My friend Dave (check out his site here) brought his lovely wife Sonia to a BBQ this weekend. She is a private chef who specializes in paleo food. I got a chance to speak with her, and she told me of this great green smoothie she makes every morning. I follow her on instagram (check out her instagram here) so I decided to see if the recipe for this would be on there and sure enough it was! Here is my rendition of this smoothie! I hope you enjoy it 🙂
2 large handfuls of greens – I used mesclun mix
1 large stalk of celery, cut into 3 pieces
1 knob of ginger, skin peeled
juice of half a lemon (make sure no seeds get in!)
1 tsp of ground flax seed
a few stalks of cilantro
1 cup of water
Put all of your ingredients in a blender and blend on a medium high speeds to break down all the parts then on high to finely incorporate all the ingredients. Serve and enjoy!
Usually I’m a sweet smoothie/juice kind of person, and while this wasn’t sweet it was very mild in flavour, which I was surprised to find. The baby greens helps with this but you could definitely use a mature kale or chard as well if you like a more robust flavour. Sonia’s recipe contains spinach, celery, parsley/cilantro, cucumber, flax, and water so you can see how easy it is to adjust a recipe based on what kind of flavours you like!
Here are my substitution ideas:
Greens: mesclun mix, spinach, kale, swiss chard
Other veggies: cucumber, carrot, cabbage, beets
Fruit: apple, avocado (if you like thicker smoothies), banana, berries
Herbs and flavour adders: parsley, cilantro, mint, lemon, honey, cayenne (for a kick!)
Sonia mentioned to me was that this smoothie is a way she uses to ensure she gets sufficient greens in her diet. I think this is an excellent way for everyone to include dark leafy greens since they are so vital for many reasons. Check out this post on the important phytonutrients in greens. Everyone is so busy nowadays and often times our constant rush results in nutrition being put on the back burner. We skip breakfast, forget to pack a lunch for work/school, eat out in restaurants where we don’t know what ingredients and condiments are added in the food, and then we wonder why we are sluggish, foggy, fatigued, and fat. Vegetables are absolutely essential in our daily diet, so if you find you want to include more in your diet or you are weary of these green, gastrointestinal buddies then try using them in smoothies. Add some apples and carrots and your kids will like them too!
I asked her why she doesn’t juice them and she gave me two really good answers. Firstly, you need a much larger volume of veg and fruit, so it gets expensive and is time consuming to juice then to clear the whole juicer. She also noted how juices pass into the system quickly, giving an initial jolt of energy but then hunger sets in quickly. In addition to this, you basically have to drink juices right away because they oxidize quickly and it’s always best to keep them in glass containers which can be heavy and clunky, so this might be a barrier to wanting to juice. Secondly, she said she loves that this keeps the fibre from the vegetables and with the addition of the flax seed, it provides a high amount of fibre for the day. Fibre keeps us full, acts like a broom within the intestines to sweep everything along and keep bowel movements regular, and also helps to lower blood sugar levels (this is important for everyone, but especially those with hypertension, diabetes, and obesity). Fibre is our friend!
If you browse the internet you can find a really interesting array of perspectives and opinions on whether juicing is better than blending or vice versa. My thoughts? If your alternative option is consuming nothing at all, it doesn’t matter what method of preparation you pick. Just and drink something!
Sonia has got some great recipes, so make sure you check out her instagram!! Her website is paleosonia.com but it’s not up and running yet, so make sure to check back frequently!