It's summer and I want to share with you how to make the best green smoothie recipe! I LOVE smoothies- especially if they have greens in them or are packed full of veggies. As a busy mom a green smoothie has been a must. It keeps me full, is quick to make, and works for on the go. Plus, I'm getting a serious nutritional punch!
So many of you have asked me for my green smoothie recipe- I had to share with you! I always typically have my smoothie in the morning, but you can make your smoothie whenever it works for you. Let me first explain how this green smoothie inspiration got started!
I was making smoothies for a while, I mean years but I never thought of my smoothie how I do now, until reading Kelly Leveque's book, Body Love: Live in Balance This book changed my life and thinking about food in general. But it also changed my whole mindset on smoothies. I had been reading things here and there about smoothies and how they weren't necessarily the best. People were saying you need to eat meals and the nutrients were so much better. I was bummed because I LOVED my smoothies! It was such a convenient way for me to get a quick meal in and feel satisfied. I don't know about you but as a mom cooking every single meal can seem daunting. Fortunately, I read Body Love: Live in Balance and the negative smoothie connotations had quickly been debunked by Kelly. Hurray!
Now that I was back on the smoothie train I was so excited to learn about her smoothie method and how it was different. With her smoothies, there are 4 components that create the perfect smoothie nutritionally, fat, fiber, protein, and greens. Having all these components in your smoothie is going to give you the perfect ratio for your body to stay full, not raise your blood sugar and give you all the nutrients you need. It makes so much sense! I had never heard someone explain it as she did in the book.
A lot of times I would feel hungry within an hour or two after drinking my smoothie. Looking back I can see I was missing some good fat in my smoothie. Fat is your friend and so good for you! It helps you feel full and keeps your blood sugar in check too.
Healthy Fat Options-
- Coconut Oil
- Cashew Butter
- Almond Butter
- Coconut Butter
- Sunflower Seed Butter
- MCT Oil
Another ingredient I didn't think about before was fiber. I would include fiber often with chia seeds but I didn't understand the amazing benefit in can have besides good omega 3-‘s. It also helps keep you full, aids in healthy digestion and it also helps to slow the release of blood sugars into the blood stream.
Healthy Fiber Options-
- Chia Seed
- Psyllium Husk Powder
- Hemp Seeds
I always added a protein powder. This is one that I knew I needed! If I didn't have the protein my smoothie would often be just carb heavy. My favorite clean protein powder is Activ Whey Protein Powder. The protein powder comes in a vanilla or chocolate. Instead of cow's whey, it's a goat's whey. It makes smoothies taste SO good! I always add 1 serving.
*Protein Tip- Always blend all your smoothie ingredients first and then add your protein last. If you add it with all the other ingredients and blend it for a while it will expand, causing the smoothie to get huge and may cause you to have an upset stomach. Throw it in after everything is blended so you only have to blend it for a few seconds.
Healthy Protein Powder Options-
- Active Whey Protein Powder (goat's whey) Read my full blog post on why I love this protein, how it's no allergenic, anti-inflammatory and helps with digestion. I never feel bloated after taking this protein! Also read why it's important to know where your protein comes from.
- Hemp Protein- with any plant based protein powder it's important to know the source. Many can contain heavy metals. Read my full protein powder blog post here to get the scoop.
- Pea Protein- Again read my full protein blog post to get the full scoop on why you want to make sure the source is good for a plant based protein powder.
Finally let's talk greens. You know the leafy vegetables that are SO good for you! They offer good fiber, and a serious nutrient punch. Greens are going to give your skin a glow, revitalize your cells and just feed your body pure health! Plus, what's a green smoothie without some greens!
- Swiss Chard
- Bok Choy
- Beets(though not technically green they offer a nutritional punch)
- Really any veggie that you like. Some go better in smoothies, some don't but at the end of the day you are the one drinking it. If you like it then throw it in!
This last one is the fruit portion! A little fruit goes a long way in adding flavor to any smoothie. You just don't want to overdo it though. Kelly Leveque explains in her Body Love book so well the downsides of adding too much fruit- which is essentially sugar. Your blood sugar spikes and you can be left with excess sugar that makes you feel wired initially but then makes you want to take a nap an hour later. Not too mention, if there is too much fruit in your smoothie your body will end up turning storing it as fat. Her book explains it in further detail. Highly recommend you get it.
