This green smoothie is simple, quick and so delicious! Green smoothies can seem intimidating because of their color, but when you pack them with fruits, I promise you can't even taste the greens! Green smoothies are a great way to pack in lots of nutrients and get some of your 5 servings a day of fruits and veggies, all in a pretty cup!
Generally, green smoothies follow a 2:2:3 formula, which would serve 2 people - 2 cups leafy greens, 2 cups liquid and 3 cups fruit. For one person, you would half this formula to 1:1:1.5.
If you have any fruits that are starting to get a little too ripe, freeze them! Fruits such as bananas and berries freeze super well, and are the best way to make your smoothies cold without having to water them down with actual ice! Feel free to use frozen bananas or berries here, or any other fruit you fancy!
I've included spinach in this smoothie because it's a great leafy green to use for green smoothies - it's flavor is quite mild and you still get all of the nutrients, plus it gives you that beautiful green color! Spinach, along with all other leafy greens, has a ton of iron. This is necessary for our bodies because it carries oxygen into our red blood cells, which allows our body to produce energy to keep us going! This is why people who have iron deficiencies get dizzy or tired quickly - there is not enough energy being produced in the body. Spinach is also full of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E, vitamin B6, fiber, phosphorus and copper. All these nutrients have a range of health benefits, from managing cholesterol levels, to protecting the body from free radicals, especially in the colon. It also contains folate, which is important for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium, which lowers high blood pressure levels. Ensure that you are purchasing organic spinach, as it may otherwise contain pesticides, according to Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list.
Adding chia seeds to smoothies is really important, because they don't change the flavor but still add tons of fiber, which means the smoothie keeps you full for longer. If you are not a big breakfast person, but still need that morning fuel, adding in chia seeds to your smoothies can ensure that they will keep you full until your next meal! Chia seeds are also great for fighting inflammation, and reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes because of their omega-3 fatty acid levels which maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Additionally, they reduce the risk of diabetes, and are a great source of protein.
Bananas are personally one of my favorite fruits - they are super versatile and only get better as they ripen! They are full of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, manganese and dietary fiber. They are known to be full of potassium, which is important for regulating blood pressure which can help lower the risk of stroke and heart disease. They are packed with vitamin A and carotenoids, which can help lower the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer. They are also great stress fighters!
You can use any nut butter you prefer for this smoothie - I prefer peanut butter! Not only is it super creamy (or crunchy, if that's your thing!), but it's a great thickener for smoothies, and adds a delicious flavor. Peanuts are full of protein, which we need to make new cells in our bodies, as well as fight infections and build and contract muscles. When buying peanut butter, check the ingredients list to ensure that it only includes peanuts and doesn't contain any added sugars! If they have a layer of oil on the top; don't throw it away, it's a good thing! It indicates that you've opted for a natural peanut butter. Just mix it up carefully, and you should be good to go!
You can use any berries you prefer, but I'm partial to strawberries! These are a fantastic source of vitamins and other nutrients, plus, when they're sweet, they are heavenly! Strawberries contain ellagic acid, which is a phytochemical that can reduce the risk of cancer. They also contain flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anticancer qualities, and protect your heart too! They are full of vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant, as well as mangenese, which is important for bone formation and the metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol and glucose. However, strawberries are the number 1 fruit that is contaminated with pesticides, according to EWG's Dirty Dozen list, so ensure that you are purchasing organic strawberries only!
Preparation: 5 mins
1 cup spinach
1 cup almond milk
1 cup mixed berries/strawberries
2 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp peanut butter
Add in the spinach and milk, and blend until completely smooth
Add in the banana, berries, chia seeds and almond butter, and blend again. Enjoy!
Feel free to use frozen fruit to make the smoothie cold!
Switch out the peanut butter for almond butter, or any other nut butter you prefer!
Add in flax seed or any other seeds you have for extra nutrients
I had some leftover melon and added this in, and it was delicious!
Mango or pineapple taste delicious here too
Use kale instead of spinach if you'd prefer!