"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious" ~ Albert Einstein

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Lean, Mean, Green Smoothie

I keep hearing about how healthy green juices and green smoothies are supposed to be, so I figured I should try a few. Also, Rebecca has been making a yummy green smoothie for breakfast that I tried on several occasions. I recently came across one called “Workout Recovery Smoothie” on the Navitas Naturals web page, so I started making that one not too long ago for myself.   I even used it to recover after a workout, or two - imagine that!

Since then, I’ve modified some of the ingredient amounts and added in quite a few too. So, maybe I earned the right to rename it and call it my own recipe? Well, probably not, but … I call it the Lean, Mean, Green Smoothie, and it’s quite possibly the greenest smoothie on the planet.

Here’s the impressive lineup of ingredients. Kitchen counter space can be one of the main challenges to making this one.  Believe it, or not, an ingredient (Hemp Protein Powder) was missing because we were all out: 

First thing you gotta do is start soaking the Goji berries, unless you actually have fresh ones, but most folks typically get them dehydrated.  You can see mine soaking in the image above, with the big jar of dehydrated berries right behind.

Add a medium-size handful of Goji berries to 1 2/3 cup of coconut water. Let them soak for about 10-15 minutes, or until they start to soften. See if you can solve the mystery as to why some float and why some sink. 

While that’s going on, you can start getting the rest of the ingredients out, as follows:

  • 1 frozen banana (sliced into small slices – before freezing!)
  • ¼ cup, or less, of Walnuts (too many will give it an unpleasantly smooth consistency. Trust me! I learned that the hard way!)
  • 1 Tbsp Hemp Protein Powder
  • 2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds
  • 1 tsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Maca Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Organic India Psyllium Husk (6 grams of fiber, right there)
  • 1 scoop Amazing Grass Chocolate (or Green) Super Food Powder
  • 1 tsp Wheatgrass Powder
  • 2 tsp Spirulina (or 1 tsp, if you don’t like the taste of Spirulina as much as I do)
  • 1 tsp Noni Fruit Powder
  • 1 handful Kale
  • 1 handful Spinach
  • Stevia for sweetness, although I find it usually doesn’t need it. 

(Stevia is a great sweetener because it’s a herb and doesn’t have the negative health consequences sugar does. The taste doesn’t agree with some folks, though.)

Note: make sure the Kale is organic! It’s one of the most nutrient dense green leafy guys you can eat, but it’s also on the Dirty Dozen list, which means non-organic grocery-store-bought Kale is also likely to be covered in the most pesticides.

Once the Goji Berries are good to go, combine everything in a blender and go. 

Here’s all the ingredients in our lean, mean, green (errr, red) smoothie machine … a.k.a, a cheap-ass Black And Decker, but, hey, it gets the job done (most of the time …)

Who’s got a Vitamix they want to trade with us?

Add in more coconut water, or even plain water if you want to thin it out a bit. Ice cubes are another option if you want it a bit “chilled”. Yet another option is to use Water Kefir instead of the coconut water, making this a potent probiotic drink too!

Anyhow, you should end up with a very green-looking concoction like the one below. Doesn't it look yummy? Hard to say sometimes, but it sure tastes yummy.

The Lean, Mean, Green Smoothie

Doesn’t get any greener than that!

Would you like some smoothie in your chlorophyll?

If you’re new to green smoothies, I’d probably recommend starting with the Navitas Naturals recipe and see how you like that one first. It’s really good, too. As a matter of fact, Rebecca prefers that one over this recipe.


Ingredient Highlight: Spirulina!
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that has been living on the planet since the appearance of life.  The green color is derived from chlorophyll. The blue color is derived from the potent phytopigment phycocyanin (I have no idea how to pronounce that either!).  Phycocyanin appears only in Spirulina.  Being one of the simplest and earliest lifeforms it has a long history of developing and sustaining the food chain, providing the fundamental nutrient and food sources for life.  Spirulina is 65-71% protein by weight.  And, it is a complete protein source, containing all eight essential amino acids, and eighteen amino acids in total.  (An essential amino acid is one your body cannot make and can only get from diet)  Is rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, E and K.  It also contains many phytonutrients, caretenoids, Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) and minerals like Iron, Magnesium, Selenium and Zinc.  Research indicates that Spirulina helps support the immune system, helps support and maintain blood pressure, assists in heavy metal detoxification, helps support optimal gastrointestinal flora and more.  It's quite the superfood! **

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