Food & Fitness

The Real Green Smoothie

I’m a huge advocate of drinking green smoothies daily—especially after reading Victoria Boutenko’s Green for Life! I’ve read it a few times now over the past year or so and every time I read it I’m inspired to try new creations with green smoothies.The real green smoothie---featuring 2 green smoothie recipes! Learn about green smoothies & get two tasty and healthy green smoothie recipes in this article.

For a long time now I’ve been drinking smoothies that consist of water, leafy greens, frozen bananas, chia seeds, and vanilla vegan protein powder. It tastes fantastic and I feel nourished and as though I’ve had a meal whenever I drink my smoothies, but I haven’t noticed the benefits that Boutenko talks about in her book of getting better sleep and clearer skin, curing ailments, and so on and so forth.

I think that there are two main reasons for this. First, until the past month-ish, I wasn’t using organic leafy greens. This means that there could have been all kinds of pesticides going into my body, which certainly wouldn’t be that good for me. Ideally all the ingredients in green smoothies should be organic.

Second, I don’t think protein powder is the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for making sure we get enough protein in our diets. But as a general rule we don’t really have a problem with getting adequate protein in North America. Also, even if you have a really good protein powder (like mine!), it still doesn’t do quite the same thing that naturally-occurring protein in whole food does.

So this week—and, in fact, for at least the next month!—I’m going off of protein powder in my smoothies to focus more on whole food smoothies. As an example, on the weekend I made two whole foods smoothies:

Strawberry Banana

  • 3 cups cold water (fill up a water jug in the morning, let it sit out on the counter all day uncovered, and then put it in the fridge—covered—right before you go to bed. This will get some of the chlorine out of the water by the following morning).
  • Plenty of organic romaine lettuce.
  • 1.5 frozen bananas.
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries.
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds.

Grapefruit Blueberry

  • 3 cups cold water.
  • Lots of organic spinach and organic green leaf lettuce.
  • 1.5 frozen bananas.
  • 3/4 cup frozen blueberries.
  • 1/2 fresh grapefruit.
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds.

For both smoothies, simply put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until really smooth. You want to leave it running for quite a while to ensure that everything is broken up, as this makes it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients (also it’s pretty gross to drink a green smoothie and then suddenly come across a big piece of lettuce. The unexpected texture isn’t very nice).

Chia seeds are awesome because they are a nutritional powerhouse and they really thicken up a smoothie. Definitely don’t skip them! I haven’t tried using flax seeds in place of chia seeds, but flax seeds might do the same type of thing.

Other additions that I plan on trying with my whole foods smoothies are goji berries and bee pollen. If you’re really adventurous, you could even add homegrown herbs or spices (I think I’ll hold off on that for the time being, though 😉 ).

You can add so much to smoothies! Just make sure that you keep organic (preferably local) dark leafy greens as the base. Start off with just a little bit and progressively add more and more until the bulk of the smoothie is leafy greens with just a little bit of fruit. Our tastebuds adapt and change over time, so if you make the transition gradually, you’ll be able to consume huge quantities of leafy greens in your smoothies without even noticing it.

Green smoothies are a refreshing way to start the day by drinking them first thing in the morning. I also really like to drink them as a morning snack to keep my energy levels up right through until lunch time.

What do you put in your whole food smoothies? Are green smoothies a regular part of your routine? What questions do you have about green smoothies? Share in the comments section below!

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  1. Rita @ Healthy Mom, Sexy Wife

    I’m with you about using whole foods instead of protein powders. I have used flax seeds in my green smoothies and they don’t act as a thickening agent…a lot of them stick to the blender. Not worth the trouble but flax meal works well. Maybe adding the flax seeds to the cup instead of in the blender. I haven’t tried chia seeds yet but I really need to.

  2. Yum Yucky

    Well now why didn’t I think to ever use Romain lettuce?! The though of a spinach-y smoothie made me run for cover, so I never really got into that. But I love romaine and will definitely try adding some leaves to my next smoothie.

    I cut back on meats (part-time vegetarian?), so I actually just started using protein powder in the last two weeks. Already feeling the benefits, mainly afternoon satiety and no more terrible muscle soreness after a hardcore workout. What brand of protein powder do you use?

    1. Sagan Morrow

      LOVE romaine lettuce! It breaks down super well in smoothies. Kale isn’t so good for smoothie, I’ve found, since it is kinda spiky and “hard” – it doesn’t break down as well as romaine or spinach.

      My protein powder of choice is Genuine Health Vegan Proteins +. Their natural vanilla flavour is AWESOME (double chocolate is decent too). Here’s the stats if you’re interested:

      118 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 6.6 grams carbs, 20 grams protein per 30 grams protein powder.

      Ingredients: yellow pea kernel protein isolate, sprouted brown rice protein concetrate, cranberry seed protein powder, alfalfa juice protein concentrate, organic hemp seed protein powder, natural flavour blend with stevia, xantham gum, lo han fruit extract.

      I consider myself a parttime vegetarian (or vegan) too 🙂

  3. Frank

    Hi, I am a vegan participating in a meditation for peace assembly in Fairfield IA. Currently I am living on Green Smoothies and Larabars. Below is a typical smoothie recipe that I use: Please note that as far a smoothie ingredients anything goes for me. So here is a typical recipe:
    A piece of fruit of two, sometimes I use frozen, 1/2 avacado, 1T raw almond butter (I also use peanut butter or sunflower or pumpkin seeds, 1T sauerkrout or other fermented veggie, sprouts when available, some leafy greens, or other veggie, ground flax seeds, 1T lecithin, and either 1T chia seeds or 1T hemps seeds and to fill in the gaps 1T of Trader Joe’s Super Green Drink Powder. All this usually ends up Super Thick and Good Tasting.

  4. Rueben Norquest

    “Chia seeds have been in Whole Foods for a long time, but they’re just now starting to grow in popularity,” said Drew Rosen, nutrition and cooking teacher at New York City’s Whole Foods Market Tribeca. “It’s an ancient crop, but because the seeds are so flexible and high in omega threes, they are just blossoming all over the markets in all different types of products.” `

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