So I am totally on the green smoothie bandwagon. I love starting each day with a nutrient dense, quick and flavorful breakfast. I'm also 100% convinced that homemade is the way to go. Hear me out...
There are a lot of options out there, especially in NYC, to purchase a premade or made-to-order juice or smoothie but a lot of those same options are either missing the super fresh taste I crave or vital ingredients to make a well-balanced beverage. I’m not saying it isn’t possible to find a spot that has a delicious, healthy choice but it is easy to simply make one at home to your exact tastes and nutritional needs. This way, you have total control. Bonus, it is WAY cheaper.
For those just starting out on the green juice journey, first of all, where the heck have you been? But also, welcome! Green beverages offer the opportunity to get a really nutrient dense meal or snack in without a lot of fuss. Throw a few things together in the blender and voila! you're ready to enjoy tons of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants among other nutrients depending on your ingredients. But there are a few things you’ll need to know about how to craft a nutritious beverage that also doesn’t just taste like grass. Unless you like the taste of grass, then by all means, grass it up. (…what?)
Okay, so here goes.
1. Start with more fruit than vegetables. If you go all out on your first juice with a ton of greens and veggies with little to no fruit, you’ll never make another one (unless you fall into that grass category). I’d say give a 2:1 ratio of fruit to vegetables a shot, you can always adjust on your next go around with more fruit for a sweeter taste or, better yet, more veggies(!) as you get used to the taste and texture.
2. Make sure you balance your nutrients. A juice full of only fruits and vegetables will be packed with all the things mentioned above, but adding some protein or healthy fats will ensure you feel satiated longer. To get your vital mix of macro nutrients, you can try greek yogurt, nuts/nut butters, avocado, etc.
3. If you aren’t a big fan of greens, try baby greens. I have been having a green smoothie almost every morning for the last few years and I still use baby greens. Sometimes when I want an extra punch of something I’ll use full grown, seasonal, leafy greens, but only on occasion. I usually stick with a mix of baby spinach and kale since I like the texture better when blended.
4. Get creative and have fun! You know your flavor preferences and it is okay to stick with those. Try different combinations of your favorites and see what works for you. I for one HATE celery in my smoothies and juices. I think it makes the whole thing taste like liquid celery. While it is beneficial nutritionally, I just can’t bring myself to stomach it and that’s okay too.
The list doesn’t end there! There are a ton of tips available on other sites that helped me when I first started out so I encourage you to have a look around. One of my favorites is McKel's post on Nutrition Stripped, Green Smoothies 101.
I’m going to share with you my go-to green smoothie for every morning. I usually have it as soon as I wake up and it keeps me full until my second breakfast, which is typically about 2.5 to 3 hours later. And yes, I’ve already been told my eating schedule resembles that of a Hobbit.
I hope you like this smoothie as much as I do. Let me know your thoughts and any variations you try in the comments section!
Just a little note, the banana is optional but it gives it that thick, creamy texture of a good smoothie and a nice sweetness that I like. Without it, this will be more of a juice though the avocado, if added, will add to the creamy consistency. I’m told and do believe that freezing your bananas in advance adds a little something extra to the smoothie but I use my room temp bananas and they work just fine with the added ice.
2 bananas (optional)
1 apple (organic Honeycrisp are my favorite when available)
2-3 handfuls baby spinach
1-2 handfuls baby kale
½ avocado (optional)
Juice of ½ lemon, freshly squeezed
2 tsp of apple cider vinegar
Couple dashes of cinnamon, to taste
1 cup water
2-3 cups ice
1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
2. Blend until desired consistency is reached, adding ice as needed (I usually blend for about 1 minute).
Note: This recipe serves two. For one, simply halve the ingredients. I don’t recommend batching as the blending and air exposure can cause fruits and vegetables to lose their nutrients. It is best to drink this smoothie right away for optimal nutrition benefits. If you must batch, make sure to store in an air tight container for no longer than 1-2 days.