Think of healthy eating as adding foods you can eat, not removing all the foods you love and enjoy. Green smoothies are a great place to begin as they are quick, easy, nutritious, versatile, and they taste good. What more could you ask for breakfast?
Begin with a little water, some ice cubes, one or two fruits–such as pears, bananas, apples–a stalk of celery, and a handful of greens, any kind–spinach, kale, lettuce, etc. You can even add some raw oatmeal if you like. Whip all this up in a high-speed blender. If using a standard blender, cut ingredients into smaller pieces and maybe add more liquids. (For example, blend hard ingredients such as celery in the liquid first, and then add softer foods cut into smaller pieces.)
If you have a hankering for ice cream, but trying to avoid dairy products, reduce liquids and add more ice. You’ll need a high-speed blender for this.
Recipes for green smoothies abound on the Internet, and with a little trial and error you will settle on a few favorites. Not only are smoothies healthy and taste good, but they are a godsend for anyone who has trouble chewing or swallowing, like the elderly.
Here are some of my favorites.
Blend cantaloupe, honeydew, or watermelon. Add a little ice if you like and a big handful of pre-washed-and-packaged baby spinach, kale, or “power greens.” Blend and enjoy. This is a delicious way to use up slightly over-ripe melons.
The hardest part of this recipe is cutting up the melon and disposing of the rind, which brings up composting, but that’s a topic for discussion later.
One thing for sure is you’ll want to add bananas to your weekly shopping list. They make a great snack, and can be added to almost any smoothie. Peel over-ripe bananas and freeze in plastic bags to use in smoothies. Add them to melon smoothies along with apples or pears.
Bananas and seasonal fruits like apricots and peaches make a tasty blend. If you have frozen peaches, use fresh bananas, or if it is peach season, use fresh peaches and frozen bananas.
Toss in greens from the garden if you have them.
I love fresh berries, any kind, but they spoil within a day or two, especially if harvested green and shipped long distances. More convenient are frozen berries. Keep bags of frozen blueberries, strawberries and mixed berries in the freezer to add to banana smoothies. Berries taste good and good for you.
Additions of frozen or fresh seedless grapes or pineapple do a lot to “sweeten the pot.” If you have a grape-vine in your yard, pick, wash, package and freeze every last one. No other preparation is necessary.
Now it’s time to create your own favorite blend; but don’t forget the greens!