Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Favorite Recipes: Green Smoothies, For More Energy & Clarity!

About three months ago I discovered "Green Smoothies".  Bob and I and the children have enjoyed them daily withour breakfast ever since!  We have experienced so much more energy, satisfaction, and clarity in our days since we've been drinking green smoothies. Our chiropractic doctors at the Country Chiropractic Clinic here in Mount Vernon, WA, Dr.'s Avery, Nick, and Nathan Martin, gave us all of this great information I'll share with you!  I'll give you our personal favorite recipe, other recipe ideas that the Dr.'s gave me, and tell you why green smoothies are so amazing healthy for people - and so delicious! 

(I recently found these plastic, insulated cups from Wal-Mart with lids and straws for $4.65 each, to help prevent spills for the youngest 7 kids. *smile*)

According to Dr. Avery Martin, green smoothies are a combination of 40% green vegetable and 60% fruit, which is optimal for human consumption.  The ingredients are pureed in a blender, and unlike juices, green smoothies are a complete food because they still have fiber.  They're also far easier to prepare, and clean up, in a blender compared to a juicer.

Here was our family's first favorite recipe made in our "regular" Kitchen Aid blender.  It makes about 48 oz.  Bob and I would share one recipe giving us each about 24 oz.; our seven oldest children would share another recipe, giving them each about a 7 oz.

"Banana Blueberry Blast"
  • 1.5 cups fruit juice (100% juice) - (we use grape juice)
  • 2-3 large handfuls of spinach or other greens (we use 3 of spinach)
  • 2-3 bananas (we use 2)
  • 1 cup blueberries (we use frozen)
  • 1 cup water, added at the end
  • (ice cubes optional for icy taste - we don't include ice as the smoothie is then too cold for us to drink quickly)
My Steps:
  1. Measure the grape juice into the blender, then add the spinach and puree them.
  2. Add the bananas and berries and "chop", then puree the entire mixture. 
  3. Decrease the blender's speed to it's lowest which causes the liquid to recede enough to open the top pour spout in the lid of the blender and add in one cup of water.  This makes the smoothie less thick, more "liquidy", and easier for us to drink down quickly and easily, which we prefer (to save time).
* Tip:  I buy bags of organic, pre-washed spinach from Costco.  This way I can just open the bag in the morning and remove the handfuls we need; no washing or drying necessary.  It's also by far the best price there, and the freshest.  I've tried buying spinach from Wal-Mart, but after I washed and dried it the spinach just did not last more than a day or two before spoiling.  I don't think by using my salad spinner I could get the spinach as dry as it comes in the bag, and the water would then sit on the spinach and spoil it; plus I don't have time to wash and dry it every day.  And then I discovered that I can freeze spinach until I'm ready to use it!  This discovery enabled me to now purchase smoothie ingredients for our entire family because I don't need to fit it all in to our refrigerator; we store it in the freezer and then put it strait in to the blender.

Here is our current FAVORITE recipe - made in our new high-powered Blendtec blender (purchased used off of Craig's List!) - a recipe I got from GreenSmoothieGirl.com - one of THE most amazing, informational, encouraging, enabling, yummy sites I've ever seen.  Robyn Openshaw is transforming our family! 

Robyn's Green Smoothie  (and here's a video of her making the smoothie!)
  • 2 c. water
  • 2-3 Tbl. flax oil
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp. Stevia sweetener
  • 1-2 Kale leaves (with stocks)
  • Spinach to fill the blender 1.5x
  • 2 bananas
  • 2 apples
  • 1 c. blue berries or mixed berries
  • 3 strawberries
The steps:
  1. Add the water, oil, and sweetener to the blender.
  2. Add the kale, and then fill the blender with spinach, pressing it down a bit to pack it in, and puree it down to a liquid.  Then fill the blender with a bit more spinach and puree on a high speed for 90 sec. until the mixture is "liquidy" and reaches the 5 c. mark.
  3. Add the apples (I slice them in to quarters and add them seeds, core, and all), and one banana, then chop in the blender.
  4. Add the other banana and all the berries; chop a bit, then puree on a high speed for 90 sec. until creamy & smooth!
I also purchased some disposable "milkshake straws" (purchased from our local kitchen outlet store, a package of 35 for $1.99, which we wash and re-use) that are extra-wide, which enables the kids to drink their smoothies more easily, quickly, and neatly.

Here are a couple other recommended recipes to try, from Dr. Avery:  (And, the Green Smoothie Girl has hundreds more recipes, too, that are delicious!)

"Orange Julius"
  • 1/2 cup orange juice concentrate
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach leaves
  • splash of vanilla extract
  • (ice cubes optional for icy taste)

"Pear Perfection"
  • 2 dates (pitted)
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 pear (cored, but not peeled)
  • 2-3 large handfuls greens
  • (ice cubes optional for icy taste)

Here's more about the value of green smoothies,

"Green smoothies are easy to digest.  When blended well, all the valuable nutrients in these fruits and veggies become homogenized, or divided in to such small particles that it becomes easy for the body to assimilate these nutrients; the green smoothies literally start to get absorbed in your mouth...
"By consuming two or three cups of green smoothies daily you will consume enough greens for the day to nourish your body, and they will be well assimilated.  Many people do not consume enough greens, even those who stay on a raw food diet.  The molecule of chlorophyll has only one atom that makes it different from a molecule of human blood.  According to the teachings of Dr. Ann Wigmore, to consume chlorophyll is like receiving a healthy blood transfusion."  ~ Dr. Avery Martin

Green smoothies are also very good for children and babies over the age of six months (but of course you have to be careful and slowly increase the amount of smoothies to avoid food allergies).   I encourage  our children to consume their smoothies quickly  so that they receive as much of the  nutrients as possible.

Here is more information on how to personalize green smoothies to perhaps even better fit your own personal preference for taste and texture, while maintaining the smoothie's nutritional quality.

Another recent tip I've discovered to make smoothies creamier and to add a good, healthy plant fat for brain development and satiation, is to add some canned coconut milk to the recipe! We add between 3/4-1 cup and my favorite brand is "Thai" in the Asian food section of the grocery store. It actually makes our smoothies taste like ice cream - oh my gosh - YUM. *cheer!* And our children absolutely love it; and I love knowing they're receiving a very good dose of "good fats".

If you're out and about and desire a yummy green smoothie, Dr. Avery says they can be made at any juice bar, restaurant or health food store.  I've also tried a drink displayed at Wal-Mart and Costco, called Naked Juice (don't be afraid *chuckle*), specifically the one called "Green Machine".  It is very similar to green smoothie juice, without the fiber - delicious and sweet, but has no sugar added!  It was perfect for when I desired a healthful snack and didn't want to succumb to the temptation of sugary drinks.   Being familiar with green smoothie drinks and knowing how yummy they really are despite their "greenness", my daughter and I just laughed out loud at the words printed on the side of the "Green Machine" Naked Juice.  It read something like this, 

"Looks weird.  (*sip*)
Tastes amazing!  (*sip-sip*)
...Still looks weird..."

Blessings on your health!

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