What’re Green Smoothies? 10 Benefits, Recommended Fruit & Veggies & Gourmet Tips
Guess what’re green smoothies about? They are the newest favorite breakfast, wake-up potion or after-sports refreshment: Green smoothies are delicious, low in calories and full of life energy.
They consist mainly of green leaves and contain an abundance of beneficial nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes and phytonutrients. And, of course, a lot of chlorophyll, which is why it can also be poetized as liquid sunlight. How nice to be able to literally drink up the sun…
What’re green smoothies about – A little bit of smoothie history
The green smoothie was invented by the Russian-born nutrition expert Victoria Boutenko, who first mashed green leafy vegetables with ripe fruits and water in the USA in 2004.
50 percent green and 50 percent fruit plus some water (still mineral water, medicinal water or filtered water), mashed in a high-performance mixer – that’s the simple formula for green smoothies.
The same proportion (50%) of fruits and leafy greens refers to the volume and not the weight.
Green Smoothie Preparation: 50% leafy greens, 50% fruits and water – easy preparation formula for green smoothies
For leafy greens, you can use all known leafy salads, such as Batavia salad, romaine lettuce, oak leaf salad, corn salad, endive, lettuce, radicchio, frisée, chicory, Swiss chard, spinach, cabbages such as kale, black cabbage or savoy cabbage.
Include fresh garden herbs for an extra zest
Fresh garden herbs, for instance, parsley, chives, coriander or mint and wild herbs, such as dandelion, mallow, chickweed or stinging nettle are great. Young leaves of trees and shrubs, as well as the green of root vegetables, such as beetroot, carrots or kohlrabi, leaves of radishes and zucchini can be used.
In general: Pale leaves are not recommended for the green smoothie. They are low in chlorophyll and especially iceberg lettuce is often loaded with nitrate. The darker the leaf, the higher the chlorophyll content. The leaves may also be reddish or brownish like beetroot leaves or black cabbage.
My friend, Keryn, and I always prepare smoothies and juices together. For an extra fuel of chlorophyll, we normally add some wheatgrass to the recipe.
It tastes truly delicious, and the fruit (even if you’d only use a lemon) does cover the sometimes grassy aroma of wheatgrass well.
Seasonal and local fruits, as well as exotic fruits such as pineapple, mango and maracuja, or vegetable fruits such as avocados, tomatoes and cucumbers, form the sweet counterpart to leafy greens.
The most vital criterion for fruit is that it must be ripe. If the green smoothie is not sweet enough, the fruits used were often not yet properly ripe.
The riper the fruit, the sweeter and more digestible it is. Immature fruits, on the other hand, are often acidic, which is not so wholesome for the body.
10 Benefits of Green Smoothies
1. Green Smoothies are Rich in Vitamins and Nutrients
The plant green contains vitamins and minerals in the highest concentration and it is surprisingly rich in proteins. In addition, there are countless phytochemicals and chlorophyll.
Taken together, this results in a synergized, vital substance cocktail, which supplies the body with all essential matters in a natural and, above all, easily obtainable form.
2. Green Smoothies are Basic
Green smoothies maintain the acid-base balance. In many people, the organism is acidified by the consumption of coffee, sugar and too much animal protein.
The strong base-forming green smoothies have a decisive and successful effect on this acidification.
3. Green Smoothies are a Super Healthy Meal
This miracle potion contains, unlike juice, all the fiber and – in contrast to the pure fruit smoothie – the entirety of the plant green. This makes the Green Smoothie a full-fledged raw-food meal.
4. You can prepare green smoothies fast and easy
The Green Smoothie is prepared extremely quickly. Simply cut the fruit into small pieces and add it to the blender together with the leafy green. It takes less than 10 minutes to prepare a full meal.
5. Green smoothies – Ideal for On the Go
The green smoothie is the perfect healthy meal on the go, as it can be easily prepared in a drinking bottle anywhere.
6. Green smoothies are highly digestible
By preparing them in a high-performance blender, the green smoothies become an easy-to-digest pleasure, as the blender takes away the effort from the human digestive system by finely smashing the somewhat tough cellulose.
