Beverages · Cooking

Bee’s Green Smoothie

I’ve jumped on the green smoothie band wagon. I held out for a very long time. The idea of putting a salad into my sweet, fruity smoothie sounded quite frankly, gross.Texture and taste are very important to me, and I imagined the green part would make it taste weird, look funny, and possibly have chunks in it.

Anyone who knows me and what I’ll eat, know that I don’t like to eat chunky things. So, the idea that greens in my smoothie might translate into a chunkier, less smooth smoothie freaked me out.I also worried that the greens would make the smoothie taste, well, green. Salad on its own isn’t a problem; I actually quite enjoy a good salad. Smoothies are my sweet treat though, one I look forward to (I have a huge sweet tooth). I thought adding greens would make the  smoothie less enjoyable, and that just wouldn’t do. Success in my recent weight loss has only been that because I’ve been able to have sweets all through out. Without treats, I feel grumpy about dieting and begin to get rebellious with my eating habits (which isn’t helpful to weight loss).

My first green smoothie was everything I worried about. It was chunky and tasted like the heart of lettuce – you know, the white part at the base of the head of lettuce that is very bitter. Green smoothies are trending though, and I didn’t want to give up just yet. With a bit of research, I found some more ideas to try and a long list of health benefits to keep my interest piqued. I’m happy to report that after some trial and error, I’ve found a recipe that suits my personal smoothie requirements. It’s smooth, sweet, tasty – and still healthy. I have one of these every morning for breakfast. I can have just this for breakfast and a snack a few hours later, or this and some toast/cereal and make it all the way to lunch.

So, why a green smoothie? Why not just stick to fruit? What does adding the green do? What things should I put into a smoothie so that it’s healthy but tastes good too.  Here’s what I found by asking friends, research and trial and error:

  • Start with a higher fruit ratio to help ease yourself into the greener taste in a green smoothie – start with an 80:20 fruit/vegetable ratio and work your way up to a 60:40 ratio. If you keep the fruit amount higher than the vegetable, the sweet fruit flavor dominates your drink while still reaping the benefits of the green.
  • Yogurt adds creaminess and protein. Just be sure to pick a yogurt that won’t take away from the health benefits of the veg by loading it with sugar. I pick a plain, low-fat greek yogurt that is rich and creamy, but packs in protein and leaves out extra sugar.
  • Add banana. Some people don’t like this flavour in their smoothie, but I’ve found that it cuts the green taste and I’m able to enjoy the smoothie more. This is purely from trial and error – add or don’t add the banana to your preferences, this is just what worked for me.
  • Add a boost. I use Vega Whole Food Smoothie Infusion; it adds complete protein, fiber, Omega 3 EFAs and green foods. It’s also common allergen-free, so there is no dairy, gluten, soy, wheat and yeast in the mix. Each serving of this boost provides more protein than 2 large eggs, more fiber than 2 slices of whole wheat bread and more Omega 3 than 6 oz of wild salmon.
  • Green smoothies can be hard to make green! From an art perspective, there are things you can do to make them actually green and basic color wheel knowledge can help. 2 primary colours mixed together make a lovely secondary colour. 3 primary colours together make brown. If you pick fruits that are yellow or green, your smoothie will stay green when you add the leafy greens to it. I’ve heard adding apple to the mix can make it an even more brilliant (I can’t confirm though, because I haven’t tried). If you add anything red or orange, you start to muddy the green and it will look less beautiful green and a little more brown. If the colour of what you’re drinking matters, this advice could prove useful. I like the taste of red fruit in my smoothie, so I tolerate the mildly offensive colour in favor of flavor.
  • Green smoothies have an enormous amount of health benefits. They’re full of protein, nutrients, vitamins, and dietary fiber – all things that help you feel full, eat less and lose weight. They also help you have more energy, stay hydrated and promote digestion.

Bee’s Green Smoothie

Yield: 1, 12 oz smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cooking Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water
1 banana
1 handful frozen fruit
1 handful spinach (I’ve also used frozen spinach – I found some that come in little serving sized pellets)
1 tbsp greek yogurt (plain or flavored)
1 scoop Vega Smoothie Mix

Preparation:

1. Put all ingredients in blender.

2. Blend until everything is smooth.

3. Pour into a glass or travel cup.

4. Enjoy!

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