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« Podcast - Big and Raw | Main | Yoga for Endurance Athletes: Getting and Staying Aero on the Bike - Bakasana »
Tuesday
Mar092010

How to Make a Green Smoothie!

I get a lot of requests for recipies for green smoothies. Instead of posting a bunch of different possibilities, how about we just go through the formula instead.

Green Smoothie = liquid base + leafy greens + veggies + fruit + special ingredients.

Special Note - Some people skip the leafy greens and veggies, and that can be bad news for your health.  Drinking a huge fruit-only smoothie is like pouring sugar syrup right into your guts. Fruit may be healthy, but fruit is loaded with sugar and needs to be taken in moderation.  Grinding up 5 lbs. of fruit sugar into a liquid and pouring it directly into your food-hole is a great way to start off a "Let's get diabetes!" party.  Now, there's nothing wrong with a fruit smoothie per se, just make them a small treat, not a daily habit of gigantic proportions.  Ok, back to the regularly scheduled program...

Liquid Base. Water, ice, coconut or almond milk, and Odwalla Superfood (a sweet mix of some crazy-healthy ingredients). Mix and match any of the above to make the smoothie runny enough to be blendable.

Leafy Greens. I stick with two basics: Kale and mixed baby greens. You can easily use spinach as well. Leafy greens are the whole point of the smoothie, so don't skimp. People don't eat anywhere near enough leafy greens, and putting them in a fruit smoothie is the an amazing way to sneak them in your diet. They improve your health so dramatically, any way you can find to chomp on more of them is fantastic.

Veggies. I always throw in some carrots. On occasion I will put in a piece of a beet or a chunk or yellow, red, or orange bell peppers, which are actually very sweet. Green bell peppers don't taste good in a smoothie, BTW.

Fruit. In a Green Smoothie, fruit is more of an accesory to make the leafy greens and veggies taste better. I usually add two pieces of whole fruit or the equivilant amount of smaller fruits. Examples include bananas, apples, oranges, blueberries, strawberries, lots of stuff, really. I simply grab what's available and use it. I also always throw in some grapes because they work great as a natural sweetener.

Special ingredients. To make the smoothie truly super green, I throw in a tablespoon or two of spirulina. To add some kick to the flavor, I'll squeeze in a little fresh lime, toss in some Ginger, and even put in a little cilantro (another leafy green!).  To add in some healthy fats, I'll put in some avocado and/or Vega EFA oil.

How to Drink/Store. I pour as much of the smoothie as possible into a liter bottle and put that in the fridge. The leftover goes into a sports bottle with some ice and water. I sip on the sports bottle throughout the day. When it gets empty, I refill it with more smoothie mix and ice water.  It's all gone by early evening.

You might be thinking all this is too much, and it is.  I just stick to the formula and grab what's available in my kitchen.  No smoothie has all the stuff listed above.  I never make the same smoothie day-to-day and I never measure out the ingredients on purpose; each one tastes slightly different and that's good. For example, I bought a couple of pears and some strawberries this week and I'm using those as my main fruits instead of the banana and orange that I usually use.

You don't need a green smoothie daily.  What you do need is leafy greens and veggies.  The green smoothie is just a tasty and convenient way to do it.  If you eat a green salad or two a day, you probably have your green bases covered, so don't think this is the only way.  Enjoy!

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Reader Comments (12)

what kind of blender are you using?

March 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjameson

Wonderful post... Very informational and educational as usual!

Acai Optimum

March 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJay B.

Coach Brett,

I found your podcast a while back and am loving it. I am working through the old shows and enjoying the current ones as they come out.

One thing you did to me was make me think that green smoothies were good. You seem to be drinking them all the time in the podcast. I went and made one and oh my, well I would be honored if you would read my blog entry for the story instead of repeating it here.

I love your show, I bought some hornet juice recently to help support the show. Keep up the good work!

March 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrianThinAgain

vita-mix blender.

March 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrett

I listened to you podcast where you explained how to make a green smoothie and I have a question. Most juicing and blending websites say you should consume the juice 30 min to an hour after juicing. They state that the juice starts to oxidize and you lose nutrients the longer you take to drink your mix. How do you combat this if you make it the day before, or is this false information? Just curious because I am interested in making something similar to your smoothies.

Thanks, Jeff

April 27, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff W.

Jeff,

Yeah, I've heard that too. I think that a green smoothie that's been in the fridge overnight is still far healthier than almost anything else you can buy and eat. The 30 minute thing is for the fanatics.

April 28, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrett

That's what I was thinking too. I was Just wondering what your opinion was. Love the podcast keep up the good work!

Thanks, Jeff

April 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJeff W.

Great information! I've been going through some of the recipes in the Green Smoothies Diet book, and tried out a couple so far (one great, the other not so much). It might be a good way to get some ideas (just don't try the beet blast), and you can preview quite a few recipes through amazon.

Jaclyn

June 21, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJaclyn

Thanks for taking the time to write that, I found it very interesting. If you get a chance you should check my site as well. I hope you have a good day!

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