Green smoothies are nothing new, but with summer coming I thought it'd be a good idea to share some basics. I enjoy Smoothie King and its clones as much as the next guy, but nothing can compare to the health, cost, and taste of a smoothie made from scratch. Adding in some veggies, particularly greens, adds to the health without detracting from the taste, making smoothies a quick and easy way to get several of your daily servings of both fruits and veggies.
I start my smoothie by putting a cup or so of water into my blender, then adding a few handfuls of spinach. Once you've put in your spinach, try putting in a little more; it's surprising how much spinach you can consume this way. I blend the spinach alone first because the leaves seem to chop better in a thinner liquid than what we'll eventually end up with. I use spinach because it's amazing, and not a strong enough taste to overshadow the other ingredients. I've tried kale, but it's not great. Milder greens are usually fine, but nutrient density is what we're going for here.
A banana or two is my next choice. One banana will help mask the spinach, and is definitely more effective than other fruits by themselves. I'll add two bananas if I'm looking for volume.
Anything Else I Have
After the water-spinach-banana base, I'll add whatever else I want. Sometimes this is just a spoonful of carob powder, which gives me a healthier version of a chocolate shake. I also keep some bags of frozen mixed fruit, which is by far the easiest option. Frozen fruit also eliminates the need to add ice, but it does typically mean a thicker smoothie. If my fridge is stocked, anything fresh that I may have available is eligible. Strawberries, grapes, and blackberries are common, and I enjoy the occasional mango, melon, and pineapple. Oranges can be great, but don't add enough flavor for me to justify the time spent peeling. Veggies aren't off limits here, either. Carrots and cucumbers are easy choices, but small amounts of just about anything will work. Even gross stuff like Spirulina is easy to get drink when mixed into a smoothie. I wouldn't suggest throwing everything you have in your fridge into the blender and hoping it tastes okay, but I do encourage trying new things and seeing how it turns out.
For anybody looking to eat healthy without spending a lot of money, this is a great way. Buy the biggest container of spinach you can find, two things of bananas, and a large bag of frozen fruit. These three items won't cost you more than $10 or $15, and you'll get at least 4 or 5 smoothies out of them.
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