I’ve been wanting to eat more vegetables, especially greens, because they’re so healthy and taste really good and are really cheap, but they always go bad before I can cook them all. I heard about green smoothies through my Mom, who heard about it when a Mom shared her experience with drinking green smoothies at a MOPS meeting.
I looked at green smoothie blogs to get a better idea about how to make them, because my first reaction was, “eww greens in a smoothie?!” So I copied down some recipes from some blogs and I went to the store and bought the produce to try a few.
I started with romaine lettuce because I know it’s kinda mild in taste and I wanted to kind of ease my pallet into drinking green smoothies, also I needed to buy other salad ingredients anyway.
I’ve also heard a lot of good things about juicing, but something in me screams “that’s not healthy,” so I prefer to go with the smoothies. I think eating whole foods whenever possible is best. Juicing might be very hydrating and good on an occasional basis, but what about all the healthy benefits from the fiber that’s getting thrown away after juicing. I think God created us to eat and enjoy the whole fruit or vegetable. Whenever scientists have wanted to extract the perfect nutrients to consume in the form of pill or powdered formula, they have always come up short. Sooner or later studies show why some other nutrient or aspect of a food is needed for the body. I’m not phrasing this very well, but you can read more about it in The Omnivore’s Dilemma if you want. Anyway, all that to say, green smoothies are just whole foods in pureed form.
Normally making breakfast either takes a long time (like for waffles or hot cereal) or I just eat something quick like pb/j or cold cereal, but none of the above leave me satisfied for very long. I get really hungry again, within a few minutes. But this morning, my stomach felt good, not overstuffed, but not hungry either. I also felt full of energy for several hours, where as I just want to take a nap with any of the other breakfast options. Now to be fair the “full of energy” feeling may also have a lot to do with the fact that I got a full 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep (not woken up to feed baby) for the first time since my baby was born. Sleep is an amazing thing, and I have definitely missed it this past year.
Anyway, my 1 year old also really liked the smoothie. I gave him only a little bit to try and he downed it. And it’s not like he was totally ravenous because he had just eaten an arrowroot cookie (which is VERY sweet), a whole banana, and some blueberries. My husband liked it too, and he wasn’t really sold on the green smoothies idea when I first mentioned it to him.
I’m definitely gonna try more green smoothies. They’re cheap and delicious, and it took about 3-5min to make and 3-5 min to clean up. You can’t beat that with any quick recipe. Plus my baby is still not able to chew greens very well, but he’s at the age where he doesn’t really like to be spoon fed any more, although he will tolerate it. So it’s much easier if I can give him his greens pureed and let him drink them himself with his sippy cup and straw.
Ok, enough babbling, here’s the recipe, adapted from the recipe from the MOPS talk:
1 cup water
1/4 head of romaine lettuce
1/2 cup blueberries
Measure water in the blender. Place banana in a few chunks. Next take the washed romaine leaves and rip them into small pieces with your hands, or roughly chop, and place on top of the bananas. Next add the blueberries.
Adding the ingredients this way made them fall down to the blades on their own (without me having to push them down with a spoon) and get chopped as evenly and as small as was possible with my blender. Hardcore green smoothie people have really powerful blenders, so they can stick a whole leaf of a green in and a whole half an apple and it’ll get thoroughly pulverized, but my blender is just a normal one, so I need to help it out a little. That’s why you see some little specks of blueberry skins, but it didn’t bother me at all. The banana gives it that smoothie texture and the blueberries and bananas together made it sweet. I could taste the romaine just a little, but it wasn’t overly bitter like I expected. It was good.