You probably know this about me by now, but just in case I haven’t been clear—I love greens! I particularly love green smoothies. They are one of the best ways to achieve your healthy eating goals.
A Review—Why You Need to Start Drinking Green Smoothies
In a previous post, I outlined the many health benefits of these green giants of nutrition. Check it out. I guarantee you will be amazed by the health benefits you will get in just one smoothie.
As a quick review, here are just a few of the benefits you will see by adding these delicious nutrient bombs to your healthy eating plan.
- More Energy – You will become a POWERHOUSE OF ENERGY. Because the fruits and veggies are pulverized in a blender, digestion is easier, allowing nutrients to be quickly absorbed. And, because you’re drinking more vegetables than you could ever eat at one time, you’re getting way more nutrients with each gulp than you would with each bite.
- Improved Immune Response – Getting all of those nutrients into your system quickly each and every day means your immune system will become stronger. When cold and flu season comes along, your rockin’ immune system will pretty much scare the germs away. Yeah—powerful stuff, those green smoothies.
- Look Hot – We all want to look our best. With green smoothies, you’ll look downright smokin’ hot. The vitamins, minerals and antioxidants make your skin glow and reduce the chance of early-onset wrinkles. And, since green smoothies are full of fiber, they’ll fill you up, which means you’ll eat less. Hello, weight loss!
Are you ready to get onboard with me and start drinking some nutrient-dense green smoothies every day? I bet you are! I know I am; in fact, I’m so stoked right now that I might need to take a smoothie break.
Side note: All of these smoothies taste much better when using a quality blender. We have been using the Vitamix for 7 years now. If you don't have a quality blender and you want to eat better, I recommend you make the investment
A Smoothie for Your Every Need—My Top 5 List
Drinking a daily smoothie will contribute to your long-term healthy eating plan. But, I’m sure you’ll agree—there are certain times when we need a little more oomph.
Guess what? There’s a smoothie for that.
Below I’ve listed my Top 5 Kick-Butt green smoothies.
1. The Pre-Workout Green Smoothie
The best way to go into a workout is with high energy. You get this naturally with a recipe created by the ladies at SimpleGreenSmoothies.com.
Before your workout, stock up on healthy fats with a moderate amount of carbs and protein.
The natural sugars, protein and fat will give you the stamina needed to finish your workout.
2 cups fresh spinach
2 cups almond milk, unsweetened
1 large apple, cored, any variety
⅓ cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2. The Post-Workout Green Smoothie
Your body needs protein to build muscle and repair after an intense workout.
Recently, 7 green smoothies made the Greatlist.com list of the best high-protein, post-workout smoothies.
However, I found this Green Monster Smoothie Recipe on Iowa Girls Eat about 3 years ago. When I first read the recipe I thought to myself, "how could this taste good?"
Was I ever wrong!
This would be my first choice if you are looking for a tasty treat packed with protein. With nut butter (I use peanut butter), Greek yogurt and spinach, you’re going to get plenty of protein to recover after an intense workout.
1 frozen sliced banana
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 cup Organic Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (or other kind of milk)
4 cups baby spinach (or more, or less)
Add ice of you like it colder
3. The “Insane Energy” Smoothie
Move over, coffee—the green smoothie is in the house! That’s right; with nutrients like magnesium—a natural energy booster—coffee will soon be a thing of the past.
You can hang out with coffee from time to time if you like the flavor, but you will no longer feel like you need it to get through your day.
Averie Sunshine of AverieCooks.com has swapped her morning coffee with her green tropical smoothie. Her everyday smoothie has an incredibly smooth texture and iron, magnesium and other nutrients will rev your engine for the day ahead.
And you know how much I love Pineapple!!!
After one of these, you will feel invigorated, refreshed and recharged, and your head will be clear and your energy will be pure.
1 to 2 cups frozen spinach
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1 medium ripe banana, peeled (previously frozen in chunks is ideal)
1 cup strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or a favorite berry, optional
1 cup milk (cow's, almond, soy, coconut, kefir, horchata)
1 teaspoon+ vanilla extract
Sweetener, to taste (sugar, agave, stevia, honey, maple syrup, Medjool dates)
4. The Hangover Recovery Smoothie
As most of you know, I am not a big drinker, however I do go past my limits once in awhile. I wish I had this recipe back in my early twenties. :-)
We all know, after a night of drinking, your body is going to scream for help, typically in the form of a pounding headache.
Alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration and get your pH levels get out of whack. To combat a hangover, you need a one-two green smoothie punch: hydration and alkalinity. You need cool, refreshing cucumber.
Cucumber contains a ton of water and helps pH balance the body. A smoothie by BornFitness.com combines cucumber with celery and kiwi, as well as coconut water to balance blood sugar levels. Add some zing with ginger—a natural anti-inflammatory—and you’ll be good to go in no time.
1 cup coconut water, not from concentrate
1 peeled kiwi
½ pear or green apple
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 small cucumber
1 small chunk of fresh ginger
½ fresh-squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of Himalayan sea salt
5. The Cold Flu Smoothie Buster
With the start of school just around the corner, the cold and flu season will be kicking into high gear before we know it.
For those of you that have kids – you know how important immune health is for preventing colds and the flu. This smoothie from the Mimimalist Baker should give you and your kids some much need cold-fighting POWAH!
Oh and I needed to get at least one green smoothie on here with Kale in it. :-)
The recommended ingredients are:
2 cups (~ 60 g) kale, packed, fresh or frozen
1 cup (165 g) ripe frozen mango cubes
1 cup (150 g) ripe frozen peaches
1 Tbsp (6 g) minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 - 2 lemons or limes, juiced (~1/4 cup or 60 ml)
1 1/2 - 2 cups (360 - 480 ml) filtered water
optional: 1 Tbsp (15 ml) maple syrup (depending on sweetness of fruit)
optional: 1 cup ice
You can also choose any berries, citrus fruits (pineapple of course) :-) or leafy greens that you like.
However, this healthy recipe will kick your immune system to the next level. If you think you need even more powers, try drinking this Homemade Lemon, Ginger and Honey Tea in the evening.
Nutrient-Dense Green Smoothies—A Great Way to Reach Your Healthy Eating Goals
Whatever your healthy eating goals are, I can guarantee you that adding green smoothies to your diet will get you there faster!
Green smoothies will not only bring your general health up to par, but they serve as great tonics when you need extra energy or some help after a wild night of partying.
I’m extending a challenge to all of my readers. Add green smoothies into your diet for 10 days straight.
You can try the pre-workout smoothie or the post-workout smoothie on your hard workout days. The hangover smoothie is great for Saturday mornings or even Monday mornings if you need a kickstart for the Monday uglies. Try alternating the green smoothie for energy with the immune boosting smoothie. Or, just try a different smoothie every day.
The choice is yours, but the point is to add one green smoothie to your diet each day for 10 days. And remember—this isn’t some sort of fast or extreme health challenge. All you’re doing is incorporating one green smoothie each day, in addition to the healthy foods you’re already eating.
After the 10 days are up, let me know, either in the comments section on this blog or via Facebook, how you feel after incorporating green smoothies. I can tell you from personal experience that you will start to look and feel amazing within just a few days. Here’s to your health!
Do you have a favorite green smoothie recipe? Join the conversation and let us know which smoothies you drink for energy, health, or just to look good. Better yet—post the recipe in the comments below, or on Facebook. And don’t forget: if you choose to try the 10-day green smoothie challenge, let me know how you feel afterwards. I can’t wait to hear from you.