The high-performance mixer pre-digests in a way, and this makes the green smoothie particularly easy digestible.
7. Green smoothies – No fatigue after eating
The proverbial “eating anaesthetic” does not exist after a smoothie meal, because the body, as already indicated in point 6, only has to use a minimum of energy to absorb and digest the unheated and purely plant-based vital substances.
8. Green smoothies can help you lose weight
Dietary changes are often difficult. Green smoothies make it easier. The Green Smoothie is a high-fiber meal that saturates for a long time.
Due to the many vitamins, minerals, trace elements and phytonutrients, the body automatically demands more and more healthy things after a short time.
The craving for sweets and junk food decreases noticeably and with it even a couple of pounds.
9. Green smoothies – Variety of tastes
Whether exotic, wild or puristic, with only three ingredients green smoothies open up a field of taste that invites you to explore and discover creatively to your heart’s content.
10. Green smoothies give energy
Green smoothies enhance lightness, freshness, vitality and well-being. Pure energy!
Make green smoothies yourself
If you don’t have a high-performance mixer at home, you can of course also use conventional kitchen mixers or bar mixers to tap into the smoothie business. If so, then less fibrous salads such as spinach or field salads are particularly suitable to begin with.
In the long run, however, this is not recommended, as taste experience and effect suffer and the blender can break due to excessive stress and force. In the case of leafy greens, one must also focus on variety.
This can be implemented much more easily using the high-performance blender, as it also easily crushes tougher greens in winter, such as kale or black cabbage.
Simple Green Smoothie Recipe
✓ 1 big sweet apple
✓ 1 ripe banana
✓ 1/8 unpeeled lemon
✓ 1 piece of ginger
✓ 2 handfuls of young spinach
✓ 300 – 400 ml spring water
Many roads lead to Rome, but only two to the green smoothie
First the fruit, then the leafy green and the water. In this sequence, it is important that first the soft fruits such as banana, avocado and mango are added to the container after being cut into small pieces, then the fruits such as apples or pineapples and finally the leafy greens and water.
Reason: Sometimes, for example, apples or the hard part of the pineapple get stuck under the knives. The smoother pulp from the soft fruits, however, keeps the harder fruits from getting stuck.
First the leafy greens, then the water, then the fruit. Many people swear by this variant. Here, the leafy greens are crushed first and then mixed to the fruits, which the blender pulls from top to bottom.
Do I Really Need A High-Performance Blender?
Optimum Nutrient Utilization
Leafy green contains an enormous number of nutrients and minerals. The vital substances are enclosed by the cellulose as in a small safe. And this green safe is really hard to crack.
No matter how much effort we put into chewing, hardly anyone gets the 50 or so chewing movements that would be needed to crush the robust leafy green in such a way that all nutrients can be released.
A high-performance blender can do this. Thanks to a perfectly coordinated combination of strong engine power, container shape and, preferably, stainless steel knives, a high-performance blender succeeds in smashing the plant fibers in such a way that all nutrients and minerals, as well as the energy-rich vegetable dye chlorophyll, can be optimally absorbed by the human organism.
Digestibility and Digestion
In addition, the green smoothies become the digestible meal by preparing them in a high-performance blender. The reason: The cellulose is not only difficult to crack, but it is also difficult to digest.
The enzymes necessary for splitting are no longer sufficiently formed by humans. The result: The mostly undigested plant fibers can cause stomach problems before they are excreted via the stool – together with the vital substances contained therein.
High-performance mixers can compensate for this human digestive deficit. It smashes the hard-to-digest plant fibers finely and the blender ensures that the plant fibers are not harsh on people’s stomachs.
Last but not least: the savor. The high-performance blender also ensures a full-bodied, creamy flavor. Tastes are, of course, different – one likes it rather fruity, the other rather aromatic green.
But on a matter regarding taste, most people agree: Nothing is more unpleasant than fibrous residues and leaf leftovers in the green smoothie.
This cannot happen with a high-performance mixer. Due to its “striking power” it crushes the mixture so fine that even the very robust wild herbs dissolve residue-free into a creamy green.