Bottom line: you don't want to overload your smoothie with excess fruit! Fruit isn't bad it's all about moderation. I've also found most protein powders are flavored(naturally) so you don't need a ton of fruit really since you get flavor from the protein powder. Kelly recommends about 1/4 cup of fruit. I've seen recipes that say 1 cup- which is crazy!
Below you'll find some fruit options to put in your green smoothie. I typically do a half of a frozen banana. Bananas I've found offer creaminess and thickness to my smoothie, plus a great flavor.
Ok, so now that you know what makes a powerhouse smoothie, let's talk about some other ingredients.
- Nut Milk- I love adding some coconut milk, hemp milk in mine. You can also use almond milk or whatever nut milk you like. This will add some creaminess to your smoothie. I also love making my own nut milks with my Almond Cow nut milk maker! Seriously makes the creamiest nut milks and it's so easy to use! It's been a game changer for making nut milks without a nut milk bag. Save $15 off your Almond Cow and free shipping when you use coupon code: gurlgonegreen. Shop here!
- Water- If you don't want to do any nut milk, you can just use some water for the liquid.
- Fresh Ginger- A great addition to any smoothie. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, aids digestion, good for the heart and gives smoothies a bite with it's punchy flavor. Add a little chunk or lot depending on your flavor palette.
- Fresh Tumeric- Another good addition to smoothies. It's also anti-inflammatory- pretty much an all star food! Add a 1/2 inch cube.
- E3Live- This is a wild grown blue-green algae. I've been taking this for over a year and can't recommend it enough! It really is a nutritional rockstar. It helps with energy, immunity, and focus just to name a few. I add a tablespoon to each smoothie. Click Here to check out all that E3Live has to offer!
- Cinnamon- A great addition for flavor but also is anti-inflammatory, lowers blood sugar, and is loaded with antioxidants.
- Herbs- I know I mentioned herbs above but wanted to also mention mint! A favorite of mine for flavor but also because it's a calming and soothing herb.
- Super Greens Powder- There are a lot of super greens powders out now. Obviously do your research and make sure the powder you have is a reliable resource and clean. This is a great addition to even more potent greens!
- Superfoods- So many superfoods you an include. From maca, camu, spirulina- all come in powder form and you just add a teaspoon typically. Be sure to understand why you're adding them to your smoothie and talk to your health professional.
- Collagen Powder- It is a protein, but I also consider it an additive. Great for hair, skin and nails and joints.
- Toppings- I love a good topping on my smoothie. From cacao nibs, coconut flakes, granola, goji berries, bee pollen, nuts or seeds- the list is endless!
Can you see how having a smoothie packs a serious punch of nutrition?! Your body will literally be glowing, you'll feel good and you won't feel hungry! Plus, when you are blending up the greens or veggies it makes it so much easier for your body to digest them because they're already broken down.
Also, a couple things to consider. If you like your smoothies thick, freeze your fruit, and veggies. This will give your smoothie that creamy consistency and have it be more like soft serve ice-cream versus liquid. I prefer my smoothies thicker, so that's what I do. It also makes it easier to eat your toppings on your smoothie if they're thicker as well. Another thing to consider is to make smoothie packs and keep them in the freezer. That way you have everything you need in one spot and all you have to do is add some liquid. This is great when you're in a hurry!
This is a meaty topic and I have no intention on swaying you on a blender either way! I just want to give you a few tips. I've had a Blendtec Total Classic Original Blender for 4 years and love it! Not to say I wouldn't love a Vitamix too. I think any higher powered blender is going to be amazing. I have a friend who has a Vitamix and loves it, another who has a Nutri Ninja Blender– a little more affordable option. I even have a friend who has a KitchenAid Blender and Loves it too. I just encourage you to shop around and find what might be best for you. The Blendtec has been great for me. They even offer a smaller jar you can get for an additional cost that can make nut butters in minutes and sauces. I actually use it to make my smoothies. It's called a Twister Jar. I can't recommend it enough. A high powered blender really is going to make a difference when making a smoothie. It will ensure all the ingredients are blended up well and smooth. You don't want to be drinking your smoothie and get a chunk of ginger!
I love taking my smoothies in mason jars! I have some mason jar straw lids from the mason bar company that makes it so easy to just pop a straw in.
I would love to hear how you make your green smoothie! Tell me your favorite ingredients!
Want my tried and true recipe for making the best green smoothie?
Then hit the button below to get access to my two recipes and where I get all the ingredients!