Get an Afternoon Energy Boost with a Green Smoothie - dummies

Get an Afternoon Energy Boost with a Green Smoothie

By Jennifer Thompson

Because your digestive fire is most active in the middle of the day, you have more energy to digest heavier foods at your midday meal. That’s why the green smoothie recipes here contain healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, or seeds. Not only do these ingredients make the smoothies taste thicker and creamier, but they also make you feel fuller.

The goal is twofold: give you enough energy to get through the day without feeling any afternoon lull and leave you feeling satisfied enough to not snack on junk food later.

If you’re someone who tends to crave a chocolate or sugar fix every afternoon, then a green smoothie for lunch is definitely right for you. Remember, a high fiber diet has been proven to help in stabilizing blood sugars. You can clean out your old chocolate bar drawer now because you won’t need it anymore!

Because green smoothies stay fresh for up to 48 hours in the fridge, you can easily make your smoothie the night before or first thing in the morning like you would a brown-bag lunch.

Banana Kiwi Bliss

Preparation time: 3 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 kiwis, peeled

1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted

1 ripe banana, peeled

1 teaspoon spirulina powder

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 cup water

1 cup chopped parsnip greens or beet greens, stems removed

1 cup baby spinach, loosely packed

  1. Combine the kiwi, avocado, banana, spirulina, flaxseed, orange juice, and water in the blender and secure the lid.

    [Credit: Illustration by Elizabeth Kurtzman]
    Credit: Illustration by Elizabeth Kurtzman
  2. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 45 seconds or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  3. Add the greens and spinach and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 15 to 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  4. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 243 (From Fat 63); Fat 7g (Saturated 1g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 93mg; Carbohydrate 43g (Dietary Fiber 9g); Protein 5g.

You should be able to find parsnip greens at most supermarkets. Beet greens are the green leaves attached to beets, and yes, you can use them in a green smoothie! If you can’t find either of those items, just use an extra cup of baby spinach (for a total of 2 cups) instead.

Candy Apple Delight

Preparation time: 3 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

2 Granny Smith apples

1 ripe banana, peeled

2 Medjool dates, pitted

3 tablespoons tahini

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

1-1/2 cups water

4 large collard green leaves

  1. Cut the apples and remove the core, keeping the skin intact. Cut the flesh into quarters.

  2. Combine all the ingredients except the collard greens in the blender and secure the lid.

  3. Starting at low speed and gradually increasing toward high, blend the ingredients for 30 to 45 seconds or until the mixture contains no visible pieces of fruit.

  4. Remove and discard the stems of the collard greens. Chop or tear the collard green leaves into smaller pieces (precision isn’t important). Add the leaves and blend again at medium speed for 30 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high. Blend on high speed for another 30 seconds or until the entire mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the smoothie into two glasses and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 491 (From Fat 171); Fat 19g (Saturated 11g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 16mg; Carbohydrate 73g (Dietary Fiber 12g); Protein 12g.

You can usually find tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds, in health food stores or gourmet supermarkets. Look for it in the peanut butter and jam section or in the ethnic section of your local store.

Instead of tahini, you can use raw almond butter. You can also replace the banana with 1/2 avocado (peeled and pitted) for a slightly different taste.

Pineapple Mango Coco-Yum

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Blending time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

3 tablespoons goji berries

1 ripe mango

1 cup pineapple chunks

1 tablespoon bee pollen (omit if allergic)

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons shredded unsweetened coconut flakes

1-1/2 cups coconut water

1/2 cup arugula, loosely packed

1/2 cup parsley, loosely packed

1/4 cup celery leaves, 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, pineapple, bee pollen, coconut oil, coconut flakes, and coconut 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 arugula, parsley, and celery leaves and blend again at medium speed for 45 seconds, gradually increasing the speed to high.

    [Credit: Illustration by Elizabeth Kurtzman]
    Credit: Illustration by Elizabeth Kurtzman
  6. Pour the smoothie into two glasses, and enjoy!

Per serving: Calories 463 (From Fat 243); Fat 27g (Saturated 23g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 223mg; Carbohydrate 53g (Dietary Fiber 8g); Protein 5g.

Arugula has a naturally spicy or peppery taste. Taste a leaf before adding it to your smoothie. If you don’t like it, use 1 cup of spinach instead. And if you don’t have mango, use 1 cup of fresh strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries.

Add 1 ripe banana or 1/2 avocado to make the smoothie creamier.