There are so many different leafy greens to use when it comes to making a green smoothie. When I was first introduced to green smoothies the idea of adding greens was not a fond one, and I certainly was not inspired. What? Add 1 cup of spinach to my smoothie? Is this a joke? Gross! Ew, no thank you...NEXT.
To my surprise, I didn't even taste it! Isn't that crazy? Here I was drinking a delicious smoothie that tasted like a creamy milkshake and it had spinach in it! Green smoothies began to rock my world, and not just because there was a leafy green in it, but because drinking a green smoothie every morning gave me MAD BENEFITS!
So just to be clear, Smoothies are not Green Juices. There seems to be some confusion on this topic, which is totally cool! Let me explain...Even if your smoothie is the consistency of a juice, it is still not a juice and that is because blending and juicing are two totally different techniques using two different machines. (You can use a blender to make a juice, but then there is an additional step that involves a nut-milk bag to do the extraction step).
Juicing extracts the liquid from the fruits and vegetables, and leaves behind the fiber. Removing the fiber enables the minerals, vitamins and nutrients to flood our system immediately, and that includes the sugars in the fruits and veggies we choose as well. For this reason alone, many people with high blood sugar levels will want to use only low glycemic fruits and lots of green veggies if juicing or just drink smoothies instead.
Smoothies on the other hand are blended with their nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber all in one and all together. Drinking smoothies will keep you full longer and create sustainable energy. And, when the fiber is intact, it creates the ability for the body to absorb the sugar at a slower speed. Smoothies have their own benefits too! Nut and Seed butters can be added, as well as avocado, sprouts, healthy fats, protein powders and various superfoods that a juicer cannot handle.
There are benefits to both! Which is why I usually have a smoothie daily and a juice a few times a week. But if you are deciding between which one, just go with your gut instinct and listen to your body.
Drinking smoothies can create a variety of benefits depending on which vegetables, fruits, superfoods, proteins and liquids you use. You can make your own smoothie concoctions, find recipes on blogs, buy smoothies at juice shops or even at Whole Foods Market. And you can even add in Vitamin D drops or your powder probiotic! And if you want it to be your breakfast meal, you can also add a protein powder. Besides being creamy and delicious, smoothies create an inspirational variety of FEEL GOOD benefits like:
- Better Skin
- Feeling full without pigging out
- Weight Loss
So now here we are. What greens should you use? I'm here to tell you that Spinach is not the only green you can play with. You have options. Of course when I first started making smoothies I only used Spinach for a good 14 months, and sadly because I ate it every single day, I developed a severe food sensitivity to spinach. This was disheartening since smoothies became my main squeeze. So I had to improvise and get creative. It was time to experiment with all types of greens. Some were too bitter with certain concoctions, while others you couldn't taste at all in any version I created. While experimenting, I got to add in a whole bunch of greens into my body that I never would have considered if this didn't happen. More nutrients for me, and more information and recipes for you!
Check out this rockstar list of GREENS that you can start adding to your smoothies:
The best way to go is to choose 1 green per creation.
- Micro Arugula Greens aka Sprouts
- Beet Greens
- Butter Lettuce
- Mixed Greens
- Snow Pea Shoots
- Chinese Broccoli
- Baby Bok Choy
- Collard Greens
- Turnip Greens
- Red & Green Leaf Lettuce
- Iceberg Lettuce (no nutritional value other then extremely hydrating)
- Bok Choy
- Tango Lettuce
- Mache Lettuce
- Baby Mache Lettuce
- Red Oak & Green Oak Lettuce
(in addition to your green above, you can add an herb; use anywhere from a sprig or two up to a small handful)
- Parsley (up to a small handful)
- Dill (a sprig or two)
- Basil (up to a small handful)
- Cilantro (up to a small handful)
- Mint (up to a small handful)
My biggest lesson in Nutrition and learning how to be healthy for my body was food rotation. And so I advise just like some of the top experts advise - Rotate your greens. Every few days, switch it up!
Love & Leafy Greens!