Last week, for one of my Best Body Bootcamp mini challenges, I decided to fit in at least 5 green smoothies for the week. And fit them in, I did. Now, I’ve had green smoothies before – you know, any smoothie where you sneak in (or deliberately add) some greens – spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc – with your fruit? But I’d still consider myself a beginner, and had always stuck with spinach, usually frozen, at that. Granted, I didn’t stray very far from that last week, but I did try kale and a few new recipes – so I still consider it a success. I can see this mini challenge coming back before bootcamp ends, as there are more recipes I want to try and having the plan to get 5 in per week makes me a lot more likely to make them.
To begin my green smoothie quest, I wanted to find some recipes, as I’ve over-spinached my smoothies in the past by making up my own concoctions, heh. As you can imagine, there are tons of recipes out there. I think I even have some Kindle books with recipes, but at the time it was much quicker to search the internet than to sync the books to one of my gadgets to read. I’ll round up some of the places I found recipes that I didn’t try yet at the end of the post.
The first recipe I tried was from a nifty free ebook – The Green Smoothie Guide, courtesy of Raw Smoothie Recipes. You need to sign up to get the link to download the pdf file, and they send it right away. There are over 17 recipes in the book, along with a lot of suggestions for your own variations and some recipe guidelines for success. This would have been helpful to have read before the over-spinaching incident. I’m sure you could probably find similar recipes online elsewhere, but the pdf file was nicely done, and I like having the option of easily transferring it to an ereader later on. And besides – you can’t be the price, so I highly recommend this ebook. Pardon my lame cell phone pictures. Though I doubt the pictures would have been much better with my camera. A photographer, I am not.
Kale and Pear Smoothie
First up, was the Kale and Pear smoothie, from the free Green Smoothie Guide. It has kale and pear, obviously, as well as banana, grapes, and an orange. I really liked the addition of ice for this one – and the extra cold temperature of it made it taste even more fresh. I didn’t like that the recipe called for half a pear – since I’m just going to eat the half of the pear anyway – it’s not as if I was going to wrap up half a pear for later, heh. This was my first kale smoothie and I really, really liked it! I think I could even add more kale next time. I also think I’d cut back on some of the other fruits so I could just use the whole pear. This smoothie was pretty heavy on carbs, given the amount of fruit, so I think I would try to have it along with some protein next time I make it, too. But it sure was tasty – and will make a great treat in the summer!
Spinach Citrus Smoothie
The next smoothie is a quick and easy recipe from a friend of mine. She suggested having a green smoothie made from spinach and a whole grapefruit. I was game to try that, but since I can’t leave well enough alone, I also added an orange. And way too much frozen spinach. I know that there’s a significant volume difference for using frozen spinach versus fresh, but I sure didn’t guess at how much to use very well! I gotta say, that first one was very, uh, grassy-tasting. Last week I had a much better result. I ended up making two of these – one with frozen spinach and one with fresh. I liked them both, and added a bit of orange juice to them this time, since I has some that needed to be used up. So, the “recipe” is about a handful of fresh spinach + one peeled grapefruit + one peeled orange (optional) + splash of orange juice (optional). Blend and enjoy. I may have to start adding some ice cubs to this one too, since I really liked the chill the ice cubes gave to the Kale and Pear smoothie.
Blueberrry Banana Dream
Another recipe I enjoyed last week was for the Blueberry Banana Dream Raw Smoothie, again from the free Green Smoothie Guide. This one certainly turned out more purple than green, but there were plenty of greens added, I promise! This called for spinach, blueberries, banana, ground flax, and water. They suggested sweetner if you needed it, but my banana was super ripe, so between that and the blueberries I was all set. This was was pretty thick, which is fine by me – and I also liked the nuttiness from the flax. I can see making this again and substituting other berries, too.
Choco-nana Cherry Spinach Smoothie
Finally, I knew I wanted to try some kind of chocolate green smoothie this week – and that wasn’t something I had tried before. I really, really enjoy my chocolate based smoothies – whether it’s with peanut butter, coffee, banana, or simply more chocolate – and I was slightly concerned that adding spinach or other greens might mess things up, heh. Well, I’ve certainly read other accounts on several blogs before, so I should not have worried. Yup, I agree – you can’t taste the greens in a chocolate smoothie. At least, not in the one I made. Hee. I did another web search to find chocolate-based green smoothies and found a ton of results. One that sounded very good to me was this Chocolate Banana Spinach Cherry Smoothie Pudding. Say that three times fast! When I started to make the recipe, I realized it’s very similar to one of my favorite go-to smoothies, sans spinach. So no wonder I though it sounded good, heh. Using that recipe as a guide, I also added some kale with the spinach, tossed in some chocolate protein powder, reduced the banana to a half (since I keep them on hand, divided into half banana servings in the freezer), kept the cherries, increased the almond milk to 1 cup, and increased the cocoa powder to 1 tablespoon. And then I was back to what I usually make anyway – except for adding the greens instead of my usual square of frozen dark chocolate. Either way – I enjoyed it very much!
Here are a few more green smoothie recipes and resources that looked good to me and I look forward to trying in the future.
Green Diva Mom – 12 quick and easy green smoothies
Raw Family – love that they have a “beginner” green smoothie section, and that they also show more exotic ingredient for the “advanced” greenies
Green Lite Bites – Roni shows several options – including some that are tested kid-friendly
Green Monster Movement – some chocolate green smoothie options that look to be right up my alley
Healthy Blender Recipes – I’m intrigued by the use of dates in this recipe, and also slighty worried that my inexpensive blender may not handle those well in a smoothie, so I’ll have to try it and see. Plus, that site seems to have a super-cool interface letting you search for all types of recipes (not just smoothies) – dietary preferences and/or restrictions, equipment required, and more. I’ll definitely be checking out more over there.
Oh, and I almost forgot – below are the Kindle books I have that are Green Smoothie specific. I probably picked them up when they were free (I hoard free Kindle books, so it’s hard to keep track), and if you keep an eye on them they may be free again sometime. So, I haven’t tried any recipes from these yet, but it’s on the to-do list!
Raw is the Answer – 30 Day Green Smoothie Diet Learn how to make 30 different green smoothies containing more calcium than a glass of milk and more than 100% DV of omega-3 fatty acids. By simply replacing one meal per day with a healthy green smoothie you can greatly increase your energy, maintain your cardiovascular health and lose weight. Only simple, fresh fruits and vegetables are needed to make these smoothies, along with optional supplements such as flaxseed oil, chlorella and agave nectar.
Green Smoothie A collection of Green Smoothie recipes and and look at the many benifits of Green Smoothies.
The Green Smoothie Guide How to make the best tasting, most healthy green smoothies