Monday, February 20, 2012

Drink Your Veggies

fresh veggies for green smoothie
Drink Me
Most people cringe when they imagine putting all this in a smoothie. I will say, it helps to have a high speed blender if you're going to blend vegetables. For years we drank a somewhat chunky green smoothie, which our kids especially found unpalatable, but we finally invested in a 3 horsepower Blendtec blender, which can blend anything to a smooth cream. Way worth the investment. However, if you're using a standard blender, just give your vegetables extra time in there before adding softer fruits. I personally don't think it's the end of the world if my smoothie has to be chewed a little, but I completely understand it's not for everyone. The flax seeds and ginger blend up quite nicely as well, though I don't think I would use them in a standard blender.

So yes, a high speed blender will make your vegetables into a smooth drink, but what about taste? I'm not going to drink something every day that tastes nasty and I don't think you would want to either. While carrots have a natural sweetness that goes down easy, the huge amount of greens I add to smoothies would be pretty bitter without some fruit. The sweetness of a couple of ripe bananas really helps, especially in a kale smoothie, which can have a very strong taste. Mango is another great one to blend with greens and other vegetables. Pineapple orange banana is a good combination with greens. When I want to make something really sweet, or if I find myself out of fresh fruit, I'll soak a few pitted dates in some water, then add the dates and their soak water to the smoothie.



green smoothie

Making the smoothie...

Add the following to a large blender, in approximately this order:

1 cm fresh ginger, sliced (leave the peel on if organic)

Most of a "bunch" of chard or kale, or 2/3 bag of spinach, or 2-3 heads baby bok choy (remove tough stems from chard & kale, feed to bunnies & chickens or compost. Gently pack the greens in there, because they are why this smoothie exists.)
1 Tb whole flax seeds
1 stalk celery, cut into 2" lengths
1 carrot, cut into 1" lengths
2 bananas
Add water to about 1/2 full (I fill the Blendtec to the 28 oz line, use more or less depending on your preference) 
I also add about a cup of homemade kombucha to each smoothie, but this is not necessary.

Blend on low to get started, then on high for 30 seconds in a high speed blender, or about a minute in a standard blender, until smooth.

Drink immediately, or within 24 hours for maximum flavor and nutrition


green smoothie

We enjoy this every day. Sometimes twice. I often take a quart jar of smoothie with me when I go someplace that I know I'll get hungry. There are a million recipes online for other varieties of green smoothies. I never really follow the recipes for them, but I love to see other ideas of things people have used and enjoy in their smoothies. I encourage you to try this recipe, and then branch out to other vegetable and fruit combinations. If you're squeamish about too many greens, try just adding two large leaves or a handful of baby spinach to a fruit smoothie at first. You'll see it's pretty innocuous; spinach especially blends up smooth and tasty. I think it's really delicious!

Interested in upgrading your blender? I don't go a day without using my Blendtec, often twice. Once you try a truly powerful blender, you will never go back! I'm posting the Amazon ad link below to my beloved Blendtec, as well as the other leading brand, Vitamix, for comparison. Please check it out if you're interested. Every purchase through my ad link helps provide us with a little bit of income.


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46 comments

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Rebecca Dare
February 20, 2012 at 5:47 PM

Another great post, Mellow! We find that adding a half lemon, with peel, also helps take away from the "too green" taste that some don't like.

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February 23, 2012 at 8:36 AM

I'll definitely have to try adding half a lemon. Do you take the seeds out, Rebecca?

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May 5, 2012 at 4:22 PM

This looks like a delicious way to start making green smoothies--you make it sound so good. Must try this with my garden chard!

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May 5, 2012 at 4:43 PM

Thanks Hannah! It works with many garden weeds too. I'm drinking one made from borage leaves right now.

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August 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

I love green smoothies! I'm working up to ones like yours - mine are still mostly fruit at the moment. So healthy and delicious!

Stopping by from Whole Food Wednesday (my recipe is #46).

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September 14, 2012 at 5:49 AM

I imagine the bananas lend a sweeter taste to the drink. Thank you for sharing at RT this week. xo

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September 14, 2012 at 7:48 AM

Yes, they really make the whole thing taste sweet, and cover the strong taste of the greens.

