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Raw Green Power & Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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Raw-Green-Power-&-Strawberry-Banana-Smoothie1Isn’t she lovely… all dressed in green!  It’s a new hue today! Not really… I giggle every time I create my smoothies…. those darn greens, they just take over in the color department. They may the same in color but the flavors do vary.

Dark Greens…

I really don’t care what color my smoothies are because I am after cell-healing-body-regeneration… healing! Dark green leafy vegetables are nutritional powerhouses filled with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Spinach is rich in chlorophyll, which alkalinizes the blood, and fiber, which keeps the colon healthy.

If you are new to making smoothies and are perhaps a little put-off or nervous about the flavor of adding dark greens to your morning drink… start small and build up.  This is a race, it’s a journey.   I do my best with all my green smoothies to make them taste amazing, with very little taste of greens.

So far I have loved every smoothie that I have made this week and to this date that is 7!  Some are more filling than others and this is one of those.  The chia seeds and psyllium husks give this smoothie a great thick (but not to thick) texture.

As you look at these recipes don’t get locked into the ingredient measurements thinking that you have to use a measuring cup or a scale.  Right now my purpose for doing this is so I can get the exact nutrient value out of curiosity.  I am making sure that I am eating / drinking enough calories, fats, proteins and carbs.  One thing that I have learned so far in consuming all of these smoothies is that they fill me up and keep me nice and full.

Smoothie Tips

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.

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Soak the chia seeds in 1 cup of water 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.
  2. Add the spinach.  Blend until the it is broken down.
    • Blending in stages prevents chunks.
  3. Add the  strawberries, frozen banana,psyllium, bee pollen, sweetener, cinnamon and salt.  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.
    • If you use frozen strawberries skip the ice down below.
    • A dash of a high quality salt will increase the minerals and improve the taste of your smoothie.
    • When adding psyllium to a smoothie, make sure that you blend it really well. Read more about this ingredient (here).
    • A good green smoothie should be absolutely, perfectly smooth.
  4. 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.
  5.  Learn how to design you own smoothies by reading through my, Template for Designing Smoothie Recipes.

 

Today’s Rock Star Ingredient: Spinach!

Sight: Spinach contains a natural pigment known as lutein, and lutein has been studied and shown to have properties that help to prevent cataracts. Lutein also helps to prevent weakness in the eye muscles caused by aging.

Cancer: Spinach is also loaded with natural antioxidants called flavenoids. As an antioxidant, flavenoids help the body fight against cell damage from within. Which also helps the fight against cancer, reducing a person’s chances of contacting various forms of cancer, especially prostate cancer.

Energy: Perhaps this is where Popeye gets his powers from spinach. Iron is high in the leafy plant, and iron helps to carry blood throughout the body by helping to build red blood cells. More oxygen throughout the body and stronger red blood cells means more energy and less fatigue.

Cholesterol: Cholesterol is that bad stuff that brings about blockages in the arteries. Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E all help to prevent or lessen the build up of that cholesterol within the arteries. Guess what contains its fair share of all those vitamins? If you guessed spinach, you win the prize! Sorry, not really. No prizes being handed out today. I can’t afford them.

Bone strength: Or maybe this is how Popeye builds his strength with spinach. Vitamin K is also common within spinach, and Vitamin K helps the bones to retain higher levels of calcium. And that calcium keeps the bones strong and helps to prevent osteoporosis, a disease in which bone density is reduced and fractures become more common.

Blood pressure: Sodium raises your blood pressure. Spinach doesn’t have a lot of sodium. But it does contain plenty of potassium, and potassium helps to lessen the effects of sodium and helps to keep blood pressure lower. So, eat your spinach! But always check with your doctor about what to eat if you are suffering from high or low blood pressure or if you are suffering from any disease or are just not feeling well.

Diabetes: Eating spinach regularly is known to regulate blood sugar levels, so diabetics should probably eat some spinach. It’s all the magnesium in spinach that helps this vegetable to regulate blood sugar levels.

Weight loss: Spinach doesn’t have a lot of calories, about 40 calories per cup of uncooked spinach. That combined with the fact spinach has twice as much fiber as most other lettuces means spinach is an excellent food for losing weight. The low calories means you can eat until you’re more than full. The extra fiber means your body isn’t going to hang onto much of that spinach (or anything else, for that matter) for very long.

Aging: Considering all the anti-oxidant properties, vitamins, minerals, lutein and everything else found in spinach, this eatable green is known to strengthen the skin and thus to help with wrinkles and such with bring about the more aged look. So maybe try some spinach instead of going to the plastic surgeon. Just an idea. Don’t mean to tick off any plastic surgeons.

Stronger teeth: Remember all that Vitamin K from spinach that strengthens the bones? Well, your teeth are bones. Which means if you want stronger teeth, eating spinach is a bright idea.

Caution:

Spinach isn’t for everyone. In fact, if you suffer from gallbladder or kidney troubles, you shouldn’t be eating spinach. Spinach contains an oxalic acid which is not good for those who suffer from problems with kidneys and gall bladders. Talk with your doctor about your diet.

How to Select and Store your Spinach:

  • Choose spinach that has vibrant deep green leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing. The leaves should look fresh and tender, and not be wilted or bruised. Avoid those that have a slimy coating as this is an indication of decay.
  • Do not wash spinach before storing as the exposure to water encourages spoilage. Place spinach in a plastic storage bag and wrap the bag tightly around the spinach, squeezing out as much of the air as possible. Place in refrigerator where it will keep fresh for up to 5 days.

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4 thoughts on “Raw Green Power & Strawberry Banana Smoothie

  1. Louise Johnston says:

    Hi ,
    Yup…it’s me again…twice in one day…LOL!
    I make this smoothie everyday…well just about,
    sometimes I add celery and pear combo or pineapple and
    banana. Strawberry and banana and spinach are fabulous together.
    I use hemp instead of chia.
    My question is: Do you think I should soak my hemp seeds the same way you do the chia?

    Thanks,
    Louise

    • amie-sue says:

      Well hello again Louise :)
      Smoothies are a wonderful way to add in more nutrients into your daily diet…good for you! :) Boy, you add banana to any smoothie and it makes them instantly good, well in my book anyway. hehe From all the research that I have done in the past regarding hemp seeds, it is my understanding that you don’t need to soak Hemp seeds because they don’t contain any phytic acid. Do you use hulled or unhulled… that would make a difference. I just want to throw out there as well that not all hemp seeds are raw. Aim for raw, organic hemp seeds if you can get them. Nutiva carries them and I love them!

      https://store.nutiva.com/hempseed/

      Have a wonderful evening Louise. :)

  2. Lizzy says:

    Good morning Amie Sue…searching for Green Smoothies this a.m. and I immediately go to your library…I have noticed that you use spinach in many of your recipes…one question…how much water should I use to blend my spinach?
    Warm regards,
    Lizzy

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Lizzy,
      I do use spinach a lot in my smoothies. It is a great way to get use to “greens” so a person can work up to kale, mustard greens, etc. As far as how much water… that can vary to be honest. But I tend to pack my blender with spinach and a few other goodies with about 2 cups of water. You can always add more, depending on how thick or thin you want it. But 2 cups is about average for me. I hope that helps. have a great evening, amie sue

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