Posts tagged green smoothie
Apple, cabbage and acai smoothie

Now that warmer weather is arriving I crave chilled green smoothies!

Are you a green smoothie fan?

If you are anything like many of my friends and clients, it’s often the colour that they often find off-putting before they’ve even tasted them! The definition of a green smoothie is generally one that contains lots of veggies along with the fruit- so why not use non-green varieties! Beets are an obvious option but here I gave red cabbage a try and it was surprisingly delicious combined with apple. I also added a spoonful of acai berry powder for an extra boost of rich colour and a nutritional hit!

I've only recently started using acai powder and I love it... it gives a gorgeous hue to breakfasts, smoothies and deserts and has a unique semi sweet flavour. The taste is often described as reminiscent of wild berries and chocolate.

So, what is acai?

The acai tree is actually a type of palm tree that is native to the Amazon rainforest region. It grows over 15 meters in height and produces small, dark purple berries. Brazilian natives discovered the healing properties of the acai berry thousands of years ago, as they found it boosted their energy when consumed regularly. Because of its extraordinarily high nutritional value, indigenous tribes also used acai to treat various ailments and support a quick recovery.

Among acai’s many antioxidants is one particular powerhouse called anthocyanin, which is suspected to be the driving force behind acai’s free-radical and age-fighting powers. It’s common in fruits with rich red and purple colors, like grapes and berries, but acai has far more than any other food. Acai’s ORAC level (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) is over 3,500, which is hundreds of times higher than your average fruits like apples and bananas. 

Acai is typically blended into 'acai breakfast bowls' and a quick google will bring up tonnes of inspiration!  Here I wanted to put it to use both as a nutritional boost and as a colour compliment to this red cabbage based smoothie.... yep... red cabbage in a smoothie!!

I wrote this recipe for Definition Fitness Magazine... so you'll need to hop over there to grab the recipe!

Grab the full recipe for the apple, cabbage and acai smoothie here!

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The latest issue of Definition Magazine has now also been published... I have three recipes for you in my column, two are based on my keto experiments and are super low carb friendly but not mega high on fat- so suitable for everyone! 

Sound interesting?

Vegan, female and into fitness, you can check out the magazine preview HERE, and subscribe to the magazine for an annual subscription HERE


Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers plus my FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus. 

Day to day you can always find me hanging out in these places:

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Beginners green smoothie

I love my green smoothies but tend to use much the same recipe over and over just changing the fruit or the leafy greens every so often.

Last weekend I felt a green smoothie craving but didn't have my usual freezer stash of portions pre-blended ready to defrost.  

I used what I had to hand in the fridge, and as it happened it turned out to be a pretty tasty mild and creamy green smoothie, one I would suggest would be perfect for beginners. If you are still feeling a bit hesitant simply change the ratios of fruit to greens a little so it is more heavier on the fruit, then over time you can slowly increase the greens.

Green smoothies are fab for packing in the nutrients in a slower releasing form than a fruit only smoothie that is much higher in fast releasing fruit sugars than can often overload the body with fructose. Here, the addition of nut butter (or avocado if you like) further helps sustain you and spread the sugar load and really gives it the smooth creamy quality. 

If you're a newbie this could be the perfect blend to try. The blend will last for a day in the fridge so you could drink a glass for breakfast and also as a later snack or simply for breakfast for two days running... or in one big glass!

A few extra tips for 'newbies' trying our your own blend- aim to use yellow to green coloured fruits such as orange, banana, mango, apple, kiwi or pear for the best colour. If you use berries along with greens the end result might taste great but you'll end up with a grey sludgy looking smoothie- not so pleasing in the eyes.

Also  it comes to the 'green part'- cucumber, courgette, lettuce, spinach are very mild in taste and are perfect to start with whereas kale, broccoli, rocket etc are stronger tasting or have a coarser texture so may take more blending or be too strong for a beginners palate- just a few thoughts to keep in mind and experiment with!

Also, for those you have already joined my '21 Day Lemon Water Challenge' starting in August 11th this would be a great follow up for breakfast or as a mid afternoon pick me up.

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Recipe: Beginner green smoothie

Serves 1-2

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup water (or more to reach desired thickness)
  • 1 cup loosely packed spinach
  • ½ cup cucumber
  • 1 large orange- peeled*
  • 1-2 tbs cashew butter (more for thicker creaminess)*

 Method

Blend everything together until as smooth as possible. I find it easiest to add half the water first, blend well and then add the remainder and re-blend to get the smoothest consistency.

You could swap some of the water for part ice for immediate chill, This will be thicker so a little extra water may be needed. 

Chill  to serve. Will store in the fridge in an airtight container for 24 hours.

