Breakfast & Brunch, Super Foods
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3 Quick & Easy Spinach Smoothies

3 Recipes for Spinach Smoothies

Spinach smoothies are a great way to ease into the world of green smoothies. Green smoothies are healthy, full of flavor, and can range from simple to oh-so adventurous, that tastes so very “green”. That’s why spinach is great for newbies jumping on the green smoothie wagon. First of all, it’s easy on pretty much any blender (easy enough that you can also use a hand-held immersion blender and a large mason jar). Spinach is naturally delicate in texture AND flavor, which is why it’s a popular choice. Which brings me to the second point…spinach’s subtle flavor is easily masked by whatever fruits, liquids, and healthy fats you are using — they simply blend beautifully together without you really having to taste those healthy greens.

Spring and summer are the perfect seasons for picking up young and tender leaves of locally grown spinach (don’t be afraid of adding the stems to your spinach smoothies too!). There are endless options for creating nutrient-filled spinach smoothies. I’ve included three that I particularly like, but you can also pick and choose ingredients to come up with your own favorite variation. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Some of my favorite things to include in spinach smoothies are:

  • FRUIT – apple, pear, fresh or frozen berries of any kind
  • LIQUID – unsweetened almond milk or rice-coconut milk
  • HEALTHY FAT – 1-2 tablespoons of homemade almond butter, or a handful of nuts, or 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds, avocado, or 1 tablespoon of coconut, or avocado, or omega 3-6-9 oil, etc. The list is long!
  • PROTEIN – if it’s a breakfast on the go and I want to feel full longer, I may add a raw vegan protein powder to my smoothie (from Garden of Life RAW Organic or SunWarrior Warrior Blend). This is also great for a post-workout pick-me up!
  • ADD-ONS – “superfoods” such as raw beet powder, wheat grass, chia seeds, flax seeds, maca powder, raw cacao, even oatmeal add some extra nutrients or “power” to the mix
  • SWEETENERS – I don’t add anything, but if you like it sweet then dates, bananas, pure maple syrup or honey are great options, or you can add more sweet fruits to help mask any hint of a “green” flavor — especially if you aren’t used to it!

As for the optimal mix, well I’ve read many times that the perfect green smoothie ratio is 40% greens (kale, spinach, etc) to 60% fruit. I tend to lean towards a lower fruit content, since I often find smoothies to be much too sweet. Plus let’s face it, although it’s natural, is all the sugar content really good for you? Okay, it’s still far better than no fruit at all and if it’s the only way to get a decent amount of greens in, then great. I do however recommend picking fruit with a low glycemic index, like berries, apples and pears and I find a good ratio to follow is 70% veggie and 30% fruit. But of course, you can start with one handful of greens and then slowly increase the amount as you get used to drinking green smoothies.

If you want a smoothie that is cold, then feel free to add a few ice cubes, or try using frozen fruit. Even bananas can be frozen. Once they are fully ripe, just peel and slice them, then place them in a single layer on a tray and place in freezer until frozen. Once they are slightly frozen transfer then to a freezer bag or plastic container and return to the freezer for later use. So easy!

3 Spinach Smoothies, yogurt, avocado, banana, chia seeds, rice-coconut milk

Creamy Avocado Smoothie

Yogurt is abundant in probiotics that are good for your health, especially your digestive system and avocado helps raise your “good” cholesterol levels. Together with sweet banana they make your spinach smoothies extra creamy and delicious!

Yields 2 servings. Use organic ingredients when possible.

INGREDIENTS:
1 ripe avocado
2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 large ripe banana
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 x 125 g container natural sheep or goat milk yogurt
1 1/2 cup unsweetened rice-coconut milk (or other nut/seed milk) (375 ml)
sweetener of choice (optional)

METHOD:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary to reach your desired consistency. Pour into glasses and serve.

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Sweet Beet Smoothie

Naturally sweet, this smoothie tastes more like a treat than a “green” smoothie. Beets are a high-antioxidant and contain a number of nutrients that are cleansing and detoxifying; an added benefit of this sweet smoothie.

Yields 2 servings. Use organic ingredients when possible.

INGREDIENTS:
2 tablespoons raw red beet powder
2 handfuls fresh spinach
2 oranges, peeled and chopped (I used a navel and a blood orange)
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 cup unsweetened rice-coconut milk (or other nut/seed milk) (250 ml)

METHOD:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary to reach your desired consistency. Pour into glasses and serve.

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Layered Spinach Smoothies

Creamy Avocado & Pear Spinach Smoothie layered with Sweet Beet Smoothie

Spinach Pear Smoothie

Sweet, spicy and refreshing symphony of flavors. Low-glycemic and amazingly healthy.

Yields 2 servings. Use organic ingredients when possible.

INGREDIENTS:
1 large ripe pear
2-3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk (or other nut/seed milk) (375 ml)
sweetener of choice (optional)

METHOD:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary to reach your desired consistency. Pour into glasses and serve.

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