I’ve been blending up green smoothies once a day for about a month now. Five years ago I would never have imagined that I would be waking up being excited to go downstairs and blend up a mix of green leaf vegetables, fruit, almond milk and chia seeds. We’d never even heard of chia seeds until recently.
The kids weren’t keen at first, but as with all unfamiliar foods it doesn’t take them long to get used to them and start asking for them in the morning. Our 2 year old loves to help me in the morning, picking out the fruit and veg to use, placing in the blender and, of course, pressing the blend button!
Each time I go for the first sip I’m surprised at how lovely green smoothies taste, but be warned there are some rules to follow to make sure you get the ratios right. A couple of times I’ve put way too much green leaf in and not enough fruit and it hasn’t tasted so pretty. You don’t have to follow these ratios exactly but I have found it useful to have them in the back of your mind when you’re dropping your ingredients in without a recipe to make sure your smoothies doesn’t make you go ‘Blerugh!’.
Aim for a ratio of around:-
- 1 part green leaves – One or a combination of Kale, Spinach, etc – Go here for some green leaf grocery shopping inspiration
- 1 part liquid base – Water, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, Soya Milk, Juice, etc (try to avoid using solely juice as your liquid base, it will be very sugary if you use lots of sugary fruits otherwise – I sometimes add a splash to satisfy my sweet tooth)
- 1.5 parts fruit – My staples are bananas, strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, etc
So if you do that in the US cup measurements it should be 1 cup crammed with leaves, 1 cup of your liquid and 1 1/2 cups of fruit. That will give you a single serving. I double it up to split it mainly between me and hubby with a little drop for each of our girls.
Use sweet fruits over sweeteners
I usually tend to add bananas, apples or mango to give plenty of sweetness without the need to add any artificial sweeteners or processed sugars. I’ve read that pears and pitted dates work too. More info on how to sweeten your smoothie naturally here.
Add some super foods
Avocado, beetroot, chia seeds, milled flaxseed… they all have their own special benefits so rotate what you use to make sure you get a good balance of nutrients.
Avoid those seedy sods
Again, my personal preference, but I avoid using the seedy berries like raspberries and blackberries. It may be that the blender I use doesn’t do a very good job at breaking them down but I end up with a smoothie that’s difficult and, at least for me, unpleasant to drink.
Try new things
It’s well worth adding things in your wouldn’t normally go for. Read around the Internet to get some inspiration. simplegreensmoothies.com is a good place to go if you’re just getting started. Lots of recipes, hints and tips.
If you want a chilled smoothie freeze some fruit and blend up straight out of the freezer, you can use ice too but it’s also a good way of saving your fruit from spoiling and being wasted. You can also freeze some of the green leafy vegetables, like spinach and add straight from frozen. I haven’t yet, but I’ve heard you shouldn’t let them thaw else they’ll turn to mush so pop them straight in from the freezer if you do this.
Oh and make sure your blender can break ice before adding any frozen ingredients, I don’t want to be responsible for you being the proud owner of a broken blender!
Your taste buds will change
Your taste buds will adjust to the different flavours too, so it’s worth starting with less greens and more fruit at first and slowly up the anti. This is especially true for children – perseverance is the key! We had a ‘Mango Smoothie’ when we were out recently and it was so artificially sweetened with syrup/sugar we didn’t like it at all – whereas before we would have loved it and thought we were being really healthy.
I hope you enjoy green smoothies as much as we do. We’ll be posting lots of recipes soon so watch this space and happy smoothie making!