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Power Up with a Green Smoothie

Ever have days where you just don’t feel like eating your veggies? I sure do, and that’s when I break out the blender…so I can drink them!

This simple, kid-friendly recipe is a ideal way to start your day….Packed with high vibrational veggies, it powers your body with antioxidant nutrients, fiber and healthy fats:

You’ll need:

  • 1-2 cups of fresh organic greens, like spinach, kale, chard, microgreens, and even lettuces
  • Sliced organic cucumber or celery
  • Peeled organic apple slices or banana
  • ¼ to ½ avocado
  • 2-3 tsp of fresh lemon juice
  • 2-3 tsp of minced ginger root or juice
  • Preferred liquid – any combination of filtered water, coconut water, ginger tea, apple cider or juice, or even lemonade
  • Optional: peeled, chopped turmeric root (and a few grinds of black pepper for better absorption)
  • Optional – chia seeds for omega-3 and extra fiber

To make the green smoothie:

Pack your blender with the greens, cucumber or celery, choice of fruit (for natural sweetness), and avocado.

Add fresh lemon juice and ginger root or juice (more on this below).

Add any other optional ingredients. I like chia seeds for added omega-3 fats and fiber, and turmeric root for an antioxidant boost (however, if making for children, I would skip the turmeric and pepper, unless you know they already like those flavors).

Add liquid of choice to achieve desired consistency, then blend until homogenized. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

While you can make this drink in a juicer, I prefer a blender because you get all the heart-healthy fiber when pureeing all the veggies together.

For the liquid, I personally prefer coconut water or (cooled) ginger tea, but have found that apple cider and lemonade are the best options to get small children or leery adults to drink their greens. If using apple cider or juice, you may not need the sliced apple, as the cider often provides enough sweetness to get even picky eaters on board with drinking it. And by omitting the apple, you can pack even more green goodies into your blender!

Now I also suggest using lemonade if you or a child is new to green smoothies. Yes, it contains added sugar, which I try to avoid as much as possible, but it makes for a very tasty smoothie… and if it will mean the difference between eating and not eating green veggies, the benefits outweigh the risks. The fiber in all the fruits and veggies will help slow down the body’s insulin release, as will the healthy, monounsaturated fat in the avocado. If you choose to use lemonade, you may want to add sliced apple or banana for sweetness, so you can be less reliant on the lemonade as a sweetener.

Now, I mentioned ginger juice earlier… I love adding ginger to smoothies for two reasons. First, as an anti-inflammatory herb that helps blood vessels relax, ginger promotes healthy blood circulation and thus supports heart health. Ginger also helps combat nausea, so can be a helpful balancing agent for children and adults who haven’t yet warmed up to eating green veggies. It’s a dynamite flavor combo with fresh lemon juice.

If you don’t have a juicer, you can make your own ginger juice in the blender by pureeing peeled ginger root with water, then filtering the liquid through a strainer or cheesecloth. Then store it in the fridge for daily use (you can also add it to stir-fries and soups for a kick of ginger flavor). If you prefer to use tea, you can buy ginger tea bags or DIY with ginger root: simply peel and slice the root, then boil in water for 7 or 8 minutes. Strain the ginger root from the tea and cool until needed.

© 2020 Stephen Sinatra, M.D. All rights reserved.

Photo credit: Teri Verbickis @ 123rf.com

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