Thursday, April 22, 2010

Celebrate Earth Day with a Green Smoothie



It’s Earth Day today, so I know your heads are full of thoughts about how you can decrease your impact on the planet...right??  I hope you’re thinking about how to use less foods and products that come in plastic containers, less chemical cleaners, herbicides and pesticides and how to use less energy and fossil fuels.  I also hope you’re thinking about recycling more and supporting local organic farmers.  While you’re contemplating your external environment, I also think you should give some thought as to your internal environment.  How can you make better food choices?
I love to drink green smoothies for breakfast, especially after a morning workout.  They’re so refreshing and energizing and simple to make.  This smoothie is full of vitamins A, C, E and K, iron, folate, protein and fiber, perfect for my inner “environment”.  
You can use a variety of greens to make a smoothie, kale, chard, lettuce, spirulina, wheat grass, but I find that spinach is the sweetest, you really don’t taste it.   I like to use the baby spinach leaves. 


You can also use a variety of fruit combinations.  Blueberries are excellent at hiding the green color if that’s an issue for you...or your kids.  However, the recipe below is my favorite combination.  I use a small orange, 1/2 a banana and some pineapple.   Combining spinach with high vitamin C fruits greatly increases your body’s ability to absorb the iron in the spinach.  Gram per gram, spinach has more iron than red meat.  As you probably know, most of us girls are usually deficient in iron.  
I also add a scoop of protein powder.  There are lots of protein powders out on the market, you can choose from whey, soy, rice or hemp.  Use whatever fits into your diet.  It’s good to have some protein in the morning, so I add a scoop.
The secret to making really good smoothies, and by really good I mean thick and cold, is using at least 2/3‘s frozen fruit.  I cut my ripe bananas up into chunks and keep them in the freezer.  I also buy frozen  pineapple chunks or a fresh pineapple that I cut into chunks and freeze.  I use a fresh orange.
It helps to have a good high powered blender, I use a Blendtec, to get the really smooth consistency.  You can use a regular blender, you may need cut the fruit up into smaller pieces.  It also helps to put the spinach in first.
So, be good to your inner environment and to the planet on this Earth Day.  Have a healthy breakfast and go out into the world and tread gently.
Green Breakfast Smoothie
Makes 1 large or 2 small servings - Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
3/4 cup water
1 heaping tablespoon protein powder 
1 large handful of spinach leaves
3/4 cup frozen banana chunks
3/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 small orange, peeled and quartered
Put the ingredients in a blender in the order listed.  
Blend until smooth and drink immediately. 
(You may need to add a few more tablespoons of water depending on your blender)


4 comments:

  1. Do you use ice in this smoothie? I'm new at this and looking through green smoothie recipes I'm finding it doesnt specify if I am to use ice.

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    1. I just freeze the fruit ahead of time. I find that ice tends to water down the smoothie. If you use frozen fruit, you don't need ice.

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  2. What a good idea! One more question, Do I freeze veggies too? Such as spinach and Kale? Thank you for the reply and recipe!

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    Replies
    1. No, it's not necessary to freeze the greens.

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