Get a Healthy Start to a Good Day with Green Smoothies - dummies

Get a Healthy Start to a Good Day with Green Smoothies

By Jennifer Thompson

What better way to start the day than with your healthiest meal first? Drinking a green smoothie in the morning gives you the best chance to make better food choices for the rest of the day.

If you do things right from the starting gate, you naturally want to keep feeling good all day. From there, making better food choices is so much easier. Without even thinking about it, you find yourself instinctively gravitating toward more good food. When your body starts getting all the nutrients it needs, you won’t feel the need to snack or overeat, either.

Pineapple Coconut Breeze

Preparation time: 3 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 3 servings

1 orange, peeled and seeded

1 cup pineapple chunks

2 ripe bananas, peeled

2 teaspoons spirulina powder

1 tablespoon acai powder

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

2 cups coconut water

3 large kale leaves

  1. Combine all ingredients except the kale in the blender and secure the lid.

  2. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 1 minute or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  3. Remove and discard the stems of the kale. Add the kale leaves and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high.

    [Credit: Illustration by Elizabeth Kurtzman]
    Credit: Illustration by Elizabeth Kurtzman
  4. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into three glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 198 (From Fat 18); Fat 2g (Saturated 0.5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 205mg; Carbohydrate 43g (Dietary Fiber 7g); Protein 4g.

If you don’t have coconut water, use 1-1/2 cups of water plus 2 tablespoons of coconut oil instead.

Try fresh papaya instead of pineapple. If you don’t have access to tropical fruits, swap out the pineapple for kiwi or grapes.

Mango Goji Delight

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 tablespoons dried goji berries

1 ripe mango

1 ripe banana, peeled

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1-1/2 cups water

1 cup parsley, loosely packed

1 cup baby spinach, loosely packed

  1. Place the goji berries in a bowl with 1/4 cup of room temperature water. Place in the fridge to soak for at least 20 minutes or overnight.

  2. Peel the mango and cut the flesh away from the stone.

  3. Combine the goji berries, mango, banana, flaxseed, lime juice, and water in the blender and secure the lid.

  4. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 1 minute or until smooth.

  5. Add the parsley and spinach and blend again at medium speed for 45 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high.

  6. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and serve.

Per serving: Calories 200 (From Fat 36); Fat 4g (Saturated 0.5g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 45mg; Carbohydrate 41g (Dietary Fiber 7g); Protein 5g.

For plumper, more flavorful goji berries, soak the dried berries in 1 cup of water overnight and use the water from soaking as a replacement for 1 cup of water in the recipe.

In winter, use dried goji berries. In warmer months, replace them with fresh, in-season berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries. For fresh berries, you can increase the amount to 1/2 cup.

Bee and Berry Power

Preparation time: 3 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2⁄3 cup raspberries

2⁄3 cup halved strawberries, stems and leaves removed

2 ripe bananas, peeled

1 tablespoon raw honey

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

1 tablespoon bee pollen (omit if allergic)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 cups water

4 large Swiss chard leaves

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the Swiss chard in the blender and secure the lid.

  2. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 1 minute or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  3. Remove and discard the stems of the Swiss chard. Add the Swiss chard leaves and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high.

  4. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 343 (From Fat 135); Fat 15g (Saturated 15g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 48mg; Carbohydrate 50g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein 9g.

Buy berries fresh and in season. When they’re on sale, buy extra amounts to freeze and use throughout the winter. Wash the berries and remove any stems before freezing. Store them in zip-top bags in the freezer.

You can use either shelled raw hemp seeds or ground hemp seed. Use the same amount for either option.

Use blueberries or blackberries instead of strawberries or raspberries.