Green Smoothies for Health

¬© Olyina | Dreamstime.com - Green Smoothies Photo

Green Smoothies became all the rage a few years ago when Victoria Boutenko popularized them in her book, "Green Smoothie Revolution." Boutenko and her family suffered from a plethora of health issues including diabetes, arthritis, and asthma and amazingly eliminated all of them by blending fresh produce and herbs into tasty meals.

Since then, hoards of people, both sick and well, have incorporated these meal replacements into their diet with incredible improvements in their health. They were a mainstay of my diet when I (Nancy) first turned to healing with raw foods. 

Let's move away from fantastic health claims for just a moment and take a look at the basic benefits. Firstly, we know that we need to eat a minimum of 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies a day (increase that to 9 servings for those suffering with any serious health challenges.) Busy people may not have the time to prepare that much produce let alone cook and eat it! With one quart of smoothie plus a large salad a day, you've met that quota. If you get into the habit of only one a day in addition to your regular meals, it will have a positive impact on your health.

Green smoothies are convenient as well, and that's what Healthy Girlfriend is all about! Simply load up your blender with a few pieces of fruit, a handful of lettuce, spinach, or kale plus a little liquid and blend. Pour it into a traveling container and drink it on your commute to work if you like. It's that easy! They are useful when doing a detox diet, too. In fact, you could do an entire cleanse with nothing but green smoothies.

For even speedier morning prep, load up your blender the evening before, stick it in the fridge and blend in the morning. If you don't have the time to blend and wash out the container in the morning (but really, it takes about 3 minutes to blend, pour, and rinse out,) you can do it all the night before. Just make sure to add a whole, peeled lemon to the mix to preserve all the nutrients. This will also boost the flavor. Fill your quart canning jar to the very top and put a plastic lid on it (found at Target or Walmart.) Super simple.

Many people ask us for a easy recipe to get started and after 3 years, this one is still our favorite here at ihealthygirlfriend. It makes one quart of delicious smoothie that you can sip on all morning if you like.

Go-To Green Smoothie
one large serving

  • 2 large oranges, peeled and quartered
  • one lemon, peeled and halved
  • a few berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries
  • 1/4" piece of ginger root, sliced
  • 1 banana
  • 1 T chia seed, hemp seed, or flax seed (omit if you are doing detox diet)
  • a pinch of stevia to taste
  • enough water or coconut water to blend (start with 1/2 cup)
  • a small handful of greens (spinach is a good one to start with-you won't even taste it)

If you have a high-speed blender such as Vitamix or Blendtec, you can start blending on low until most of the big chunks are pulverized. I always blend everything but the greens, then add them last. Finally, blend for a few seconds on high until it has the consistency of a milkshake. 

If you are using a conventional kitchen blender, start with the liquid and a couple pieces of fruit, then add each ingredient separately, blending as you go. Once you get used to drinking these delicious babies, you will definitely want to get yourself a Vitamix (or similar.) A regular blender just doesn't blend it as smoothly. My Vitamix has been going strong for 12 years and that's with near-daily use. 

We love the look of our green smoothies in a quart Mason jar. Girlfriend found some plastic lids with huge straws at Target. Simply screw it on with a standard lid ring and it's ready to take on the road.

These are so delicious and energizing that it's easy to make them a habit. Keep increasing and rotating the greens you use (kale for a couple of weeks, then spinach, then parsley, etc.) for variety and for a range of different nutrients.

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