Showing posts with label green smoothies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label green smoothies. Show all posts

Smoothie of the Week: Coconut-Peach Punch

Peach Smoothie @pixabay

This is my absolute favourite green smoothie in a long time.  If you are new to the 'green' in a green smoothie, you might be surprised by the ingredients... but keep your mind open... I think you'll be surprised!
 It's fair to preface the recipe with a few other ideosyncratic details of my own: I freeze all my fresh fruit and berries and then I don't have to use ice cubes.  Sometimes I will throw in unfrozen, fresh off the vine fruits, but quite often not.  The peaches in this recipe were peeled by hand (they were that ripe) and sliced and put into a medium freezer baggie (I also really like to use mason jars in the freezer, but more for berries).  I hack about 1/8 of the resulting block off-- maybe a couple of peaches.  We'll go with that.

All smoothie recipes have a "you-decide" quality-- you can decide if you want more or less or different ingredients!

  • 2 peaches, cut in sections (no pit)
  • 4-6 ribs of celery, including leaves
  • 2-3 frozen bananas
  • 1 coconut, water and meat (or a small container of coconut water from the store)
  • Water to the top of the blender container, or as much as you wish
Whirl up to heavenly smoothness.  Drink.  Enjoy!

This smoothie information is for you-- it's my bias-- so please see your own health care professional before making any health-related decisions. If you found anything useful, intriguing, or have questions, I would really appreciate your feedback... please use the comment box below.
To your better and better health, ~Cynthia

Smoothie Greens: Why? What Works?

You might be asking: Why do I need to put greens into my Green Smoothie? These leafy green vegetables (although Victoria Boukenko begs to differ that they are vegetables**) are a storehouse of minerals, typically iron and calcium, and phytonutrients such as vitamin C, carotenoids, lutein and folic acid as well as Vitamin K.

They are, of course, high sources of chlorophyll, the sun's energy translated into plant form. When green leaves are cooked for more than a few minutes their nutrients (like chlorophyll) diminish quickly. There are studies showing a good likelihood that intake of chlorophyll is an excellent boost and/or maintenance for the immune system with some findings that suggest that chlorophyll can be a significant preventative and treatment element in some forms of cancer. (whfoods . com)

Edible leafy greens and shoots are most beneficial when eaten uncooked, and better still, when their tough fibrous cells are broken down by blending, what goes on in a smoothie-making process. Greens combine well with most fruits, with the fruit taking over the flavour of the smoothie. A good combination is 60-40 (fruits to greens) for anyone who is unsure of whether they can deal with the taste or flavour of the greens.

Edible green leafy plants are all over the place, free for the cutting. If you take a walk in the woods (and trust that it has not been sprayed or used as a toxic dump site) you could come home with a bouquet of various 'potherbs' (another name for greens) to use in a nutritious smoothie as a real 'super food'. Some bush and field greens that we have used in smoothies include nettles, dandilion leaves, and lambs-quarters. Each of these can (and is)be cultivated in your home garden for convenience. We have nettles and various kinds of clover growing in spots in our flower beds or under trees. Use the freshest, 'newest' leaves.

Our favourite and most-often used greens include the following:

  • tiny, new Grape leaves
  • Cilantro foliage and even flowers
  • Parsley
  • Kale (I have a whole garden overgrown with kale)
  • new Dandilion leaves
  • Nettle leaves during pollen allergy time
  • Romaine and tender salad Lettuce
  • organic Celery (from our trusted health food store)
  • Mint leaves
  • Culinary herb leaves (for 'blended salads') such as a little sprig of Rosemary, a couple of leaves of African Basil, a few Oregano or Thyme leaves, Lemon Verbena leaves and Lavender flower parts
  • Baby Spinach leaves
We are not keen on using strong brassicas like baby bok choy, chard or cabbage, although some folks truly enjoy these greens in their smoothies-- personal taste.  We generally don't mix wheatgrass into our smoothies, but know of people who truly enjoy that combination. My husband will occasionally add some sprouts to his Green Smoothie-- I generally pass on them, again finding them a little bitter. Find out what works for you!

TIPS: Start out with a simple combination like a handful of baby spinach leaves and a banana or two with a couple of cups of water. Use the more neutral-tasting leaves before moving into the more pronounced-flavoured ones and use as much fresh fruit as you need to feel delighted by what you are drinking.  

You will certainly want to do your own research around what leafy greens meet with your taste test (some are more bitter tasting for those of us who are "tasters"), and some combine better with various fruits than others.  All greens contain small amounts of what we know are toxins (eg., Romaine contains opiates).  These toxins, in nature, protect the plant from being over-grazed and eaten out of existence.  Victoria Boutenko says to "follow the goat"-- goats and other grazing animals will generally go from one green to another, not over-indulging in any.  This process is referred to as rotating your greens.  I like to plant a lot of different greens and will use, say, Cilantro for a week or so in all of our smoothies and then switch to Romaine for the next week, or we will mix two or three greens together.  You won't run out of greens ideas, and if you have an "organically" maintained yard, you will have access to edibles you might not even have known existed.

