The day we got a Vitamix was the day my life changed forever. Our kitchen became a playground for all sorts of interesting gastronomy. Salad dressings, muffins, asparagus soup, banana ice cream. But my single favorite creation is a simple one. The green smoothie.
What the hell is a green smoothie, you ask? I'm no food scientist, but I classify a green smoothie as a smoothie blended with whole greens - kale and spinach are my main favorites but you can really blend anything. Except the time Mike tried blending mustard greens. Vom.
A green juice is the juiced version of a whole green - basically squeezing the juice out away from the fiber. I dig green juices too, but I prefer to the get the fiber. Hence why I bought a vitamix and not a juicer. I am not a big fan of non-green juices. I am conscious of my sugar consumption (both for my weight and my mood) and fruit based juices tend to send my blood sugar to Mars. Straight green juices can be pretty gnarly, so they need to be mixed with something to cut the taste - just be wary of green juices that have apple juice or pineapple juice as the main liquid, chances are the sugar content is pretty high.
Peeps ask me what I put in my smoothies. You know, I used to put all sorts of craziness in them - bee pollen, spirulina, Vega protein powder, chia seeds, goji berries. And that stuff is awesome, but for the past year or so, I've kept it simple. And it never gets old. But I'm also the type of person who can eat the same exact thing every day for years so feel free to experiment. I'm also super weird in the fact that I hate ice water but I love cold smoothies. Like really freezing cold. So I freeze everything before I blend it, even my kale. That way it becomes really a cup of frosty goodness. When I use mango (I buy the pre-cut organic frozen chunks) they also act like ice cubes - which makes it even colder. Yum.
Amy's really basic smoothie
- 2 handfuls of frozen kale (I use lacinato)
- 1/2 large banana or 1 small banana - frozen
- 1/2 cup frozen mango or handful of ice cubes
- 8 oz unsweetened vanilla almond milk or 4 oz sweetened almond milk/4 oz water or 8 oz coconut water if you don't do almonds.
- Unsweetened coconut flakes for topping
- Cut a banana into halves and freeze overnight.
- Rinse kale thoroughly, cut stems out of kale, tear into smaller pieces and freeze overnight.
- Add banana, mango and kale to blender.
- Pour almond milk (or whatever liquid you're using) over the fruits/veggies.
- Start blender on low and build up - blend until all the kale is pulverized. Pow.
- Pour into a glass and sprinkle coconut on top.
- Insert paper straw for bonus points.
A quick note on blenders. I tried quite a few before going the Vitamix route. I broke a couple cheaper models, and didn't love the Ninja because I ended up chewing the kale in my smoothies. If you're seriously going to use it, I recommend a professional quality blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec. It's definitely an investment, but it really makes a huge difference.