How to Make a Green Smoothie

You've probably heard of the Raw Foods diet that many people are switching to. Obviously, you're not meant to eat raw chicken and things of that nature, but rather a raw diet of foods that don't make one ill when ingested in their raw form. This includes fruits, vegetables, nuts and a few other things I won't confuse you with at the moment. The problem with eating a raw food diet is that it's hard to get lots of energy from greens without eating massive amounts of them. This is where a green smoothie comes in -- not only can you consume greens in bulk this way, you can actually make them taste really, really good in the process. But before you go tossing broccoli into your blender have a read about what a green smoothie should consist of and how to make one. I am not one who loves greens at all, but I do love green smoothies!

1. Select your greens

Since you'll be putting fruit into your green smoothie you're going to need your greens to be leafy, as things like broccoli and beans don't really mix well with fruit. There are loads and loads of green leafy vegetables to choose from. I like to use baby spinach but you can use things like kale, lettuce, dandelion leaves, parsley, Swiss chard, and rocket (yes it's called that). Personally, I don't worry much about what tastes like what, cos if you mix things up right you won't taste the greens at all. (Unless you actually want to taste them, that is!)

2. Select your fruit

Not all fruit tastes great when mixed with greens and some types can make things taste really fabulous with just a little bit of fruit. For example, banana won't make your green smoothie terribly sweet unless you add a lot of them, nor will a huge handful of strawberries. But a single ripe pear can make a green smoothie with lots of spinach in it taste like 90% pear! It's up to you, some people have a sweeter tooth than others. The important thing is that you get your sugar naturally and don't add artificial sweeteners.

3. Select your base.

Some people just use water. I used to do this, but I like my green smoothies very thick and almost chewable (like a Wendy's Frosty). I do this by using natural yogurt (yes, some people say this is not a raw food and should be avoided -- I will tell you why I disagree with this in a future article) and a banana. If you want a thickish base without using yogurt you can just use the bananas. And if you think it's too thick when done you can always add water to the mix. If you start with water a good amount to use in a single serving green smoothie (about 600 - 750 mls) would be about 250 mls.

4. Mix your greens up first.

You don't have to do this but I have found it works best. I put the water or yogurt in their first in order to give the greens something to cling to. Get them blended well because you want the cells broken down to allow maximum absorption in your body.

5. Add your fruit.

If you're using frozen fruit, like strawberries, use the ICE setting on your blender until they are chopped up. Then blend the rest of everything well. It doesn't really matter what order you add things here, just mind the settings you use.

6. Add extra protein

Some people will add things like hemp seeds and other natural protein sources to their smoothies. This is up to you.

7. Enjoy!

Don't just gulp down your green smoothie, chew it a bit before you swallow it. This will release natural enzymes in your saliva that will help your body digest and better absorb the food -- which is the whole point of blending the greens up to begin with.

Image: Suat Eman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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