Check out which blenders Keryn and I recommend, and which ones I personally own.
How Do Green Smoothies Work?
“Joie de vivre” and energy, a strong immune system, good digestion, effortless weight loss – the Green Smoothie is said to carry all these amazing effects.
The extent to which the regular consumption of green smoothies strengthens one’s own health or even cures illnesses has long become the subject of science and research, even if no concrete scientific results are available at this point.
In 2004 and 2009, Oregon State University conducted an explicit study on the positive effects of the natural dye chlorophyll. There are more and more doctors and naturopaths who praise the green drink and its effects on the body and mind.
Whether it’s because of the chlorophyll similar to our red blood dye, hemoglobin, or the nutrients of leafy green as a whole, we don’t know. What we all notice, however, is that we feel fitter by consuming green smoothies.
This affects, both, our physical and mental performance. Another positive consequence: Our appetite for fast food and refined sugar does decline noticeably.
The extent to which green smoothies can help with detoxification of the body through the multitude of non-water-soluble fibers as well as counteract the acidification of the organism by basal formation will soon be shown though future research results.
Green Smoothie Tips For Beginners
Green Light For Your Start
Since the “green” taste may take some getting used to due to the bitter aromas, we recommend to slowly increase the leafy green. This is why it is best to start with leafy vegetables, which have a rather mild taste, such as young spinach and field salad.
Also, at the beginning, you can keep the mixing ratio a little in favor of the fruit. This means 40% leafy green and 60% fruit. Over time, the green content can then be slowly increased. The green smoothies recipes for beginners are easy to get started with.
Variation Instead of Monoculture
There is not too much greenery. One should, however, avoid monoculture. We advise varying the leafy green at least every 2-3 days.
Green Smoothie for Breakfast
The best way to enjoy the Green Smoothie in the morning is to have an empty stomach, so it can unfold its goodness to the best. Otherwise, please keep at least 2 hours apart from other meals.
Consume your smoothie in small sips or spoon it like a soup. Ascertain that you chew, thus salivate, it well. This is essential, as it is the only way to release enzymes from the body, which ensure good digestion and optimal utilization of the food and its nutrients.
Gourmet tips for gree smoothie preparation
Every now and then it happens that the green smoothie does not taste: it is too bitter, too grassy, too charcoal-like or even just too boring.
Small changes are usually enough to pep up the taste. Often you only miss some citrus fruit for more freshness or a fully ripe banana for added sweetness, and the smoothie is perfect.
To ensure that you always find the right blend for you, we have compiled our most important culinary tips and tricks for the preparation of green smoothies.
Dosing the leafy green portion correctly
There are leafy green varieties that can develop a dominant taste in the green smoothie. These include chard and beetroot leaves with their intensely earthy aroma or green and black cabbage with a charcoal-like sharpness.
You can easily soften the taste of these leafy greens by removing the stalks or stems of the leaves. Otherwise, we recommend to dose overpowering leafy greens, as well as wild herbs, sparingly.
Per liter of smoothie combine about 3-4 medium-sized leaves of cabbage or a small handful of wild herbs on the side of milder ingredients such as a handful of spinach, radishes green or field salad.
Green smoothie too sour: Tips for sweetening
We recommend sweetening a green smoothie exclusively with ripe fruit. Because the riper the fruit, the sweeter the smoothie becomes. Especially bananas that already have brown spots, tree-ripened mangoes or a few slices of honey melon are ideal sweeteners.
Medjool dates, with their high sweetness, are also very suitable – especially if you don’t like bananas or are intolerant to them.
About one Medjool date (alternatively 2-3 normal dates) is already sufficient for a liter of smoothie.
Making green smoothies really creamy
The creamier a green smoothie, the better it tastes. The perfect creaminess is provided first and foremost by a high-performance blender. In second place are creamy fruits such as avocado, banana, mango, peach or the jelly-like kaki.
They act as a binding agent between leafy green, water and the other fruits. Example: Already 1/4 piece of avocado without peel and core is completely sufficient for a liter of green smoothie.