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September 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

I've never really gotten into the habit of green smoothies, except the kind that are green from avocados :) Something about the texture really gets to me. So I eat my greens in salads :) Thanks for linking up to Healthy 2Day Wednesday!

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September 24, 2012 at 7:46 PM

Anne, have you tried a green smoothie from a high speed blender? I find they really blend up smooth! I'm sure they're not for everyone, but I love them! ;)

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September 29, 2012 at 6:58 PM

I love green smoothies and juices! :)

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October 23, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Sounds yummy to me!! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! What a fantastic link up of recipes and other GF goodies! Each week, I am so amazed! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I hope that you'll join us this week! Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

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November 15, 2012 at 10:14 AM

I try to make green juice as much as possible. We use green apples to give a little sweetness to the juice so the kale isn't so overpowering! My husband loves it so I consider myself lucky haha!

Clicking over from Eat Make Grow :)

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November 15, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Yum, apple kale juice sounds great!

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December 3, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Hi Emily,
This looks like a delicious smoothie. Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday's Adorned From Above Blog Hop. This weeks party starts at 12:01AM on Wednesday and runs through Sunday night. Have a great week.
Debi, Joye and Myrna (The Busy Bee's), Linda (Two Succulent Sisters)

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December 22, 2012 at 12:44 PM

This looks delicious! I love how bright and fresh my smoothies look when I add greens to them. You're right, there has to be enough fruit to counterbalance the veggies.

Thanks!

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January 29, 2013 at 9:42 AM

I have been wanting to try some healthy veggies smoothies-- I am glad to know about the blending process. I am sure that if I had a chewy smoothie that my children would definitely turn their noses up! It might turn me off as well. When I try it, I will definitely over blend a bit.

Another blogger and I host the Healthy Tuesdays Blog Hop each week and we would love to have you join us-- this type of post would be a perfect fit! Here is our link if you would like to check us out : http://www.countrylivingonahill.com/2013/01/healthy-tuesdays-blog-hop_28.html

Kerry from Country Living on a hill

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January 29, 2013 at 12:08 PM

Thank you Kerry, I'll definitely check it out!

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February 2, 2013 at 2:24 PM

I was wondering whether you worry about the oxalates and phytic acid contained in green smoothies. I read this somewhere - "All plant foods contain phytochemicals which protect them from herbivory, including oxalic acid, phytic acid, and goitrogens. And sadly, these compounds are toxic in high amounts."
I used to juice fruit and vegies often but reconsidered after I read this and also factored in that during our evolution, we never would have consumed this amount of green stuff. What are your thoughts?

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February 2, 2013 at 6:46 PM

You should read Green For Life by Victoria Boutenko. http://www.amazon.com/Green-Life-Victoria-Boutenko/dp/097048190X We vary our greens so we're not eating the exact same plant day after day, but I fully believe that the oxalic acids aren't dangerous excpet for certain individuals with medical issues. There's another book I read about wild foraging that went into detail about why oxalic acids are harmless. We try to have as much greens in our diet every day as we can! I guess it's one of those things that you have to decide for yourself, with so much contradictory evidence out there. http://www.amazon.com/Edible-Wild-Plants-Foods-Adventure/dp/1423601505/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359859515&sr=1-2&keywords=edible+wild+plants

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February 7, 2013 at 4:14 AM

Amanda I read the same thing this past week and now I'm scared to incorporate green smoothies into my diet!

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February 7, 2013 at 5:46 AM

Try reading the books I mentioned. I think any diet that limits fruits or vegetables is nuts, no offense. We eat as many vegetables as possible, especially greens. We rarely have health problems, and I really think our green smoothies are the reason our kids don't get every passing illness that take other families down.

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February 22, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Smoothies intrigue me but I have never tried them.

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February 22, 2013 at 10:31 AM

I love smoothies and will try this one out! Pinned!
Selene @ restorationbeauty.com

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March 13, 2013 at 4:35 AM

Thank you for sharing your post with us and I hope to welcome you over at Seasonal Celebration again today! Rebecca @Natural Mothers Network x

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March 18, 2013 at 1:30 PM

Sounds good with the banana and carrot :) Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday!

