How often do you daydream of a healthier lifestyle but end up putting it off for weeks, months, or even years. Often it’s because change can take time and effort, and also sometimes come at a cost. But what if I told you there is a simple way to improve your overall health, get your 5 a day, and increase your chance of weight loss with very little time and cost? Well all you have to do is introduce a green smoothie into your diet every day!
WHY A GREEN SMOOTHIE
By drinking a green smoothie every day you are;
- Increasing your vegetable and fruit intake
- Boosting your vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake
- Green Smoothies alkaline your body, which has been proven to help fight off illness and disease.
- Improving hydration; especially if you make it with coconut water
- Improving digestion, green smoothies are filled with fibre, which will help with many digestive complaints
- Fill you up, so help stop snacking on bad foods, which can help with weight loss
The great thing about green smoothies is you can prepare them in advance, so you will never have excuses of; running late, don’t have the ingredients or can’t be bothered!
The first step is to go shopping and buy all your ingredients, I try to buy organic and I shop locally, so my fruit and veg are of good quality, or even better, if you grow them yourself. If you can’t afford to buy organic, as this can be expensive sometimes, a good tip is to soak your fruit and veg in a bowl of water and add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for around 5 minutes, as this will help remove any pesticides. Fruit and veg often go off so quickly, so smoothies are also a great way of ensuring you have little, or no waste. Shop for seasonal fruit and veg, or for the ingredients for your favourite smoothies, or you might like to try some of the smoothie recipes we tried in my Facebook group recently on the Green Smoothie challenge week. You can find these recipes at the bottom of this post.
EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED
- High Speed Blender
- Freezer Bags (I use biodegradable bags from Amazon or you can invest in some silicone reusable bags.)
- Freezer safe Mason Jars
- Optional; Pineapple corer and slicer but this tool is brilliant if you eat a lot of pineapple
You will need a high speed blender, I use a Vitamix; I tried lots of other cheaper blenders, and they just don’t do the job, so I invested in a Vitamix, and I have never looked back. If you are going to be making a lot of smoothies I highly recommend a high speed blender, otherwise you may end up getting frustrated, when your smoothie go lumpy. You will also need some freezer bags, or some freezer safe mason jars.
I find green smoothies work best with ¾ vegetables and ¼ fruit to sweeten, otherwise they can taste too bitter, but if you are new to smoothies, try more fruit to start with, then gradually lessen the fruit as your taste buds become accustomed, as most fruit has a high sugar content.
IDEAS FOR BAGS
- 1 cup spinach or ½ cup kale as its more bitter (I like black kale )
- ½ celery stick
- ½ fennel
- 2 cm cucumber
- ½ beetroot
- 1 chopped banana or ½ avocado for creaminess in your smoothie
- ½ cup large fruit (mango, apple, pineapple are good)
- A handful of blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries
Chop your fruit and veg and add to freezer bags, these bags should last up to 18 months in your freezer, but I’m really hoping they won’t last that long! They don’t take up much space, so will easily fit in even the smallest freezer. I make up as many bags as I can with the fruit and veg I buy, leaving myself a little in the fridge for fresh meals.
In the mornings simply take a bag out of the freezer and put it into the blender, then add 1 cup liquid. I normally use non dairy milk like coconut or almond milk, water, coconut water, or you could add 1/2 cup yoghurt and ½ cup water (to thin it down slightly) and blend. If the consistency is too thick, add more liquid, if it feels too runny, you can add some banana, or avocado to thicken it.
You can experiment by adding ingredients like a dessert spoon of chai seeds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, a spoonful of peanut or almond butter, or a spoonful of superfood powders like Spirulina, Maca, Cacao, or lacuma powder. My advice is to add powders in small amounts, as some green powders, or maca can have a strong taste and may overpower your smoothie. Start with 1 dessert spoon and you can always add more if you really like the taste. You can find superfood powders in your local health store, or sometimes in a supermarket; this selection below was all what’s available in my local Sainsbury; so as you can see – quite a big choice!
The other option is to blend the smoothies first, then freeze them. You will need to use freezer proof Mason jars to do this, but the advantage of blending them before freezing is you can take them out the freezer in the morning to add to your packed lunch, then by the time you go to lunch, your smoothie will have defrosted perfectly but still be chilled. Be careful not to fill your mason jar right to the top, as when you’re freezing liquid it expands, so you could have a nasty explosion in your freezer. Leave the jar empty from the bottom of the neck to let the liquid expand, as in the photo below.
Another way to have your smoothie is with your cereal in the morning, creating a smoothie bowl. Simply pour your smoothie into your cereal instead of milk. I always make my green smoothie with milk for these ones, and this is another good way of fitting your smoothie into your day. This smoothie bowl below had blueberries and blackberries in it, so ended up looking darker green.
I hope this inspires you all to add a green smoothie into your life! Sometimes it’s hard to get started and know what recipes to use, so I have added some to get you started. These are the recipes we used in my Facebook group for our Green Smoothie Challenge, everyone came up with a recipe and we all tried them, and we all felt the benefits even after a week, so give them a try!
GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPES TO TRY