So, to pack more bio-available nutrition into your life, don't stint on your greens-- in time you will actually crave them if you are on the road without your blender.
Here is a video with David Wolfe telling about the importance of greens:

**"There is a substantial difference between green leaves and vegetables. Green leaves don’t have starch while vegetables such as carrots, beets, broccoli, zucchini, daikon, etc., contain a lot of starch. Starchy vegetables combined with fruit may cause bloating. Contrary to that, fiber in green leaves helps slow the absorption of sugar in fruit making this combination beneficial." ~Victoria Boutenko,

This smoothie information is for you-- it's my bias-- so please see your own health care professional before making any health-related decisions.  To your better and better health, ~Cynthia


 Go check out the nettles
at West Coast Seeds
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Smoothies for Health

Smoothies are made by combining fresh fruit and/or veggies and/or other healthy stuff with a liquid (I go for water or coconut water most of the time).  My husband and I mostly drink what are called GREEN SMOOTHIES.  We make them ourselves in a heavy-duty blender called a VitaMix although there are certainly other heavy-duty blenders that do a good job, and there are actually cheap-o blenders you can pick up at the Sally Ann Thrift store that will serve you well enough (they may just break down earlier).  The chief advantage of the VitaMix is that it will rupture the plant cells in a few seconds and create a smoooooooth blended drink without strings and chunks and other things we sometimes come across in less powerful blenders.  However, in a less rugged blender you can still get the task done: simply run things through in several smaller batches and then re-combine when they are to the smoothness of your liking.

Some Questions that have come up about Green Smoothies include:
Q: Why do you add greens to your smoothie?  Doesn't that make it bad?
>The delicate, mineral-dense greens that one adds to a Green Smoothie are generally over-ridden in taste by the intense flavour of whatever fruit you have added.  Use a 60% fruit to 40% greens ratio.  In putting together her thesis for the greens going into a Green Smoothie, Victoria Boutenko researched what the strongest, healthiest vegetarian mammals in their natural habitat, the gorilla, eat--  not only bananas, as some might think, but about 60% of their food is greens-- branches, grasses, etc.  A chimpanzee eats similarly in nature.  While humans generally begin to look older as they enter their mature years, an elderly chimp (35-60 years old) often is indiscernable from an adolescent chimp in her/his early teens.  Diet certainly has a lot to do with longevity.  Boutenko and others point to the high mineral bio-availability of greens that are well-chewed.  They are easily digested, full of chlorophyl and digestive enzymes, and the perfect match for a delicious, nutritious fruit.  Because most of us have weak jaws or compromised teeth, it is difficult for us to chew the greens and rupture open their cell walls as a chimp is able to do.  However, we now have these fabulous blenders to make up for our deficient jaws!

And yes, some people are called "tasters" and will find the flavour of the various greens unpleasant for sure-- so it is a good idea to up the fruit ratio until you no longer feel ill with the taste of the greens.  Victoria Boutenko herself said that she felt like vomiting when she first began to drink "green" drinks.  But, hang in there, because the health benefits far, far outweigh any unpleasant initial reactions.
Q: What about food combining?  I heard you're not supposed to eat vegetables and fruits at the same time... isn't that what you are doing with green smoothies? 
>I know that I sound like I'm chronically quoting Victoria, but she is the woman in the know.... she states that she sees "greens" as a category separate from vegetables and fruits... its own new category.  When blended up in the VitaMix or other high speed blender, the greens perfectly combine with the fruit-- no worries about indigestion.  I do practice a couple of precautions: when I use melon (cantaloupe, watermelon, honeydew) I use it with greens, water and nothing else.  I know that cucumber is in the same family as melons but I don't seem to have any issues with using it with other things like tomatoes, garlic, and other ingredients in a "blended salad"....which I think I will have for supper! 
So, that's it for today!  Just screw up your courage and pick a fruit and some greens to try with some water, 60-40.  Blend until smooth and enjoy! If you are used to a lot of processed sugars, you could use a little Stevia, but you will be amazed at how quickly your body will adjust to cutting down on, and eventually out, processed sugars, table salt, etc.. SMSMSMSMSMSMSMSMSSMSMSM

This smoothie information is for you-- it's my bias-- so please see your own health care professional before making any health-related decisions. If you found anything useful, intriguing, or have questions, I would really appreciate your feedback... please use the comment box below.  
To your better and better health, ~Cynthia

Sunshine-Shopping-Smoothie (Heaven)

I'm enjoying a terrific day here-- went shopping at the Sally Anne and came home with a stack of great fitness and gardening mags and a wonderful and recent Vita-Mix Whole Foods Recipes Book <--for 99 cents!

Then we had my all-time-favourite smoothie to date-- tasted like "summer in a glass":

  • 4 ripe Apricots
  • huge handful of fresh-from-the-garden Cilantro
  • 1 C. + frozen organic Blueberries
  • 3 frozen Bananas
  • Liquid and Meat from a Young Thai Coconut
  • 2 T. Ground Flaxseed (ground in coffee bean grinder)
  • 4-6 oz. of Filtered Water
This recipe provided both my husband and I with about 20 oz. of sheer ambrosia.  Aren't Green Smoothies just the bomb?

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