Healthy Choice: Green Smoothies

The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” THOMAS EDISON

This week I decided that along with the ongoing squat challenge it was also time to sort out my nutrition, which if I’m honest is very poor (uh oh another confession). I am a vegetarian, but a bad vegetarian with a serious sweet tooth. In my strange restricted vegetarian world, I am not that great at eating my five-a-day. Along with meat I do not eat pasta, fish, peppers, cucumber, olives, melon and the list goes on and on and now I even struggle to eat mushrooms after overdosing on mushroom risotto which is most restaurants goto vegetarian option. I try to cook fresh meals for my family everyday but leave myself out, a fussy eater is an understatement, ask anyone who has had me around for dinner, unless it’s aubergine, asparagus, courgette or a veggie pizza on the menu.

So I finally jumped on the health bandwagon (better late than never) after sourcing a recipe that I fancied trying for a Green Smoothie, roping in the rest of the family as well and there have been no complaints, so far. My particular recipe of choice is from the Green for Life book by Victoria Boutenko, who promises the easiest way to consume an abundant amount of greens is to make and drink green smoothies and that the nutritional benefits are off the scale.

Boutenko is a raw foods pioneer and an advocate of greens, that she describes are the powerhouse of nutrition. Greens exceed other vegetables in value and are full of minerals and nutrients. She writes about the immense health benefits of eating more greens — how they eliminate toxins in the body and correct nutritional deficiencies. In the Green for Life book, she writes how the Green Smoothie is a quick, simple drink that benefits everyone, regardless of lifestyle, diet, or environment and are allegedly delicious. So Green Smoothies sound perfect to get my nutritional in-balance back on track, so off I went in search of the ingredients and two supermarkets later, it was all go!

IMG_1017

My chosen ‘Green Smoothie’ ingredients

The recipe I used was

  • 1 Cup Spinach
  • 1 Cup Chard
  • 1 Mango, peeled
  • 10 Strawberries, stems included
  • 1 Apple
  • 1 Banana
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups of water ( I only used 1 cup as it seemed runny enough)

IMG_1018

Before…….looks colourful

Now I was super sceptical that it would taste awful but with the greens offset by the sweet fruit there was some hope. I recognise that it’s an easy way to eat spinach, kale, chard and other extremely healthy green vegetables but I wasn’t sure about keeping the green stems of strawberries on, it went against the grain, but I resisted the urge to chop them off and threw them into the blender with all the other ingredients and whizzed it all up.

IMG_1037

After……not looking quite so yummy!

Now once it was all blended together, I was even more cynical as it looked horrendous but it actually tasted delicious much to my surprise, a lot like my favourite Strawberry and Banana smoothie, just putrid green in colour! Luckily we all loved it and the nutritional benefits of the ‘health in a glass’ as I call it, are fantastic and there were no side effects you will be pleased to know (I did keep the Imodium handy just in case, is that TMI??).

IMG_1020‘Health in a glass’

On my second attempt, I substituted the mineral water for coconut water and added 3 tbsp milled flax-seed for extra nutrition, get me! The third time I made it yesterday, I substituted the apple for an Avocado and tomorrow I am going to try with Kiwis added in too. Another health benefit of these wonder drinks is that the raw leafy green vegetables balance the alkaline levels in the body which helps in raise the oxygen levels in the blood.

Does anyone else make Green Smoothies? I would love to hear about your favourite recipes and combinations. I am looking forward to experimenting with some more different veggies, I just have to track down some kale now mission chard is complete.

Unless otherwise stated all words and photos © Jo Brett 2013. All rights reserved.