Green smoothies, ounce for ounce, are some of the most nutrient-dense meals on the planet. They're loaded with antioxidants and other nutrients that come in a whole-food form. The fruits and vegetables blended together in healthy smoothie recipes provide vitamins, minerals, enzymes and fiber in a concentrated form that will do wonders for your health — and build up your body’s defenses against disease.
When fruits and vegetables get blended, the plant fibers are broken down just like you do when you chew them; the blender literally does most of the “chewing” for you. And chewing food more thoroughly means that you'll absorb more of the nutrients.
Healthy smoothies retain the fiber from the fruits and the vegetables you use. The fiber works to improve digestion and helps your body naturally rid itself of toxins. Fiber also helps you feel satisfyingly full, and stay that way longer.
Overcoming Obstacles to Making a Green Smoothie
There are several things that can make creating green smoothies more difficult. For starters, leafy green vegetables that make your smoothies so healthy are harder to break down. If you like a smoother consistency to your smoothies, you'll want a heavy duty blender like the VitaMix or Blendtec.
You will also need a good supply of fresh, organic greens to use as ingredients. Conventionally- grown leafy greens have one of the highest concentrations of pesticides of any vegetable, so you'll be consuming more toxins along with the nutrients unless you use organic produce.
Finally, let's not forget the fact that many people don't enjoy the taste of dark-green, leafy vegetables, at least not enough to eat them on a daily basis!
Green Superfoods Make for Easy Green Smoothies
The lazy man's way to make a health green smoothie is to substitute a green superfood powder for fresh greens. These are essentially concentrated reductions of the most nutrient-dense green foods known. They include field grasses like wheat or barley grass, organically-grown under the best conditions, or algae-based green foods such spirulina or chlorella.
To make things even better, you can find blends of green superfoods that taste nothing like green vegetables! Some of them come in chocolate and berry flavors that are a great way for your kids to get their vegetables for the day. And they're so easy to use that your kids can even make their own green smoothies!
Green superfood powders won't taste very good when just mixed with water, however — they need something to cut the bitterness inherent in dark green foods. Nut milks and bananas blend very well with these green superfoods.
Go to my page on Green Superfood Powders
to discover the best green superfoods to add to your smoothies.
Most smoothie recipes call for a liquid ingredient to allow the solid
components to move around inside the blender and give your smoothie the
right thickness. The beverage you choose will largely determine how
healthy your smoothie turns out.
What are the best beverages to use to make your smoothie as healthy as possible? The most common choices are water, cows milk, yogurt, soy milk, nut milks, or fruit juice. To discover the pros and cons of each one, see my page on how to make a smoothie the healthy way.
Smoothies offer a great opportunity to experiment and try different combinations that will please your palate. Use the recipes below as an inspiration to concoct your own favorite, or try whatever you've got in the refrigerator at the moment.
Many smoothie recipes call for the use of milk or yogurt. I personally don't recommend the use of dairy products, but I will leave this up to you. I suggest using water or a nut milk instead, and that's what you'll find in the recipes below. Substitute regular milk or yogurt if you prefer.
Which Greens to Use? Where each recipe calls for "greens," use whatever ones you have a preference for. Spinach is great — it has the least flavor of its own of all the raw greens and lends an awesome freshness quality to your healthy smoothies. Another one that's good for beginners is parsley. It's a great detoxifier, and also has a nice fresh flavor without being too strong.
Kale is good, but has a stronger, cabbage-like flavor. Arugula and watercress are nice if you like spicier flavors. Then there's romaine lettuce, collards, beet greens, dill — anything green in the produce section; the darker the better.
What If You Don't Like Greens?
Fresh greens don't work for everyone; some of us just don't like them.
In addition, you'll need to shop more often to have a steady supply on
hand, and if you don't have access to organic produce, you're going to
be consuming more pesticides and other chemicals in your
smoothies. Leafy greens are some of the most heavily-sprayed crops of all.
An alternative to fresh greens would be to try green superfood powders. They're grown to be even more nutritious than fresh greens, are usually organic, and have a very long shelf life. You can find out more about them at my page on Green Superfood Powders.
I also encourage you to experiment with the optional ingredients listed on my page on how to make a smoothie the healthy way. It's loaded with easy and nutritious ways to make your smoothies into complete meals.
When a recipe calls for milk, I suggest you use any type of non-dairy
milk product — there are many different ones: hemp, almond, soy, rice,
etc. They're a healthier alternative, and easy to keep on hand.
Chocolate Goji Banana
Tropical Green Smoothie
Spinach Berry Banana
Spinach Apple Carrot
Pineapple Pear Banana
Spinach Celery Orange
Spinach Romaine Ginger
Apple Orange Banana
Banana Mango Orange
Banana Coconut Milk
Breakfast Green Smoothie
Berry Green Smoothie
Cucumber Parsley Apple Banana Green Smoothie
Apple Banana Green Smoothie
Tropical Fruit Green Smoothie
Healthy Breakfast Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Low Carb Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Low Calorie Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Low Fat Smoothies
Healthy Strawberry Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Blackberry Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Banana Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Blueberry Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Mango Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Pineapple Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Peach Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Pina Colada Smoothie Recipes
Healthy Kiwi Smoothie Recipes
More Information on Healthy Smoothies
Healthy Smoothie Recipes
Basic steps to make a healthy smoothie
Complete Guide to Making a Healthy Smoothie
Insider secrets for creating awesome smoothies!
The Best Blenders for Smoothies
For great smoothies, make sure you have a quality blender.