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March 19, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Yes, a high powered blender is a must it seems these days :-) I have never used swiss chard in a smoothie, always opting for kale of spinach. But, I think I will try this, it sounds really interesting!

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April 5, 2013 at 11:57 AM

I really need to try ginger in a smoothie sometime. Can't believe I haven't done that yet. I also want to try cucumber and celery, but I don't know if my less expensive blender can handle it. This looks like a tasty recipe, though. :)

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April 16, 2013 at 7:10 AM

This looks delicious. I usually use kale, but it is nice to have alternatives.

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April 24, 2013 at 10:50 AM

LOVE making green smoothies! My little ones love them as well as love made into popsicles!

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May 13, 2013 at 5:46 PM

This looks so good and refreshing! Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday!" I look forward to seeing what you will post this week. :-)

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May 13, 2013 at 6:26 PM

I need to give this a try ~ first I need a high-powered blender. Thanks so much for sharing at Project Inspire{d} ~ pinning!

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May 14, 2013 at 6:37 AM

Oooh! I definitely want to try this! THanks for sharing! Stopping by from Homemade Monday's LInky. :)

Christine
http://www.myepicureanadventures.com

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May 18, 2013 at 7:50 PM

What would happen if I went to the extreme of never eating a regular meal, but all the nutrients I consumed were derived from what I drank from my blender?

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May 19, 2013 at 9:04 AM

John, I like that idea very much. My partner & I really like green smoothies, and have often considered the idea of living off smoothies alone. The only problem is that I still have to feed my kids, who will drink a smoothie every day, but don't love them enough to eat nothing else.
Anyway, to answer your question, I think it would be a great thing for your body, as long as you were still getting good fats and proteins in your smoothies each day.

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June 21, 2013 at 2:38 AM

Looks delicious! I will have to try this recipe with my kids. They love fruit smoothies, but we have been experimenting with veggies lately. Thanks for sharing!

Planting Daffodils

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June 21, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Here from a peek into paradise - wow, your tips on smoothies were so helpful! I don't know if a Vitamix would be strong enough for carrots, celery, etc., but I would really like to try this combo. Pineapple is one of my favs, though:) Do you taste any of the kale? I've tried kale vs. spinach and kale was much stronger . . . is it just me?:) Thanks for this recipe!

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June 24, 2013 at 6:29 AM

I use carrots & celery all the time- they blend up great in a high speed blender!
Kale does have more of a flavor than spinach; chard is more mild than kale though, more like spinach. With a couple of bananas in there, we're fine using kale- but I find I really don't like kale smoothies if I don't have bananas. Other fruits just don't sweeten it enough to balance the kale.
It might be something that you eventually get used to- start with spinach, celery, carrot, and banana smoothies, and then when those become really natural for you, go for some kale!

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July 7, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Great way to get your greens into your diet each day! Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Greens.

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July 7, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Great way to get your greens into your diet each day. Thanks for sharing on Tuesday Greens!

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September 30, 2013 at 12:01 PM

This was the first article I've read from you. My first impression was - Thank you for writing intelligently and using proper grammar! I also appreciate the tips on how to incorporate greens into my smoothies. :)

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October 2, 2013 at 7:57 PM

Thank you! I'm glad you appreciate the grammar and the ideas :)

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April 1, 2015 at 5:45 AM

That looks very refreshing and healthy. I love freshly made juices.
Blendtec

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Anonymous
June 26, 2015 at 9:44 PM

I used to drink a lot of green smoothies, but after a year of drinking them I started getting kidney stones from all the oxalic acid. A nurse at my doctors office asked me if I juiced and she wasn't surprised at all when I told her I drank green veggie smoothies. She said they see a lot of patients with kidney stones from green veggies. The list of foods they told me to avoid was horrible. It listed almost every that most people consider to be the healthiest foods. My stones were large and had to be surgically removed. They were unbelievably painful.

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March 25, 2016 at 12:25 AM

Great post! I too want to look slim and these days trying Green energy drinks. My cousin suggested drinking it for couple of days. She tried it and lost 15 lbs in just a few weeks. I am hopeful now it works for me too.

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