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The Green Smoothie Revolution

October 15th, 2009 No Comments

— By Nutritionista

As some of you know by now, I’ve been a big fan of green smoothies (or “green monsters,” as they’re often known in the blog world) for awhile now, as are many other health bloggers. Angela, of Oh She Glows, even created a website devoted to them: The Green Monster Movement. Green smoothies are rightfully so popular because they’re a tasty way to get more veggies (specifically, greens), even at breakfast, and blending is cheaper and easier than juicing. The kind people at North Atlantic Books found out about my passion for blended greens and sent me Victoria Boutenko’s new book, Green Smoothie Revolution. The book has 200 simple recipes for green smoothies (trust me, they’re very simple), and also discusses some FAQs regarding the yummy green drinks.

One thing I learned from the book that I didn’t know previously is that it’s very important to rotate your greens. Greens contain alkaloids, which can be somewhat poisonous in large quantities. Using just spinach or just kale can cause the same type of alkaloids to accumulate in your system, sometimes causing symptoms of poisoning. If you rotate your greens, you can avoid getting too much of one kind of alkaloid (and also get the benefits of many different types of greens!).

Some less common greens you can include in smoothies:

  • bok choy
  • arugula
  • collard greens
  • escarole
  • endive
  • radicchio
  • romaine
  • turnip greens
  • mustard greens
  • celery
  • chard
  • endive

The book provides lots of other info and inspiration — basically anything you could ever want to know about green, blended drinks. Although I can’t publish any of Victoria’s actual recipes, I thought I’d share with you one of my standard green smoothies (I had it for breakfast this morning!). It contains the following ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 3-4 Tbsp hemp protein
  • 2-3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 frozen banana (about 1)
  • 4-5 ice cubes

In her book, Victoria argues that greens contain enough protein that you don’t need to add extra. However, if I’m going to be eating a green smoothie for breakfast, I know I need to get a decent amount of protein so that I’m not hungry again in an hour or two.

Here’s my smoothie, pre-blending. See how much spinach you can add?

And here it is all blended up:

It looks very… swampy. But I promise, it tastes delicious. It doesn’t have the earthy taste of spinach at all. I ended up eating this smoothie soup-style out of a bowl. I swear, it’s like eating ice cream for breakfast!

The secret is using frozen bananas. They make the best smoothies, texture-wise. You can also experiment with using other frozen fruit, but I don’t recommend using frozen greens because for whatever reason, they taste horrible in smoothies.

One more thing: Want to win a copy of Green Smoothie Revolution? Because the people at North Atlantic Books are so awesome, they offered to give a copy of the book to a Nutritionista/More Than Mary reader. All you have to do is link back to this post on your own blog and include a recipe for your favorite green smoothie (or one you’d like to try). Then, email me with a link to the post on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, you can comment on this post (either on More Than Mary or Nutritionista) to be entered for a chance to win. U.S. residents only, please. Last day to enter is Sunday, Oct. 18, and we’ll randomly pick a winner on Monday, Oct. 19.

Happy blending!