I’ve accidentally landed into an experiment involving green smoothies. It’s day #4 of an unexpected adventure, and I’ve started writing about it on my author blog at DianeKidman.com. I would love to have you follow along, because as early in the game as it is, it’s already taken a few surprising turns. I’ll be keeping you posted as to my progress, and I’ll even share some smoothie recipes along the way. So grab your bananas and your blender. We’ve got some health to whip up.
Been around dkMommy Spot much? Then you know I’m a green smoothie fanatic. I discovered them a few years ago while reading a book by Dr. Joel Fuhrman called Disease Proof Your Child. I found they were a fantastic way for our whole family to get a lot more nutrition in our daily diets, and we were able to come up with several favorite ways to enjoy them. Funny it had never occurred to me that someone had actually invented the green smoothie – that someone thought, “How can I get more nutrition, more greens in my diet, without eating salads all day long?” That someone was Victoria Boutenko, and although I found myself with her book “Green Smoothie Revolution: The Radical Leap Towards Natural Health” in my hands, I still didn’t know she was the originator until I started reading.
And read I did! Boutenko’s book is a simple guide for anyone who wants to find out what all the green smoothie fuss is about. Readers will learn why green smoothies are so healthy, why we should have more greens in the first place, and what health changes one might expect from this lifestyle change. The second half of the book is packed with 200 fun and delicious smoothie recipes that will inspire you to get that blender going, including smoothie recipes for your pets!
Personally, I attribute much of my weight loss and health to the green smoothie. I weigh about 15 to 20 pounds less than I did before I was pregnant for my son. When I became pregnant, I made a lot of dietary changes, including cutting out a lot of meat and adding lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Shortly after my son was born, I started making green smoothies and continued my healthier diet, and all my “baby fat” including some more of me just melted away. I’ve kept those lifestyle changes and have maintained my weight for over three years without ever once dieting, counting calories, or otherwise starving myself. Ask anyone – I can pack it away! But now I pack away lots and lots of nutritious foods. I’d say I have Ms. Boutenko to thank for much of that, and I’m happy to know where to direct that thanks! And with two other books under her belt (Green for Life and Raw Family Signature Dishes), I know right where to go for added health inspiration.
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I think it’s about time I delve into the green smoothie a little further, so let’s put our wetsuits on and dive into this healthiest of treats! Before you know it, your kids will be begging for their green veggies.
For my family, a green smoothie is often something like this: One peeled banana broken in half and tossed in the blender with one large handful of baby spinach (or kale, swiss chard, mixed spring greens), and about two tablespoons ground flax seed (we use a coffee grinder). Then we fill the blender to about the 2 – 2 1/2 cup mark with orange juice. Blend it until the smoothie is nice and – uh – smooth. We often will throw in other goodies like 1/2 an apple (peel on if it’s organic), a handful of grapes, some kiwi, or whatever else is floating around the kitchen. This about does it for two adults and one thirsty, bouncing toddler yelling “Juice! Juice!” as the blender whirls.
Orange juice does have a lot of sugar, so if any smoothie drinkers in your family are trying to lose weight, you can water down the juice or even use soy milk. For us, it’s about as sugary as we get in a day, so I figure what the heck. You can also experiment with other juices as well. It’s all good!
If you have a fairly decent blender, you’re fine. We can’t all afford a Vitamix (my dream blender – not a sponsored post, so Vitamix people, feel free to email me and talk samples!) and if you mix it long enough, most of the time the smoothie will come out well. But kale and chard tend to be a little more pulpy, so if your blender is the one you got as a wedding gift 20 years ago, you might want to stick with the spinach.
Some other items we love to use: parsley (flat leaf is the favorite), mango, pineapple, dried seaweed (a little goes a long way – too much and you actually taste it), ground walnuts, a couple dates, cucumber. Hold on, Trigger. Don’t try them all at once. But it sure is fun to experiment! With older kids, you can tell them you’re doing a scientific project and you need them to help you choose what to throw in. Wow, what fun! Just make sure you know what’s going in the blender or you may lose something valuable.
So there you have it – more information on how to make the all-important green smoothie. A very popular topic around this blog, one that just couldn’t go any longer without further exploration. Now go drink your salad.