3-Ways, Drinks
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Healthy Summer Green Smoothies 3-Ways

Whole Food Green Smoothie with Swiss Chard, Cucumber, Celery, Ginger, Lemon, Apple

Knocking back a concoction of powerful nutrients in one drink is a great way to give your body a super-charged start to the day. Smoothies are a great way to incorporate loads of nutrients and health boosting antioxidants into your morning routine.

With local strawberries in full season for the greater part of June and part of July, I have been enjoying vitamin C loaded strawberry smoothies. They ruby gems are one of the best sources of vitamin C, with just one cup of these berries giving you almost 113% of your required daily intake – the highest of all fruits! Not only are they super yummy, but they are great for boosting your immune system, are packed with antioxidants and have superb anti-inflammatory properties.

Making smoothies with berries is simple. Along with a mass of berries, I usually throw in a few leaves from whatever greens are in the fridge, a handful of herbs such as parsley and mint, half an organic cucumber, some freshly grated ginger, some plant-based protein powder and a healthy sized drizzle of flaxseed oil. For my favorite Schwabe, I even toss in a banana or a little honey since he likes his smoothies a little sweeter. So easy, so good.

I don’t always put protein powder in my smoothies, but on occasion I like to give my smoothies a real boost, especially if I am eating a lot of vegetarian meals without enough plant proteins.

Adding a little dehydrated and pulverized plant-based protein powder just helps boost my daily intake in a tasty and convenient way. It’s important to buy a good quality product that use whole ingredients that are organic and non-GMO (in addition to, I prefer a raw, gluten-free, vegan product). Read the label. If you don’t know what the ingredient is or can’t pronounce it, don’t buy it.

Whole Food Green Smoothie with Swiss Chard, Cucumber, Celery, Ginger, Lemon, Apple

Green Morning Glory Smoothie with Apple, Swiss Chard, Cucumber, Celery, Ginger, Lemon & Herbs

There is a reason for all the hype around green smoothies. Not only are greens in their raw state packed full of nutrients, plus a whole lot of fiber, but they also contain very low levels of sugar, enhance your digestive system—which helps detoxify and cleanse your body through the elimination of waste—and keep your body in an alkaline state. You can just feel it when you provide your body with the much-needed nutrients that are essential to overall health and vitality. It makes you feel good.

Fats are important too (good fats of course). They help aid the absorption of important fat soluble Vitamins like K and E, which also help the absorption of minerals. In a smoothie try adding a little bit of things like coconut oil, ground chia or flax seeds, a few ground nuts, hemp seeds, nut milk/butter, avocado, flaxseed oil. You don’t need much, no more than a tablespoon of concentrated fat per person.

So now with strawberry season approaching an end, I’m not entirely moving on from my berry smoothies, but I am incorporating more green smoothies into my repertoire for the rest of summer. Here are some of fabulous greens I am using – all of which are locally grown and abundant in the summer months:

Swiss chard: June to September
Celery: July to October
Cucumber: July to September
Spinach: abundant from March to October (with decreasing quantities in the peak of summer)

Green Morning Glory

This is antioxidant rich green smoothie is particularly good for stimulating digestion, the metabolism, and boosting the immune system.

Yields 2 large smoothies. Use organic ingredients when possible.

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup cloudy apple juice (250 ml) (or water for seasoned green smoothie drinkers)
6 Swiss chard leaves (just leafy parts)
2 mini cucumbers, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
juice from 1/2 lemon
small handful fresh cilantro or mint leaves
small handful fresh parsley
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
3 teaspoons avocado oil
dash of cayenne

METHOD:
Blend together and enjoy!

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Sweet & Green Almond Smoothie

A smoothie with has an extra dose of protein and vitamin E.

Mango Green Almond Smoothie

Sweet & Green Almond Smoothie

Yields 2 servings. Use organic ingredients when possible.

INGREDIENTS:
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1 handful baby spinach (or 2 Swiss chard leaves)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (250 ml)
2 tablespoons plant-based protein powder
1 tablespoon almond butter

METHOD:
Blend together and enjoy!

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Berries & Greens Smoothie

This one’s a tasty and balanced meal brimming with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats.

Whole Food Berry & Greens Smoothie

Yields 2 servings. Use organic ingredients when possible.

INGREDIENTS:
2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries (can also use a mix of blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
3 apricots
3 handfuls baby spinach
1 small container goats milk yogurt
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons plant-based protein powder
2 teaspoons honey (optional)

METHOD:
Blend together and enjoy!

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