*You could substitute the cashew butter for some avocado. You could also try other fruits- banana, apple to mango are typically great options. If you use berries be warned that the red and green colour combo will turn into more of a greyish sludge.

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 I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up for my newsletter in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers  plus me FREE ebook. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can always find me in these places:

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Green smoothie soup

I'm getting the feeling that the hottest summer days are over.

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I'm also getting the feeling that my blog feels a little neglected! Ok, so only since Monday- still that's not like me! I'm still having a few issues I'm trying to get sorted with is frustrating me, and I feel like I can't push things the way I want to... that's probably just a mental excuse... better stop that one in it's tracks!!

Back to the weather, the 'go to' topic of British conversation.  Where is the sunshine I ask, you know the really hot stuff?  To be fair, we've had a few nice days so I can't complain and isn't it always the case when its mega hot that we just want it to be a little cooler.

This soup was made on one such mega hot day. On a day when I was lacking in energy (and fresh ingredients) to make a dazzling raw salad. On a day when a green smoothie in a glass just wasn't doing it for me...sometimes I just prefer not to 'drink' my food!

So, the solution... put a  thick green smoothie in a bowl decorate it a bit and eat with a spoon. Fool the mind!

The green smoothie is a twist on this one. Long time readers and those who follow me on Instagram will know that I freeze portions of green smoothie 'concentrate' and then defrost in water when I want a serving (which is nearly every weekday morning) . Here I used two frozen serving portions and added a little less water than usual for a thicker soup consistency.

Souper speedy lunch (ha ha) :-)

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Recipe: Green smoothie soup 

Serves 1

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water (or part fruit juice for extra sweetness)
  • 1 cup packed spinach (or other greens)
  • 1/3 cup cucumber
  • ½ cm fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3-5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/3 small apple- cored and quartered

Topping:

  • handful of buckwheat groats
  • handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbs melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of cinnamon

Method

Blend everything together until as smooth as possible. Pour into a bowl and serve either chilled or at room temperate topped with sprinkles of choice.

To make the sprinkles I coated some pumpkin seeds and buckwheat groats in a little coconut oil and dusted them in vanilla and cinnamon. I baked the mixture for approx 30 mins on a low temp (approx. 140C)  for a super crunchy topping.

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Green Smoothie Challenge- revealed!

You may recall that last month I took it upon myself to undertake a 30-day Green Smoothie Challenge.

It was inspired by this post 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 resource in making your own.

Here are a selection of my smoothie combinations:

  • 2 cup spinach, 1 small banana, 2 cup frozen mango, 1 cup water
  • 2 baby gem lettuce, 1 cup water, 1 medium banana, 1 cup tinned peaches
  • 2 baby gem lettuce, handful spinach, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1 tbs cacao powder, 1 cup water
  • carrot cake smoothie
  • 2 cups lambs lettuce, ½ cup cucumber, 1 apple, 1 banana, pinch cinnamon, 1tsp maca powder, 1 cup
  • 1 large cup frozen strawberries, 2 cups spinach, ½ tsp fresh ginger, 1 large cup water (tasted odd)
  • 1 cup fresh mango, 1 ½ cup mixed greens, 1 cup water
  • 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
  • 1 cup spinach, 3 leaves romain lettuce, 1 stick celery, 1 apple, 1 banana, ¾ cup water
  • 1 cup spinach, 5 basil leaves, ½ cup blueberries, 1 tbs cashew butter, 1 tsp maca powder, 1 tsp carob powder, 1 cup water, 6 dates (tasted horrible)
  • 1 cup mango, 1 large cup spinach, ¼ cup cucumber, ¼ cup orange juice, 1 cup water, 4 large fresh mint leaves (best flavour)
  • 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)
  • 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)

(they all make anywhere between 1 and 3 glasses worth)

    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?

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    30 day green smoothie challenge!

    Ok, so here’s the thing. Green Smoothie’s have got me curious…

    I hadn’t really given them much thought in the past although this debate caught my attention a while back, and I guess that is when I first became much more aware of their seemingly huge following.

    Randomly I had bought my dad this book for Christmas last year (although he hasn’t used it!) and the other day whilst at his house, I plucked it from the book shelf, and for the first time read it properly.  It gave some interesting counter arguments to the issues raised in the debate I referred to earlier and the evidence was also persuading.

    In addition to this I had been putting together my thoughts for Mantra for Monday no. 17 and then it occurred to me…..why not take a '30 day Green Smoothie Challenge'! My contribution to trying something new for 30 days.

    I am apprehensive I’ll admit. I’ve only lightly dabbled with any form of green smoothie in the past, and to be honest I haven’t quite got my taste buds around it. But what better chance to experiment than a smoothie for 30 days- I’m hoping by the end of the experiment I will have refined and tweaked my recipes to concocted some delicious new flavours, I’m also curious to see how my taste buds adapt. (Scroll down to gets hints and tips for green smoothie making). I will report back with a update post in 30 days time!

