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Thru God’s Grace

     And now I commend you to God to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.


Acts 20:32

Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. - Hippocrates

Green Smoothie Basics Pt 2 | This is an easy go to roadmap for creating the smoothies of your dreams!

December 26, 2016

                                                    

 

                   Melody & MiaLana are ready to whip up a refreshing and nutrient dense 'Greenie"!

 

Making smoothies leave us with a multitude of options so this is a ‘roadmap’ of various ingredients to mix and swap for your personal tastes.

 

Greens: There are countless options in the greens family from mild tasting and easy to cover the taste to stronger ones that talk a little more to disguise, or not if you’re like me and actually enjoy the taste of the green in the green smoothie!

Types of Greens and Lettuce include Mild: Green, Romaine, Butter lettuce, Bibb, Endive, Spinach, and Kale, these greens are great for smoothie beginners, (baby spinach & kale even more mild & tender; especially delicious on salads!)

 

Many other types of greens are available and these are more peppery, and emit a stronger flavor (though still make a tasty smoothie!), these include: Arugula, Radicchio, Swiss Chard, Rainbow Chard, Collards, Dandelion Beet & Carrot Greens ( yep, those leafy tops are full of nutrients too!), and Book Choy, oh boy, there are so many to choose from!

Greens, are the super stars of every green smoothie because they are chock full of  Phytonutrients, Antioxidants (Cancer & Disease fighters!), Vitamins and Minerals and yes, Protein.  It’s always best to rotate the type of greens you use in your Greenies because all greens carry tiny amounts of toxins which protect them form being wiped out by being consumed by other animals.  In order to prevent the build up of these toxins over time, its best to change it up every couple weeks or so! I’m guilty of forgetting to do this myself!

Herbs are another delicious addition to green smoothies, just a few of these include: Parsley, Basil (delicious with fruit!), Mint, Dill, Oregano, Rosemary, Cilantro, thyme,  and Lemongrass.

 

 A few common spices include, Cinnamon, Turmeric, Ginger, Cloves, Cayenne pepper, Vanilla, Nutmeg, and Mint!  These additions not only add tons of flavor to smoothies but powerful ingredients that assist our body in healing and daily functioning.

 

(Many times I’ll just use fresh herbs,and spices, along with fruit with a touch of something creamy like Avocado, I really love those herbal flavors!). In a later post I’ll be discussing all of the benefits of using herbs and spices in smoothies and all, food preparation Yum! 

 

Bring on the nuts!  Seeds too!  Smoothies can be high in Protein without using any powdered  mix.  Seeds and nuts are a good way to add in good fats and bump up the protein factor, which keeps you full longer, and add  flavor, and extra creaminess.

 

Seeds and nuts are relatively easy to find in most markets, some of the variety found are Sesame, Pumpkin ( often labeled Pepitas ), Sunflower, Hemp ( my fave for super creaminess!) and Flax seed.

Nuts too, add a smooth creaminess to smoothies along with protein, obviously, if you have nut allergies stick to seeds only. I purchase some of my nuts/seeds right on trusty ole amazon.com, Costco also has a selection to choose from)  Nuts come in many varieties so it’s easy to mix and match according to your tastes.  Both seeds and nuts should be UNSALTED, preferably, raw ( raw seeds/nuts are readily available at most markets these days), but toasted it fine too. They shouldn’t contain anything other than the seed or nut, we don’t want unsavory ingredients slipping into our nutritious smoothies!  

Tasty varieties of nuts include, Cashews, Macadamias, Almonds, Pistachios, Walnuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, and Hazelnuts to name a few and most commonly found in most markets.  I always purchase my nuts Raw and unseasoned as they contain all of their nutrients and don’t have any aded ingredients like salt, sugar or flavorings.  Nut Butters can also be used in place of actual dry nuts and lucky for us it’s pretty easy to find most any nut butter of your choice in most stores as well.  If you prefer, you can make you own using fresh nuts or seeds! I have a blog post on home made seed and nut butters!

 

Who doesn’t want a nice creamy smoothie? For me the thicker and creamier the better, because it deludes my brain into believing I’m partaking in a milkshake!  There are quite a few additions for improving the texture of your smoothie, Avocados are great (in small amounts) for adding thickness and smoothness, they’re also high in Omega 3’s and super for the skin!).   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the most popular ingredients for crating ‘thickem’ smoothies is the addition of Bananas (those                                        [Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com]

 

 hard working little Potassium boosters!), especially frozen ones, because they give the smoothie that ‘milkshake’ feel and taste, as well as making it easier to hide the flavors of your greens! (unless you’re weird like me and like the ‘green’ flavor!).  Zucchini, yes the veg also imparts a smooth creaminess to

 

    [Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com]

 

your smoothie. Nut and seed butters, Coconut Butter (made from pureed coconut; I like Nutiva Coconut Manna amazon.com  & stay tuned for my blog post on that delicious stuff and what you can do with it!), and Frozen Fruits like Mango will give you a nice creamy smoothie.

 

 

 

If you’re making a Savory smoothie, one without any sweetness composed of mostly veggies, you won’t need to add anything to sweeten it, although some veggies may impart a slightly sweet flavor; like Tomatoes (though actually a fruit!), Carrots, any sweet herbs and spices like Mint or Cinnamon.

However, if you enjoy your smoothie on the sweeter side you can sweeten them naturally using Dates (Medjoll are the type most commonly found in markets), but there are many varieties to

                    [ Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com ]

 

experiment with! I use nuts.com if I’m not buying locally. 

 

Obviously, most any ripe fruit will sweeten your smoothie and if you still need to kick it up a notch there is Honey (raw if you prefer, higher in Bee Pollen and other nutrients, but not a necessity, or if you suffer from allergies like me to bee pollen!), Maple syrup, Coconut Sugar, and Molasses.  

Blood sugar friendly sweetness include Stevia (found in most markets) has been helpful in not raising blood sugar levels.  If you choose to purchase stevia read the labels, because in many brands there are other ingredients; additives, added to the actual stevia. Most store brands will contain at least one or more  of types of additives for a ‘better’ powdery product, if you want the purest form of stevia purchase a product that’s 100% Pure stevia extract, (it may be a touch difficult to find in stores but it can be found at natural food markets and online amazon.com). Another alternative is Pure Liquid Stevia (alcohol free if possible). Choosing additive free stevia ensures that you won’t have any adverse reactions to this product. 

 

 

Certain spices are sweeter and will help to bump up the sweet factor in smoothies such as Cinnamon (also great for blood sugar control along with a ton of other health benefits!), Nutmeg, Allspice, Mint, Vanilla Bean, Extract, or Powder and most other natural extract flavorings (orange, chocolate, almond etc…), just make sure they have not ‘extras’ added, only the pure extract.  Let’s not forget Cocoa powder (full of heart healthy benefits), and Coffee!

 

See how much fun it can be making Greenies?  There is an endless variety of health boosting tasty ingredients to add to create anything from savory, to dessert smoothies! Yes those exist too!! (can you say Mocha-Coffee smoothie? :{} )

 

I’m so happy to have you join me in smoothie expeditions! Lets drink to our health!!!

 

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