothie. Or, have an earlier lunch.
To save time, you may choose to prepare a few days worth of smoothies in advance. Store them in the freezer in ready-to-go cups with lids. The night before, defrost one serving in the refrigerator and shake it up the next morning. I’ve seen Pinterest Pins where people make single-serving ziplock smoothie packs to keep in the freezer. Simply stocking a wide array of fresh/frozen produce is the most important step for quick smoothie assembly in the morning. Always rinse the blender glass immediately after you finish. (This will save you major scrubbing time later on.) Also, be sure to toss smoothie refuse into a sealed garbage bag in order to keep annoying fruit flies out of your kitchen.