    Who’s with me in this experiment? Always been curious…now is the perfect time to try!

    So, here goes!  

    Today’s green smoothie no. 1 was:

    • 2 cups spinach
    • 1 medium banana
    • ½ cup frozen mango pieces
    • 1/3 cup cucumber
    • 1 cup water

    This made two large servings.

    (I’ll be having the second serving tomorrow to save preparations every day)

    The result? It was palatable but will take a little gettting used to before I come to love it!

    The smoothie looks so much prettier in its constituent parts than when blended together- I might invest in a covered cup/flask so that I’m not distracted by the luminous green colour as a reminder!

    P.S If I’ve bored you already then you don’t need to read on…. However you really should, because I have summarised what I consider to be the most interesting and useful extracts from the book to help you understand and prepare green smoothies.

    The following notes are taken more or less directly word for word (page references given).

    Pg.7 greens contain all the essential minerals, vitamins, and even amino acids that humans need for optimum health. The only nutrient not found in greens is vitamin B12.

    Pg. 19 It’s important to rotate the greens used in your smoothies. Plants carry a trace of alkaloids in their leaves to ensure the animals will move on to eat other green plants and will not exterminate any one species. In small quantities these alkaloids strengthen the immune system, however if you continue to consume one plant type for many weeks without rotation, eventually the alkaloids can accumulate and cause minor symptoms of ‘poisoning’. We do not have to rotate fruits in the same way since they do not (or rarely) contain alkaloids as ripe fruit is intended by nature to be eaten in order to spread the seeds. The author recommends rotating at least 7 varieties of greens.

    Pg. 22-23 List of common edible greens:

    Amaranth, arugula (rocket), beet greens, bok choi (pak choi), celery, chard (all types), collard greens, endive, frisee lettuce, kale (all types), mitsuna, lettuce (all types), radicchio, romain lettuce, spinach, watercress, wheatgrass. Also the leafy tops of vegetable such as pumpkin or squash leaves, carrot tops, cucumber leaves, grape leaves, radish tops.

    Many herbs, wild edibles and weeds can also be used such as clover, dandelion, stinging nettles, sorrel, lovage….etc.  (I have to admit I am a little hesitant when it comes to wild plants so I plan to utilise predominantly cultivated greens).

    Pg. 27 Blending vs juicing. Juiced ingredients oxidize faster than their blended counterparts. The main advantage of juices is that they require little digesting and can be assimilated immediately into the blood stream, allowing the digestive system to rest. However juices are also seen as a ‘fracture food’ missing the essential component of fibre along with its antioxidants. Humans could not live off juices alone whereas smoothies are a complete food.

    Pg. 33 You can use sweet fruit, dates, raisins, figs and prunes to sweeten smoothies for a beginner. You can freeze greens if they cannot be used within a couple of days. Green smoothies can be kept up to three days in the fridge if necessary although best consumed fresh.

    Pg. 45 Green smoothies are not combination of fruit and vegetables since greens are just the leaves and do not contain starch whereas vegetables do. It is also best to use ripe fruits as unripe fruits contain enzyme inhibitors which slow down the action of our digestive enzymes. Unripe fruit also has a higher starch content and less fruit sugar which makes it harder to digest. The author notes that the fibre in the greens slows down the absorption of sugar from fruit, making green smoothies suitable for people with a high sensitivity to sugar.

    Pg. 47 The author does not recommend adding nuts, seeds, oils, supplements or other ingredients to the green smoothie because most the these items slow down the assimilation of smoothies into your digestive tract and may cause irritation and gas.

    Pg.107 ‘Green puddings’ are thicker smoothies that can be eaten with a spoon. Green puddings don’t usually contain any water and are often thickened with chia sees, dates, coconut or fruit high in pectin.

    Guidelines for preparing green smoothies:

    • Prepare first thing in the morning for the amount to be consumed within one day (ideally).
    • Sip slowly
    • Don’t add anything except greens, fruit and water.
    • Drink on its own and not as part of a meal.
    • Do not add starchy vegetables
    • Don’t add too many ingredients to one smoothie. Keep it simple.
    • Rotate greens to maximise nutritional input and rotate fruits to maintain taste variety.
    • Eat organic ingredients and ripe fruits wherever possible.
    • Use a powerful blender for the smoothest result and speediest turnaround.
    • If using a powerful high speed blender it is not necessary to peel organic fruits such as mangoes, apples, kiwis and pears.
    • Fruits rich in soluble fibre and pectin will make the smoothie creamier and prevent any separation- try banana, strawberry, mango.
    • Remove the large stalks from greens such as kale to reduce bitterness.
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