Template for Designing Smoothie Recipes
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Blending fruits and vegetables together breaks down the cells of plants and improves digestibility. BUT even with that, be sure to chew your smoothies. The chewing process starts the release of the saliva in your mouth. The mixture of saliva and your food is where digestion begins. This is a very healthy habit to get into. It may feel strange at first but soon it will become an automatic response.
What Smoothies Don’t Have…
Green smoothies do not have: cholesterol, saturated fat, hydrogenated oils (trans-fats), MSG, GMOs, added hormones, antibiotics, artificial color, artificial flavor, preservatives, nor refined sugar. Do your best to keep it that way.
When you first start out making smoothies you might find yourself using more fruit than veggies. This is normal. For some people it takes time to build up the pallet for greens. I do however encourage you to gradually decrease your fruits and increase the vegetables. Fruits are often high in sugars, natural ones sure, but none-the-less, I think it’s best to eat natural sugars in moderation. There are ample benefits in recharging your “green batteries”, so make that a goal. One fruit that seems to really mask the flavors of greens is the mighty banana! I make smoothies with 6 cups of spinach and in just adding a banana, I have transformed the taste of my smoothie immensely.
- Green leafy vegetable of choice (50% or more of the total)
- Fruit of choice (50% or less if possible of the total)
- 1-2 bananas or 1 avocado to emulsify (make creamy)
- Wash the vegetables & fruits.
- Pre-cut the vegetables to manageable sizes that your blender can handle.
- When adding flax or chia seeds, soak them in 1 cup of liquid for about 15 minutes in the blender carafe. Enough for them to swell up.
- The first thing to add into your blender is the liquid. This will the greens move more freely when blending.
- Start with 1 cup. After everything is added, feel free to add more if desired.
- The more liquid you add, the more watery or runnier the smoothie will be.
- Add the greens. Blend until the greens are broken down.
- Blending in stages prevents chunks.
- Add the frozen or fresh fruit, super-foods and spices. Blend until smooth.
- I always recommend frozen bananas over fresh. Make a habit out of storing overripe, peeled bananas in the freezer for future smoothies.
- A dash of a high quality salt will increase the minerals and improve the taste of your smoothie.
- A good green smoothie should be absolutely, perfectly smooth.
- Optional – Add ice
- Always add the ice last, otherwise you may over blend the ice and it will make your smoothie watery rather than frosty.
- I usually only add ice if my fruit wasn’t frozen.
Examples of possible ingredients:
Green leafy vegetable of choice (50% or more of the total)
- Arugula has a peppery taste and is rich in vitamins A, C, and calcium. Arugula can be eaten raw.
- Collard Greens have a mild flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C and K, folate, fiber, and calcium.
- Dandelion Greens have a bitter, tangy flavor and are rich in vitamin A and calcium.
- Kale has a slightly bitter, cabbage-like flavor and is rich in vitamins A, C and K.
- Mustard Greens have a peppery or spicy flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and calcium.
- Romaine Lettuce is a nutrient rich lettuce that is high is vitamins A, C, and K, and folate.
- Spinach has a sweet flavor and is rich in vitamins A and K, folate, and iron.
- Swiss Chard tastes similar to spinach and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, potassium and iron.
Fruit of choice (50% or less if possible of the total)
- Fruits lowest in Sugar: lemon, lime, rhubarb, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries
- Fruits low to medium in Sugar: strawberries, casaba melon, papaya, watermelon, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, cantaloupes, honeydew melons, apples, guavas, apricots, grapefruit.
- Fruits fairly high in sugar: plums, oranges, kiwi, pears, pineapple.
- Fruits very high in sugar: tangerines, cherries, grapes, pomegranates, mangos, figs, bananas, dried fruits.
Sweeteners – if desired
- Fruit is the simplest way to get some sweet flavor into your foods. Ripe bananas in particular are very sweet and are commonly used in smoothies and blended foods.
- Lucuma – maple like flavor. Add to your favorite smoothie for an extra sweet treat. Lucuma has a low glycemic index.
- Yucan – maple like flavor. Rich in antioxidants and low in calories. Yacon also functions as a prebiotic – stimulating beneficial bacteria in the intestine to help maintain the immune system.
- Honey is full of antibacterial properties and high in natural sugar content.
- Stevia is a great herbal alternative to an artificial sweetener. It is very sweet with a glycemic index of zero. It is most commonly sold as an extract, but can also be obtained as a whole leaf, dried and ground.
