My strategy has been 3 fold. Each day I try to:
So I'm essentially blending, juicing and eating greens. From time to time I'll have wheatgrass and green powders as well. Now the art of perfecting it will vary obviously for each person but for me I have dialed it in for myself.
I don't think I need to go on about the benefits of green foods or why they are good. I'd only be preaching to the choir here. :)
I'm hoping this guide will serve as a starting point for you to get good at making them yourself. I picked up these ideas from talking to various raw food chefs over the years and doing my own work at trying to perfect them for myself. It's one of my favorite ways to get the best vegetable nutrition out there!
So I'll share my strategy I use and if it works for you then great. If not, now worries! There's no right or wrong here. Here are the basic ingredients for my green smoothies
- The Base. What will you use for your liquid base? I use sometimes a nut milk like almond milk, water or herbal tea from the night before.
- Superfoods of any and all types. I like to use sea vegetables like powdered Kelp and Dulse. I also like MSM, Maca, bee pollen, flax oil, Spirulina, camu camu berries. You get the idea. The idea is to use whatever you want here (or nothing if you don't have them!) and whatever you think tastes good.
- Greens of any type. I like collard greens, spinach, dark green salad lettuce, parsley, sometimes small amounts of cabbage, kale etc. You get the idea.
- Fruits. I try to keep it to a minimum. The less sugar the better. Stronger flavored fruits are good here. Bananas work best for masking flavor, although they are the least healthy for you. A small slice of lemon helps to hide the flavor of greens too. Oranges are particularly strong too (make sure all fruit has seeds in them). I usually use about two pieces of fruit.
- The Healthy Fats. According to The Sunfood Diet Success Systemand the Sunfood Triangle outlined there, it's good to have some raw fats with sugars to slow their absorption into your bloodstream. Basically so you don't get a sugar high. :) I like to use about a half of an
avocado. That seems to work for me. Plus the fats make it more filling and allow you to be able to go longer until your next meal.
- Sugars. I like to use an extra "sugar" in case the greens are too strong. I throw a pack of stevia in there just to help for flavor.
- Frozen Fruits. I usually throw in some good frozen berries in at the very end and this adds so much to the flavor and look. The idea here is to add in whatever berries you have on hand. I like to go to the market and buy bags of organic frozen blueberries, raspberries, cherries, and blackberries.
Now this sounds like a lot but it's really quite easy and doesn't take that much time. I usually drink it on the way to work. So if you factor in the time that it might take you to make french toast AND sit and eat it, it's probably about the same amount of time.
Imagine the difference in your body and health doing this for breakfast for 20 years as opposed to eating bacon and eggs? So here's how I make my greens and superfoods smoothie:
- Pour the base into your blender and put your greens and superfoods into it. Blend all of that up really good.
- Put your soft fruit into the blender and your avocado and blend again.
- Then put your frozen berries into the blender (watch your green smoothie turn purple!) and blend for the last time.
- Your done! Pour it into your favorite cup and your out the door.
Some quick tips:
- Make sure not to drink it too fast. There is a lot of fiber in the green drink and you don't want to overwhelm your system. They will usually last a few days in the refrigerator too. The fiber in the smoothie helps to keep the nutrients nice and intact, unlike green juices, which must be drunk right away.
- Start out with a small amount of greens and work your way up. I started out with 90% fruit, 10% greens! Now I'm at about 40% greens or more. Your taste buds change over time. Be patient but be relentless.
- Remove the spines of the big leafed vegetables like collard greens, kale etc as they are very bitter.
- Blend in stages.The reason I blend in 3 stages is so I don't have to leave the blender on for a long time as this will oxidize your green smoothie. I prefer to blend more often for less amounts of time to reduce oxidation and heat friction. :)
Here are a couple books I've enjoyed on the subject. I HIGHLY recommend them.
Some videos you might find helpful :
Some links you might find helpful: