A green smoothie regimen is a delicious way to incorporate dark greens into your diet, which everybody agrees are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. Blending them up and adding citrus helps to increase absorption of iron and other nutrients.
To make a delicious, nutritious green smoothie, all you really need is a smoothie recipe that you really like, and some fresh leafy greens of just about any variety. My favorites are Spinach, Lacinato (Dinosaur Kale), Totsoi (see picture above) and Red Russian Kale. But any dark green leafies will work just fine.
It’s almost essential to use a Vita-Mix for a green smoothie, but a blender will work if you cut up your greens beforehand and use the ‘pulse’ function at the beginning of blending. If you’re not careful, green leaves can get caught around the blade of the blender, and end up burning out the motor. If you’re serious about green smoothies, and you’re in a position to invest in a Vita-Mix (look for one second-hand – they can be quite reasonable), you’ll be glad you did – it really makes for a super-smooth green drink with no concern about burn-out.
I start my drink with some sort of fruit juice – either orange or something else with a tangy flavor – orange-mango is nice too. If you use a dark colored drink (with a berry flavor), your smoothie will come out less green than reddish or brown, which doesn’t really matter, but it might turn you off if you’re just starting out.
It’s really simple – I just throw some fruit juice into the blender, add a sliced frozen banana (see page 2), then add my greens and a little water with ice in it. Feel free to try some different variations – papaya, mango and pineapple are some of my favorites to add, but peaches, nectarines and berries are equally good.
When you’re starting out, just use a small amount of greens at first. You can always add more, but the strong flavor of lots of greens can be off-putting at first. As you get used to it, you’ll probably find that you want to keep adding more, since it just makes the drink more nutritious.