You may recall that last month I took it upon myself to undertake a 30-day Green Smoothie Challenge. It was inspired by thispost which presented the concept of trying something new for 30 days. In the spirit of discovery and self-development I went for it!
So now the 30 days are up…what have I learnt?
Did I come to love the Green Smoothie?
Well I have certainly found my preferences and have also come up with a few ideas in terms of preparation….more investigations yet to come on that. I didn’t try a new flavour every day since I usuall made up a large pitcher and then froze two portion for following days, so roughly a new flavour combo every three days.
I quickly discover my favourite fruit mixer….mango! The intense sweetness and the high pectin content make for a super smooth smoothie capable of disguising a lot of greens! Also the yellow colour makes for a refreshingly coloured smoothie whereas red berries create more of a green sludge…not so easy on the eyes! I found that with mango I could use lots of different types of leafy greens without really noticing the difference.
This guide is also a really great reasource in making your own.
Here are a selection of my smoothie combinations (they make anywhere between 1 and 3 glasses worth):
1) 2 cup spinach, 1 small banana, 2 cup frozen mango, 1 cup water
2) 2 baby gem lettuce, 1 cup water, 1 medium banana, 1 cup tinned peaches
3) 2 baby gem lettuce, handful spinach, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 tbs cacao powder, 1 cup water
4) carrot cake smoothie
5) 2 cups lambs lettuce, ½ cup cucumber, 1 apple, 1 banana, pinch cinnamon, 1tsp maca powder, 1 cup
6) 1 large cup frozen strawberries, 2 cups spinach, ½ tsp fresh ginger, 1 large cup water (tasted odd)
7) 1 cup fresh mango, 1 ½ cup mixed greens, 1 cup water
8) 1 cup mango, 1 cup apple, 1 cup lambs lettuce, 3 romain lettuce leaves, half an avocado, 1tbs maca powder, 2 cup water, ½ cup apple juice
9) 1 cup spinach, 3 leaves romain lettuce, 1 stick celery, 1 apple, 1 banana, ¾ cup water
10) 1 cup spinach, 5 basil leaves, ½ cup blueberrys, 1 tbs cashew butter, 1 tsp maca powder, 1 tsp carob powder, 1 cup water, 6 dates (tasted horrible)
11) 1 cup mango, 1 large cup spinach, ¼ cup cucumber, ¼ cup orange juice, 1 cup water, 4 large fresh mint leaves (best flavour)
12) 1.5 cups spinach, 1tsp coconut oil, 1tsp maca powder, 2 tsp cacoa powder, 1 tsp super greens powder, ½ cup blueberries, ¼ cup strawberries (based on this shake)
13) 1 orange peeled, ½ mango, 1 scoop hemp protein powder, 1 tbs ground flax or chia, 2 cups mixed greens, ½-1 cup water (hemp powder was gritty- see note below)
Key things I discovered:
Using red berries turns the smoothie a sludgey dark colour, using banana/apple/mango keeps it a lighter green colour. If using berries (Particularly blue berries) add cacao/carob so that it looks chocolatey and not sludgy.
Celery and cucumber and mint leaves were refreshing additions.
Fresh mango is my favourite fruit mixer, fresh is much better than frozen as it has a sweeter stringer taste.
Apple makes the smoothie a bit frothy, not my preference as it isless smooth than banana/mango on its own.
Fruits with a high soluble fibre content work best at creating a smooth consistency. Use mango, peach kiwi or banana.
Really cold smoothies make the taste of the greens much less noticeable
I had a play with combining proteins, fats and superfood powders in my shakes. The protein just didn’t work for me as I found it gritty. I have since had an idea of a simply recipe that would provide for the fats and proteins separately so the smoothie can be drunk in its pure and simple state. More on that to come!
So the ‘Citrus Mango Cooler’ has become my ultimate smoothie combination:
1 cup mango, 1 large cup spinach, ¼ cup cucumber, ¼ cup orange juice, 1 cup water, 4 large fresh mint leaves (mint is optional but extra refreshing)
This is also great frozen and then served as a granita…more on that to come too!
So am I going to keep it up? Well I have a few more experiments up my sleeve…. I wouldn’t necessarily continue with a daily smoothie in its current form, partly due to cost since that amount or organic fruits and veg consumed each day soon adds up! I will keep you posted.
In the mean time if you are not already a Green Smoothie convert…give it a try and find out you own favourite combinations. What have you got to loose?