If the green smoothie tastes too grassy
Sometimes the green smoothie tastes too grassy, too herbaceous or too earthy. This happens, for instance, with wild herb smoothies.
Tip 1 is then: Use more citrus fruits. You will wonder how little lemon or lime is enough to soften very “green” flavors. I recommend using about 1/8 piece of lemon or lime with zest and seeds on a liter of green smoothie.
With its peel, because it is here that the aromatic essential oils of citrus fruits reside.
If you can’t tolerate citrus fruits or don’t want to increase the acidity in the smoothie, you can also make use of refreshing garden herbs such as mint, lemon verbena or lemon thyme.
If the green smoothie tastes too bitter
Whenever your green smoothie turns out too bitter, highly aromatic fruits, such as pineapple, maracuja or raspberries, can be extremely helpful. Especially maracuja with its sweet and sour aroma ensures a true taste explosion in the green smoothie.
A good adversary to bitter can also be ginger with its sharp aroma. It fits well with endives or chicory. However, I do not recommend combinations with kale or black cabbage, as ginger does not compensate for the core cabbage taste here, but rather accentuates it.
If the green smoothie tastes too boring
Sometimes the green smoothie tastes boring, almost flat, comparable to a wine that lacks body. Fruits that can fill this void well are fresh apples, kiwis, a few strips of ripe honey melon, a handful of grapes or even sweet and juicy oranges.
More variety with vegetable smoothies
Green smoothies don’t have to taste sweet, as you can also blend savory variations. Either combine sweet fruits with vegetable fruits such as perennial celery with pineapple and orange.
Or you can only use vegetable fruits such as tomatoes, zucchini, cucumber or peppers on the side of leafy greens – e.g. Mediterranean garden herbs.
Green smoothies with warming spices
When it gets really cold outside, we, at home, love to experiment with spices in the green smoothie. In addition to fresh ginger and turmeric, these are mainly vanilla, very freshly ground Ceylon cinnamon* and cardamom, which enhances a smoothie creation and gives it a warming, aromatic touch.
Our dosage recommendation: Per liter of smoothie, one thumbs-up of fresh ginger or two thumb tips of fresh turmeric is usually enough. With the powdered spices, a small pinch often suffices.
Just make sure your smoothies turn out to be really creamy and you’ll find yourself in your own smoothie winter wonderland.
Green smoothies as a green bowl with fruit toppings
You can also spoon green smoothies as a “Green Smoothie Bowl”. To enjoy it this way, don’t fill the green goodness in a bottle or glass after preparation, but serve it in a bowl instead.
You can then garnish or top it with small-cut or dried fruits such as goji berries and dates.
This creates more variety and, above all, one thing: You stimulate your chewing reflex and savor the Green Smoothie spoonful after spoonful.
Again, creamy texture is a delightful plus for this smoothie version. This is important because green smoothies are not a thirst quencher, but a meal.
Cooling the green smoothie with ice cubes
The mixture quickly heats up, e.g. if you improve the smoothie taste with a second round of mixing. To prevent this from happening, simply add 4-5 ice cubes per liter of smoothie.
At the same time, ice cubes, in warm weather, also ensure good cooling of the smoothie.
This is extremely advantageous if you want to transport the smoothie uncooled for a long time and also fits mild fruit aromas such as melons, cucumbers, peaches, apricots and nectarines.
A small gourmet tip: Just prepare ice cubes of freshly squeezed orange juice. Simply squeeze out oranges, fill the juice in ice cube molds and put them in the freezer.
Orange ice cubes don’t only cool, but also give the smoothie a refreshing kick.
Pre-preparing green smoothies ingredients the night before
If you have little time in the morning, just prepare your smoothie ingredients in the evening – peel the pineapple, cut it into small pieces and wash the leafy green.
Especially fresh spinach can be very sandy and takes some time to wash. Then pack the ingredients in a large glass or in bags and keep them fresh in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, add the prepared ingredients to the blender, add water and your green smoothie will be ready in 5 minutes, including the washing up routine. Keep in mind, however, that a slight loss of nutrients occurs as a result of the preparation.
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