Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and collard greens are some of the healthiest, most nutritious foods nature has to offer. Eating a big salad every day is an important way to fuel your body with the nutrients it craves. But if you are new to healthy eating or just aren’t a huge fan of some of these bitter tasting greens, getting enough greens can feel like a chore.
Whether you are a healthy eating pro whose favorite food is watercress or you have to choke down your daily servings of leafy greens, there is a simple way to make healthy eating easier: green smoothies.
Green smoothies are an easy way to increase your daily fruit and vegetable intake. On average, Americans eat only 2-3 servings of produce a day, half the amount recommended by the USDA (and we consider the USDA recommendations to be too low!). If you struggle to fit greens into your daily diet, try adding a green smoothie in the morning or as an afternoon pick-me-up!
What is a green smoothie, anyway?
Simply put, a green smoothie is any smoothie that has leafy greens in it. As you might imagine, green smoothies are, well, green (although if you add blueberries or strawberries you may end up with a purple or pink drink!). You can take any smoothie recipe you have, throw in a handful or two of spinach or kale, and voila!
An easy formula to remember for green smoothies is:
greens + fruit +liquid = green smoothie
Two cups of greens, two cups of fruit, and one to two cups of liquid (depending on what fruit you use) should be a good ratio if you are using a large blender. Play around to find flavors and consistency that suit your taste!
If you’re new to green smoothies, it might take a little while to adjust to drinking lots of greens. It’s okay to start small. Spinach is the best green to start with because it doesn’t have a strong flavor. Adding sweet fruit will help mask the green’s flavor — you probably won’t even be able to taste the spinach with lots of blueberries, bananas, and peaches mixed in!
Some great fruits to start with are bananas, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, mango, peaches, and pineapple. Use at least one frozen fruit in your smoothie to avoid a warm drink.
When it comes to adding liquid, water is always a safe bet, but you can also mix it up by using green tea, coconut water, or almond milk.
All you need to get started is a blender, fruit, leafy greens, and a good attitude! Try this basic recipe from Simple Green Smoothies to get you rolling:
Beginner’s Luck Green Smoothie
Ingredients (for 2 servings):
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups water
1 cup mango
1 cup pineapple
Blend spinach and water until chunks are gone. Add fruit and blend again. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite green smoothie recipe? Let us know in the comments!