Every morning I start the day with a green smoothie. WTF is that? It’s also called a “blended salad,” but that makes me think of savory flavors, which are not involved, and tomato juice, which is just gross.
A green smoothie is mostly greens, blended with fruit in such a way as to camouflage the taste of the greens. TRY IT. You’ll start your day having consumed more fresh veggies and fruits than most Americans eat in a week, and set yourself up for a day of healthful choices. Also, it is pretty amazing how 4-6 cups of spinach can be blended to taste like a fruit milkshake and rock your world for fewer than 200 calories. Ah, science.
Want to try it? You’ll need several cups of spinach, a ripe banana, and 1/2 to 1 full cup of frozen berries (see suggestions below). Here’s the scoop:
1. Pack your blender with 3-4 cups of spinach. I use about 5 cups, but I recommend a lower spinach-to-fruit ratio when you’re first starting out.
2. Add an almost-full pint glass of water to the blender (and save the pint glass for later).
3. Blend. If your blender is strong, this might just take a few seconds. If yours is lacking in power, just blend for 30 seconds, then stop it and scrape the sides, push things around, and repeat.
4. Once your spinach-and-water blend is basically liquid, add a banana. I break mine into pieces and enjoy throwing them in while the blender is still moving, but do this in whatever way seems fun and not too messy. Blend until it’s a green, creamy liquid.
5. Add frozen berries–any kind you like–and enough to turn your green smoothie toward a more purple color as it blends. Mine ends up less purple as I scale back the berries, but feel free to make it deep purple to begin with–it’ll be more fruity that way. I use Trader Joe’s Frozen Berry Medley, but you can stick with any kind of berries you’re into. I’d avoid using blueberries on their own, because they can be a bit too mild when you are first getting into the smoothie life. Again, if you have a weaker blender (or just like this idea better), feel free to use fresh berries or thawed frozen ones–I just use frozen because I like the milkshake temp and feel it gives my smoothie. My blender hates me for it, though.
6. Blend for a while. How long depends on blender strength, but I usually switch between high and low power and let it go for about 2 minutes to make sure the berries are all blended.
7. Pour into the pint glass and stick the leftovers in the refrigerator (to be consumed as soon as possible–definitely that day or even right away).
This smoothie gets me moving, in every way. You should feel pretty energetic after a few days of this breakfast (as long as you’re not eating junk the rest of the time). Also, be prepared for green poop (sorry)–the spinach loves to make an appearance there.
Later, try experimenting with kale instead of spinach, citrus instead of berries, etc. Just make sure you add the banana, always–it makes it creamy and is definitely the strongest player in keeping the greens tasty.