More Leafy Greens Please
Blending leafy greens into a smoothie is a great way to increase your consumption of these chlorophyll-rich wonders in a really tasty, fun way. Greens are loaded with nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, and they oxygenate the cells and blood.
They also help boost immunity; alkalize and detoxify the body; combat disease and infection; promote healthy skin, nails, and hair; and act as prebiotics to encourage the proliferation of friendly bacteria, keeping the body in balance.
If you’re struggling with the idea of drinking wet leaves, ease into the green-smoothie experience gradually and train your taste buds. Start with fruit-based blends that use coconut water, plain water, or milks, and add small amounts of mild leafy greens such as spinach, romaine, or radish greens. The subtle flavors of these vegetables are easily masked by sweet fruits.
After enjoying these introductory green smoothies, try reducing the amount of fruit and increasing the vegetables. Move from these light weights to the medium greens: kale, chard, collards, beet greens, and bok choy; then try the strong greens like dandelion greens and arugula.
Fresh herbs elevate the flavor of smoothies to a divine dimension. Do not substitute dried herbs, or even try them in smoothies. Dried herbs just don’t work in smoothies, and the unpalatable bitterness is a bummer. My favorite fresh herbs for smoothies are basil, mint, parsley, cilantro, and rosemary.
My Favorite Leafy Green is Kale
Kale is a popular addition to smoothies because 1 cup can be added to most shakes without changing the flavor. Go for deeply colored, vibrant, crisp leaves without any signs of wilting, yellowing, or browning. Kale has a slightly bitter flavor reminiscent of broccoli and is stronger than spinach. For a mild shake, start with 1 cup. If you go with 2 cups or more, balance the flavor with sweet fruits. Pineapple, mango, berries, grapes, apple, peach, and banana all pair well with kale, as does tomato, avocado, coconut, chile, lime, lemon (juice and zest), and bell pepper, particularly in savory blends.
Kale is more fibrous than spinach and may not fully liquefy in a conventional blender. For the smoothest texture, remove the ribs and chop the leaves
finely. Or try baby kale leaves, which are softer and less bitter in flavor. The phytonutrients in kale have powerful antimicrobial properties that are unleashed
when the leaves are chopped, chewed, or blended. Packed with vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, folate, and fiber, kale boosts immunity; promotes respiratory, heart, bone, and digestive health; and boosts energy. High in chlorophyll, kale isalso intensely alkalizing and reduces inflammation, making it an amazing health booster.
The goal is to experiment and incorporate healthy healthy greens into your diet. Also don’t forget to rotate your greens.