Green Smoothie Challenge Week 3: Tips and more recipes

 

Yesterday marked the end of my third week of this green smoothie challenge I am participating in. At this point, having a smoothie in the morning  is becoming a habit and my body is definitely appreciating it.  Making a smoothie that tastes well can be hard at times for newbies, so I thought I would use this blog post  to give some pointers as well as to share some more recipes.

1. Use organic fruit and veggies only when it really matters.  Let’s face it. Organic is expensive. I feel like the grocery stores are trying to make everything organic and subsequently charge me more for it. For this reason, I only buy organic fruits and veggies that have the highest pesticide residues. Those are: peaches, apples, sweet bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, kale, lettuce, and imported grapes.  I’ll be honest and state that sometimes I will not even always get those organic.  Apples, you can peel the skin off if you don’t buy organic–the skin holds most of the pesticide residue.

2. Make sure you switch your greens. I know with green smoothies you have to get used to drinking greens and then once you find one you don’t want to switch up. But I highly recommend switching your green base. Dark leafy greens contain oxalic acid, which can cause kidney stone formation and calcium deficiency. However, this is extremely rare and you would have to eat an extreme amount of greens on a daily basis. Of the dark leafy greens, spinach has the highest level of oxalic acid. Usually most people will encourage you to utilize different greens every now and then to switch up the palette. So my general rule is to switch out my greens once a week. One week I may do spinach, then another week kale, then swiss chard, and then back to spinach. Some greens that I am planning to try in the future are: mache, and romaine lettuce.

3. If you have never had a green smoothie before use more fruit. I have lots of friends that have been turned off by smoothies because they try to use too many greens at first. I highly recommend anyone looking to try a green smoothie for the first time to start off with more fruit than greens and then slowly build yourself up. When I first started making smoothies a few years ago, I couldn’t stand the taste of raw greens. But as I kept at it and slowly started to reduce my fruit intake, I could enjoy the smoothie more and more without much fruit.

4. If you are going to use a sweetener, use one that is all natural. I know some people do not find smoothies sweet and need to still add sweetener. I highly recommend that if you need to add a sweetener, you use honey or agave nectar and stay away from processed sugar. Processed sugar will just give your body a fast high that will cause you to crash and feel tired. If you use honey or agave, it will keep your blood sugar levels at a more stable plain.

5. Storage. My storage container of choice for a smoothie is a glass mason jar. Glass in general is a better storage vehicle than plastic because you don’t have to worry about any chemical leakage. In addition, glass allows you to seal your smoothie in an air tight space that allows the smoothie to last longer.

6. Some additional recipes.  This week, I didn’t follow any of simple green smoothies recipes. I kinda just did my own thing. The main reason was that my freezer was looking kind of full after I stuffed it with greens and fruit from the past weeks. I need to work on those bags in the freezer before I incorporate more items. Also most recipes, I drank two days in a row because I had a lot left over. So, I just stored the leftovers in a trusty mason jar and drank it the next day.  Here’s what I drank this week.

Tropical blend

serves 2

2 heaping handfuls of kale

1 1/2 cups trader joe’s organic  tropical blend ( contains pineapple, mango, strawberry, and banana)

1 banana

1 tbsp. chia seed

2 cups almond milk

 

Berry Berry blast

serves 2

1 banana

1 cup blueberries

1 cup rasberries

1 cup strawberries

1 tbsp flax seed

2 cups almond milk

1 cup kale

Cold winter blues smoothie

serves 2

1 cup kale

1 banana

1/2 cup pineapple

2 oranges

1/2 cup mango

1/2 cup peaches

1/2 cup water (more or less depending on the need)

Happy sinuses smoothie

serves 2

1 orange

1 1/2 cups almond or coconut milk ( I used this almond coconut blend by so delicious)

1 cup pineapple

1 banana

1 thumb sized piece of ginger

1 tsp of cayenne pepper

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 cup kale

 

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