A green smoothie is a smoothie, made with fresh fruits and green leafy vegetables. A good green smoothie tastes amazing and not “green “at all. Green smoothies are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, dietary fiber and protein. A typical green smoothie recipe contains at least 3-5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables.
1. Follow the 60/40 rule
The simple formula to a good-tasting green smoothie is use 60% fruit to 40% leafy greens. For the fruit, simple apples or pears are as great as the more exotic mango and pineapple. Orange juice counts as fruit and so do berries. For leafy greens, try spinach, kale, lettuce, parsley, cilantro. If adding another vegetable to the green smoothie, like carrots, cucumbers, celery or beets, try to keep that vegetable content under 20% or it may negatively impact the smoothie’s flavor.
2. Consider other nutritious additives
Chia seeds, flax seeds, almonds, raw cocoa powder, acai powder, cinnamon, hemp seeds, coconut oil are all great nutritious additives that can be added to your green smoothie in small doses. Experiment.
3. Blend well
No matter how high-powered is your blender, let it run for at least 4-5 minutes in order to blend every tiny particle well. If you are using ice cubes or frozen fruit, add those during the last minute, so that your well-blended smoothie is still cold. I blend my green smoothies in Vitamix and let it run for full five minutes.
4. To make your smoothie creamier, use either banana, avocado or nuts.
If your green smoothie is a meal substitute or if you prefer creamier smoothies, the additives above are the best. A little avocado goes a long way and 1/2 of an average avocado makes 1-2 glasses of a creamy smoothie. The best nuts to make your smoothie creamier are cashews, as they create a very dairy-like effect. Use a small handful for two glasses and try to presoak the cashews for 4 hours prior to use in order to remove phytic acid. Discard the soaking water.
5. If using bananas, use frozen bananas
Frozen bananas create a better texture and if you use a frozen banana you don’t have to use ice cubes and dilute the green smoothie with unneeded water.
6. Let all sweetness come from fruit
Stick with naturally sweet fruits like banana, mango, pear and pitted dates, to avoid artificial sweeteners and processed sugars.
7. A little citrus goes a long way.
Citrus fruits are alkalizing to the body and their sour flavor works very well in combination with the sweet fruits and the leafy greens, typical in a green smoothie. Add a tablespoon of lemon juice, some grated lemon zest or juice of 1/2 an orange to your favorite green smoothie.
And one extra step:
Blend fruit first and add leaves later: it creates better texture.
Note on oxalates:
Recently, the subject of oxalate content in green smoothies came up. In healthy individuals, the oxalate content of leafy greens, as well as fruits, berries, nuts and seeds, since greens aren’t the only source of oxalates, will have no detrimental health effects unless foods high in oxalates are consumed to excess.
Oxalates are naturally-occurring organic acids. When combined with sodium and potassium, oxalate forms soluble salts. When combined with calcium, however, oxalate produces calcium oxalate, which can form kidney and other types of stones. According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, however, you can mitigate the effects by drinking fluids and consuming more dietary calcium .