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A Few Green Smoothies

Green SmoothieGreen smoothies are a great addition to anyone’s life, as they provide a multitude of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients all in one drink. If you are diabetic or have other health-related reasons to reduce your sugar intake, they serve as a good alternative to sweeter beverages.

A green smoothie is comprised of raw leafy green vegetables, like celery, broccoli, spinach, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, and parsley, and fruit, which can be anything from acai berry to pineapple.

The general rule of blending a green smoothie is creating a 60/40 fruit to greens ratio. More fruit balances the potentially off-putting flavor of the greens in a blended form, while maintaining the nutritional content. Widely available, store-bought green smoothies include some of my favorites: Green Machine from Naked Juice and Odwalla Superfood. Both of these are incredible examples of greens plus fruit, and have normalized the green smoothie to the common consumer.

However, if you’re the hands-on type who likes to chop and blend their own drinks, or just get that true smoothie consistency, here are a few ideas to play with.

With each of these, you’ll want to add the water to the blender first, then add soft fruit, harder fruit and other ingredients, and add the greens very last. Blend on high until your smoothie shows a rich, creamy texture.

 

Orange Peach Kale Smoothie

Kale is the perfect leafy green to include in a vitamin-packed smoothie. It’s inexpensive, available year-round, and contains twice as much calcium as spinach. The flavor or kale also helps it blend well with sweet fruits like kiwi and citrus. In addition to calcium, kale is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K, fiber, beta carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and antioxidants. Combined with the light, sunny flavors of orange and peach, you have a simple, fast green smoothie.

Calories: 253 | Fat: 2g (grams) | Protein: 8g | Carbs: 61g | Calcium: 22% | Iron: 3.2 mg | Vitamin A: 731% | Vitamin C: 293%

  • 2 cups kale
  • 2 medium peaches
  • 1 orange (peeled)
  • 4 to 6 oz filtered water

 

Ginger Acerola Spinach Smoothie

Acerola is a tart berry, also called the Barbados Cherry, West Indian Cherry, and Crepemyrtle, which contains a large amount of vitamin C. One berry includes about 89 percent of your daily value of the immune enhancing vitamin. Comparable to the size of a cherry, this characteristic makes acerola an ideal fruit to include in a powerful smoothie. Acerola also contains a high quantity of antioxidants, as well as  significant vitamin A and copper. It is available as a frozen puree in the United States, which tends to work well for smoothies. Its tartness resembles citrus fruits, and can be paired well with apples, banana, pear, and strawberries.

Calories: 245 | Fat: 1g (grams) | Protein:3g | Carbs: 35g | Calcium: 7% | Iron: 3 mg | Vitamin A: 73% | Vitamin C: 1236%

  • 1 3.5 oz packet of acerola puree
  • 1 banana (peeled)
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/4 inch fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
  • 4-6 oz filtered water

 

Apple Papaya Smoothie

Papayas are not only delicious, they are rich in vitamin c, and also contain potassium, fiber, folate, and vitamins A, E, and K. While the peak season to get them from your local farmers’ market is June through September, papayas are generally available year-round at most supermarkets. They also provide antioxidants and the enzyme papain, an agent in healthy digestion. The tropical flavor of papaya goes well with numerous fruits and veggies, namely citrus, melon and other exotic fruits.

Calories: 231 | Fat: 0.8g (grams) | Protein: 5g | Carbs: 58.8g | Calcium: 19% | Vitamin A: 321% | Vitamin C: 371%

  • 1 apple (your choice, cored)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 2 1/2 cups papaya (peeled, seeded)
  • 2 cups kale or other leafy green
  • 3/4 cup water


Blend and enjoy!

 

References

 

1. Image: nabcommunities.com

2. Tracy Russell. Incredible Smoothies. Kale Green Smoothie Nutrition and Health Benefits.

3. Tracy Russell. Incredible Smoothies. Acerola Green Smoothie Recipes, Nutrition and Health Benefits.

4.  Tracy Russell. Incredible Smoothies. Papaya Smoothie Recipes, Nutrition and Health Benefits.

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