Oh green smoothies...you sure do have a hold on me. I am what you might call a green smoothie enthusiast. My usual breakfast routine during the week days is to make a big smoothie before I leave the house and sip on it at work while I get organized for the day. It gives me the burst of energy I need first thing in the morning. I love starting the day off with something really healthy, filling, and hydrating. I don't know about you, but I definitely tend to make healthier choices throughout the day if I start with a healthy breakfast. Most days, it's a green smoothie for the win!
As much as I love green smoothies now, that was not always the case. I remember when I first started hearing about green smoothies I was really intrigued...but at the same time wanted to gag a little. There is something about pureed green foods that don't always seem appealing. Baby food anyone? Amirite? Eventually, my curiosity got the best of me and I decided to give these green smoothies a try...
Umm, I think I spit out my first sip. No one told me you should ease into green smoothies. How rude! I think my first green smoothie had Swiss chard, kale, celery, and cucumber...and maybe an apple. AND, I was using a super cheap, crappy blender so there were disgusting chunks of greens, celery, and apple that I just couldn't get smooth. I was completely over ambitious and had no idea what I was doing. (Since then, I have upgraded to a Vitamix blender which I am completely in love with. More on my Vitamix obsession in a later post!)
Luckily, my disaster of a first try didn't scar me for life and I gave green smoothies another try. Boy, am I so glad I did. I honestly can't imagine my life without them. When I am traveling and haven't had a smoothie for longer than a few days, I really start to miss them. Like, a lot. Obsessed much? Yes. Yes I am.
Green smoothies offer pure nutrition. The amount of vitamins you’ll get depends on the fruits and vegetables you choose for the smoothie. However, most fruits and vegetables are high in vitamins A and C. Green smoothies are also a great way to "sneak" vegetables into your diet without tasting them. Spinach is an example of a green that blends wonderfully in a smoothie without producing a strong taste. In fact, you won't even taste it at all! Some of my favorite "easy" veggies to add to a smoothie besides spinach are cucumber, carrot, and/or romaine lettuce. Green smoothies will also help you get some good fiber into your diet. Since the main ingredients in smoothies are fruits and/or vegetables, they are loaded with fiber. Fiber = filling which is helpful for weight loss and maintenance.
The ingredients in this smoothie are simple: banana, avocado, spinach, orange, date, and filtered water. This smoothie is SUPER creamy thanks to the avocado, and deliciously sweet thanks to the banana and date. I love using dates in smoothies because they provide a wonderful sweet taste without being too sweet. The orange in this smoothie plays a dual role. Not only does it give a fresh, juicy taste, but the vitamin C in it helps your body better absorb the iron from the spinach that otherwise is difficult for our bodies to extract and utilize. It's a win/win!
Creamy Dreamy Sweet Green Smoothie (GF, V, Raw)
|Makes 1 smoothie|
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/4 avocado (or 1/2 small avocado)
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 orange (peeled and seeds removed)
- 1 date (pitted)
- 1/2 cup filtered water (or more as desired)
- Simply combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
*A high speed blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec is ideal for optimal smoothness, but these ingredients will work just fine in any blender. If not using a high speed blender, you may need to let the blender run a little longer until everything is broken down to your desired consistency.
*If you don't use a frozen banana, add some ice cubes before blending.