It seems green smoothies are all the rage in the blogosphere right now. So much so that I almost hate to post about them; I’m not a big fan of redundancy BUT they fit so well with our super foods, especially kale for this week. We love green smoothies as an addition to a basic oatmeal breakfast, but they also make a perfect after-school snack and even a dessert!
They’re a great way to get green veggies in your diet without having limp spinach leaves on your plate and wondering how you’ll convince your kids (and husband?) to consume them.
Green Smoothie Basics
- Put some greens (kale, spinach, lettuce, swiss chard, etc.) in the blender.
- Blend with milk and yogurt until smooth.
- Add fruit, frozen for best “ice cream like” consistency.
- Blend again.
Cooked Smoothies? Yuck!
In researching nutrition information about vegetables, however, I learned that there are some foods that are better eaten lightly cooked than raw, kale and spinach being among them. (See here for more.) “What about the green smoothies?” I thought. I couldn’t imagine cooking the spinach first…way too much work for what was a great-vegetable-eating-yummy-trick.
The baby food cubes are the answer to the problem. Just lightly steam a big batch of greens, blend up with a bit of water, and freeze in cubes. You can have a whole bag of green cubes ready to go into any smoothie, and with the nutrition of cooked greens to boot.
UPDATE: I cut out the blending part, then the cube part. In other words, you can REALLY make this task quick if you simply chop and lightly steam the greens, douse in cold water, and make a single layer in a gallon-sized zipper bag. Freeze as is and you can break up the greens into chunks for the smoothies without a problem.
Timesaver: Use the same steamer basket you just cooked veggies for dinner in. Also, you can leave a bit in the bottom of the blender, add milk and yogurt, and have green smoothies for dessert that night, so you’re not doing extra dishes with the blender just for the cubes. I promise it doesn’t taste like you put cooked spinach in there!
Added bonus: The more frozen things go into the smoothie, the more like a “dessert” it really is!
Our Best Green Smoothies
Perfect for our family of three:
- 3-5 cubes blanched, frozen greens or 2-3 handfuls fresh
- 2 cups milk and homemade yogurt, any ratio you choose
- 1 frozen banana (this is the key ingredient according to my guys!)
- about a cup of frozen strawberries, peaches or combination; blueberries hide the green color the best if you’re trying to be sneaky on the first go ’round.
- You can also add fresh fruit: we’ve done whole peaches, pears, and melon slices.
- Some folks add a few splashes of orange juice
- You can also add coconut oil for that piña colada flavor and power-packed healthy fats, but be sure to only add it in its liquid form, and drizzle it into the vortex while the blender is on. Otherwise you can end up with little balls of solid coconut oil in the smoothie which gives an awful mouthfeel.
- Add honey or sugar if necessary – but taste it first. Sometimes you really don’t need the sweetener!
Frugal Note: Check your regular stores for prices on kale. I don’t know why, but the store that usually has higher prices in my area sells kale for 99 cents a pound, which is about 60 cents a bunch, but my primary store with the lowest prices sells it for $1.50 a bunch. !! It pays to check when you’re buying something new-to-you that might not be in the regular sale rotation!
What do you put in your smoothies?
Other Green Smoothie Links
- Primal Toad has a whole book of smoothies!
- I learned from Lindsay at Passionate Homemaking.
- Stephanie adds peanut butter!
A blog all about kale!
Other Recipe Connections:
- What to do with the bag of spinach?
- Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
- Potato Salad with the Kids
- Homemade Refried Beans
- The Best Scrambled Eggs Ever
- Happy Uses for Tomatoes