- Mesquite Pod Meal is another specialty item which can be used as a sweetener for dehydrated foods, raw desserts, smoothies, etc. It is made from the ground-up pods of the mesquite tree, and is high in protein and minerals. It has a strong flavor, so a little goes a long way.
- Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar – When the coconut tree is tapped, it produces a naturally sweet, nutrient-rich ‘sap’ that exudes from the coconut blossoms. This sap has a very low glycemic index score and contains 17 amino acids, minerals, vitamin C, broad-spectrum B vitamins, and has a nearly neutral pH.
- Chia seeds For insoluble fiber and omega 3’s, 8 times more omega 3 oils than salmon, highly stable due to high antioxidant capacity (unlike unstable sources like flax and fish and hemp). It’s a complete protein and has 18 amino acids, 5 x more calcium than milk, 3 x more iron than spinach , 15 x more magnesium than broccoli.
- Bee Pollen
Though not vegan, bee pollen is an amazing source of nutrients and cannot be synthesized in a laboratory.Bee-gathered pollens are rich in proteins, free amino acids, vitamins, including B-complex, and folic acid. Bee pollen can have allergenic reactions in people so must be used with caution.
- Hemp seeds
Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life.
- Goji Berries – They are a complete protein source, contain 19 different amino acids, 21 trace minerals, are extremely high in Iron and one of the highest antioxidant foods in the world. Antioxidants protect us from free radicals and counter the creation of cancer cells. Goji berries also support the adrenal glands, boost immune function, increase alkalinity, improve eyesight and much more.
- Maca is a member of the cruciferous family. This incredible veggie supports and balances your hormones, heals depression, increases libido, supports the Endocrine system, and provides thyroid support. In men, Maca has proven to heal many issues involving the prostate.
- Spiralina contains all eight essential amino acids, rich in vitamins and minerals, chlorophyll, an anti-inflammatory, balances brain chemistry, a blood builder, immune booster, high in antioxidants, and contains Gamma-Linolenic Acid, which gives us soft silky skin and healthy hair.
- Camu Camu – This berry is know as the Vitamin C Sun King. It contains the world’s highest vitamin C content. It also supports immune function, improves eyesight, creates beautiful skin, supports strong collagen, decreases inflammation, reduces stress, and improves lung health.
- Aloe is great for all types of digestive problems, including Crohn’s Disease, it aids in relieving fungal infections, kills yeast, and is great for weight loss. Aloe Vera also reduces inflammation, reduces cancer tumors, normalizes blood sugar, produces white blood cells, promotes healthy kidneys and increases the elasticity of our skin.
- There are far to many to list!!!
- Fats (good fats of course) actually aid the absorption of our fat soluble Vitamins like K and E, both super important and also the absorption of minerals. These are rich in greens so put a little fat in your smoothie and a little fat on your greens when eating a salad. In a smoothie try coconut flesh, coconut oil/butter, chia seeds or ground flax seeds, ground nuts, hemp seeds, Tahiti, avocado, nut milk, flax oil, avocado and many others.
- Healthy fats actually aid the absorption of our fat soluble Vitamins like K and E, both super important and also the absorption of minerals. In a smoothie try coconut flesh, coconut oil/butter, chia seeds or ground flax seeds, a few ground nuts, hemp seeds, Tahiti, avocado, nut milk, flax oil.
Benefits of Blending
- Better absorption. Green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, kale and spinach are hard to digest when raw. Your blender will start the breakdown process. In doing this you’ll absorb the lycopen and beta-caroten easily. Be sure to “chew” you smoothies as well. Digestion starts in the mouth as your saliva juices blend with the foods.
- A smoothie uses the whole food, no waste. You will get the juice and all the fibers.
- Smoothies are a great way to eat your vegetables. Specially for kids! Get them involved. Greens are the most alkalizing, mineralizing and healthiest foods. If getting in your daily veggie and fruit quotas are difficult for you, this is a no brainer! Not only will you get dense doses of nutrients, you will fall in love with them!
- Blending is the quickest and easiest way to prepare large amounts of raw food. They are easy to find and to follow. The Internet is saturated with all sorts of amazing recipes. After a while you won’t need to rely on them, you will learn to listen to your body and recognize what it is asking for.
- Is is always best to consume your smoothies right after making them but you can make them ahead of time if need be. I recommend drinking them within 24 hours. It is also best to store them in a mason canning jar, filling the jar with your smoothie as full as you can get it. You don’t want much air between the lid and drink. This will cause oxidization and lose of nutrients.