Green Smoothies are a main staple in my family’s diet. It’s a nutrient powerhouse that we try our best to take in daily!
When we first started our Plant Based Journey, my husband and I binge watched every food documentary out there. “Fat, sick and nearly dead” along with its sequel, talked about juicing fruits and vegetables for optimal health. But we couldn’t help but feel like that wasn’t the most optimal way to take in fruits & veggies… there was so much of the plant that was being removed! Nature is perfect.. so it just didn’t make a lot of sense to me, throwing half of the food in the compost.
So we continued our research… and eventually came across the book “Green for Life” by Victoria Boutenko. This book absolutely changed my eating habits forever! The book examines the diet of Chimpanzees, whom we share 99.4% of our DNA with. They mostly eat green leaves, bark, blossoms and fruit. When looking at the standard American diet, full of cooked carbs & animal foods… its obvious to see that there is a major difference in the diet of Chimps and humans…. Victoria Boutenko suggests that the major food group lacking in our diets is leafy green vegetables.
Pie Charts from Victoria Boutenko’s book Green For Life
Many people have promoted juicing fruits and vegetables, but only a few have promoted smoothies. Victoria Boutenko outlines why both soluble & insoluble fiber is absolutely necessary in the digestive process. She states that “Without fiber, complete elimination is nearly impossible, if it is possible at all.” She also says that a large amount of toxins accumulate in our colon, and that insoluble fiber, found in greens, can absorb many times more toxins than its own volume… allowing our bodies to rid itself of these toxins naturally, through digestion. So as you can see, it is best to consume this insoluble fiber, rather than throwing it out in the juicing process.
The chapter in Victoria Boutenko’s book called “The Healing Powers of Chlorophyll” is one of my absolute favorites. She explains that Chlorophyll is like liquid sunshine for your insides. Chlorophyll oxygenates our bodies, and allows the good bacteria to colonize in our intestines. There is a list within this chapter that outlines the endless benefits of Chlorophyll. Recently, I’ve noticed that I no longer need to use deodorant! Drinking my daily dose of Chlorophyll has eliminated my body odor! It can also “prevent cancer, eliminate bad breath, relieves sore throat, makes the body more alkaline, helps sores heal faster, resists bacteria in wounds, reduces pain caused by inflammation, and improves vision” (Pg 87 Boutenko)
The entire book is a game changer… it was a quick read that I couldn’t put down.
Ever since I first read that book, I decided that to try my best to take in a green smoothie every day. The effects were drastic, and hard to ignore! Immediately I noticed an increase in energy, and I seemed to be able to recall information more quickly and easily. The days where I skipped my smoothie, I felt more foggy headed, and just not as sharp mentally.
I also notice that my body craves more greens than I ever did before green smoothies.
I’ve never been a huge fan of greens, but the fruit in the smoothies covers up their flavor, so don’t let the color of the smoothie fool you, they are very fruity! Now that I drink green smoothies frequently, I’ve found that I now enjoy their flavor a lot!
My kids were a little hesitant when they first saw me drinking green smoothies… and I was able to get them to try them a few times. They said they liked them, but they definitely weren’t as excited as I was to drink them daily.
So I bought popsicle trays, and started pouring smoothies in and freezing them. The results were phenomenal! Now my kids are excited for their daily green smoothie pops! They also really enjoy when I add a “surprise inside” by placing a small piece of fruit in the middle of the popsicle before freezing.
Below I will outline the basics for my green smoothies. They are very quick and easy to make… and totally customizable!
Greens – Kale, spinach, chard, collards etc, rotate through different types often.
Juice or Water – make sure the juice is all natural and doesn’t contain any added sugar.
Whole Flaxseeds – Flaxseeds perish quickly once ground, so whole is preferred.
Bananas – They make the smoothie creamy and delicious.
Frozen Fruit – Mix and match for delicious flavors! My favorites are pineapple with mango. Berry smoothies are delicious too!
The amount of greens you will use depends on your experience. When you first start out, maybe 1 or 2 handfuls is enough, but the idea is to work up to as much greens as possible. 1lbs per person, per day is the goal.
I pack the blender full of greens, add the flax seed (start with 1-2 Tablespoons and work up from there) then add the juice or water and blend until smooth. You will notice the greens compact down and you can fit a lot more in your blender when you blend the greens first.
Now add a banana, and your frozen fruit. This is the part you get to really have fun with! Make these any flavor you’d like! I’ve added avocados to mine, which makes them ultra creamy. I like tossing in any fruit I have on hand.. and of course the frozen fruit. You can always substitute this with Ice, but you definitely need something to make the smoothie cold. The amount of fruit you add is totally up to you, and depends on how much room you have left in your blender!
As you can see, my smoothie recipe is not an exact science! I never measure my ingredients, mostly I just pour in the amount I’d like for the day. I encourage you to have fun with this, and make it your own!
Thanks for reading, and let me know if you decide to try a Green Smoothie of your own!!