There is little in this life that makes us feel more healthy, glowy, and Gwyneth Paltrow-esque than a big glass of green. Now, I know that I am a little bit skeptical about some of her lifestyle choices, but this is one thing she definitely got right. A green smoothie is a fantastic addition to your regime, whether you're looking to boost nutrient-intake, kick-start your metabolism, or just start the day off on a healthier note. Here at Emma Olliff Nutrition, I am utterly hooked on my green drinks, both juiced and blended. Not only are they packed with nutrients, but somehow, if you start the morning with one of these you'll find yourself eating better throughout the day. But the smoothie blends have a major leg up on juice for two reasons.
First, with smoothies, you keep all the fibre and nutrients that get discarded in the juicing process — a major necessity for the metabolic benefits of greens. Second, and most important, making a smoothie is about 500 times more convenient than making a juice. Even if you don't have a juicer in your home, odds are you have something that blends. Read on for three of my ultimate green smoothie recipes, each tailored for specific nutritional benefits and preferences. Whether you're looking to detox, de-bloat, or just enjoy a delicious sip, I'll show you how to go green.
1) The Starter
This delicious smoothie is called The Starter, not only because it's a great way to kick-off your morning, but because for those of you that are newbies to the green-smoothie realm, this is one to get you hooked. With a Swiss chard base, it's a powerhouse of phytonutrients, folate, and necessary vitamins. The flavour is light, and the additions of melon and pineapple give it a dose of tropical sweetness. The green smoothie comes off more like a beachside cocktail (minus the booze, sugar, and paper umbrella.)
3 large leaves of Swiss chard
1/2 cup fresh pineapple
1/4 cup fresh honeydew melon
These ingredients are all relatively soft, so you should be able to combine these well with just a traditional blender, immersion blender, or food processer. Add water as needed, and drink up!
Drink This For: Vitamins A, K, C, B6, and E, Manganese, Iron, Folate, Fibre, Protein, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Copper, Potassium, Magnesium, and Pantothenic Acid.
2) The Classic
Kale, apples, and lemon. It doesn't get much better than that (at least that's what your skin, hair, immune system, and internal organs think). This traditional combo is one of the best ways to benefit your bod, prevent illness, and glow from the inside out. For those phobic of the hearty kale flavor, toss in some green grapes, which pack a punch of sweet-and-tartness that make this health-bomb a real treat. If you're not yet sold, just put it to the test. Try this knockout green smoothie every morning for two weeks. If you don't notice a change in your appearance, energy, and digestion, get back to us. You may be a robot.
3 large kale leaves, plus stems
1/2 Red Delicious apple
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup green grapes
Chop everything into manageable pieces, throw it all in a powerful blender or smoothie maker, and add additional water or juice if you have trouble breaking the stems down. Kale is a particularly tough green so you may need to let it run for an additional minute (tip: Stop and start a few times to let it settle and incorporate).
Drink This For: Omega-3 and 6, Folic acide, Fiber, Protein, Carotenoids, Glucosinolates, Vitamins K, A, and C, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Copper, Manganese, Calcium, Iron, Phytonutrients, Antioxidants, Selenium, Citric Acid, Flavanoids, and Folate.
3) The Energizer Green
This simple, sweet green juice is our go-to when we're feeling depleted and low-energy. Loaded with fortifying goodies like iron, protein, electrolytes, and B vitamins, this packs a better punch than an afternoon espresso, minus the crash. It's another great hydrator thanks to the cucumber, and makes an ideal post-workout smoothie that will replenish any lost minerals you sweat out. Bonus points go to the spinach base, since research shows that blending the vegetable raw (i.e. smoothie-fying it) is the optimal way to absorb its beneficial nutrients.
1 1/2 cups spinach
1/2 cup strawberries
1/2 cucumber (leave the peel, just wash it well!)
1/8 cup fresh mint leaves
Again, these ingredients are on the softer side, so don't require much power to combine them. Chop the strawberries and cucumbers well, and blend with an immersion blender, regular blender, or food processer, adding water as necessary. Enjoy!
Drink This For: Iron, Fiber, Protein, Electrolytes, Potassium, Vitamins K, A, C, B1, and B6, Folate, Manganese, Magnesium, Mint Oil, Flavanoids, Anti-Inflammatories, and Biotin.
I'd love to know your thoughts and what your favourite combo for a green smoothie is.
Your guide to living whole and well. Emma Olliff is a Registered Nutritional Therapist, wellness expert, food lover, and advocate for healthy living!