Recently, I explained how I freeze bananas to use for baking and smoothies. Well, my wonderful and insightful sister thought that maybe some more detailed information on what to do with frozen bananas would be in order. Perhaps she’s right.
So let’s talk smoothies. I use banana (especially frozen bananas), in almost every smoothie. We usually have them on hand, they add a wonderful smooth texture, and most of all, you can’t beat bananas to sweeten a smoothie (especially one with greens).
I just assumed that any old person could make a smoothie. And maybe you’re one of those who can. (If so, feel free to share your favorite smoothie recipe with me!).
But maybe you’ve never attempted to make one. Perhaps you thought you needed one of those nice, expensive smoothie machines (or a fancy, high powered blender) to make one (and you don’t), or maybe you just buy smoothies that other people make (also expensive).
So today I want to tell you how easy it is to make your own green smoothie.
I have made smoothies for years, but only occasionally. Even though I really enjoy smoothies, here are some reasons that kept me from making my own:
- I just didn’t realize how easy it is.
- I thought it would be too time-consuming (especially for breakfast before a busy work day).
- I don’t have a fancy “smoothie maker”.
Hopefully, this post will help you realize how simple and quick it really is to make delicious and nutritious smoothies in your own “regular” blender!
Years ago, my first few tries at smoothie-making mainly consisted of frozen fruit (or unfrozen fruit and a few ice cubes), some juice (for liquid), and optional yogurt (which I usually added for taste and protein). These tasted delicious and were somewhat healthy, but contained more sugar and lacked the nutritional boost of greens.
But now my “go-to” smoothies are made with greens. Once I figured out what flavors tasted good together and got myself and my family used to a slightly less sweet smoothie, I can’t hardly “leave” out the greens. (See what I did there? “Leave” out the leafy greens?)
One reason I began to try to work with greens in my smoothies is because I had access to good, free greens. If you have your own garden, you likely have plenty of fresh greens.
When we started getting more greens from our CSA (Community Shared Agriculture) farm share, I didn’t want them to go to waste. We usually try to cook and eat them (they can be prepared and enjoyed like spinach), but if I have a lot, I put some aside in freezer bags for future smoothies.
This past year I really had it good while I worked at an indoor microgreens farm. Microgreens are highly nutritious. In fact, WebMD states that they contain, “up to 40 times higher levels of vital nutrients than their mature counterparts.” You can read more about that here. One of the awesome benefits of my little farm job was being able to help myself to greens from the employee fridge. So this past summer, we had a delicious and nutritious green smoothie for breakfast probably two to three times a week.
Mostly I’ve just been “winging” it with my smoothies. But over time I’m getting pretty good at it, as well as coming up with some favorite ideas.
One thing I have learned (through trial and error), that makes all the difference in good smoothie-making is that you need enough liquid. This is especially true if you’re using a standard (not high-powered) blender. Even if you like it thick, a blender requires sufficient liquid to operate. Some in my family prefer an even thinner smoothie than I do, which can be accomplished by adding even more liquid and/or not using as much frozen fruit (as the ice makes it thicker).
Simple Green Smoothies is a great site with loads of good information on making green smoothies. They even run a free 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge. I really like their smoothie formula (scroll down on this page for a link), for a simple green smoothie that can be changed to suit your needs/tastes.
This is roughly what I’ve been doing, but it makes life even easier to simply remember two cups liquid, two cups leafy greens, and three cups of fruit. I love that this recipe is simple, but versatile. Some additional optional ingredients that I would add to their list are as follows:
- microgreens (leafy greens category) – the healthiest, if you can get your hands on some
- beet greens (greens category) – never throw out the healthy greens from your beets!
- 100% fruit juice (liquid category) – Be aware that this option will add natural sugar to your smoothie, but may be desirable, especially if your family is “new” to green smoothies.
- fresh or frozen cranberries (fruit category) – full of antioxidants as well as many other health benefits
- PBfit or other peanut butter powder – contains all the goodness of and 85% less fat than regular peanut butter (“boosts” category)
- Powdered whey (“boosts”) – excellent source of protein (explore here) and/or liquid whey left over from making homemade yogurt. 🙂
Be sure to note that you need to use at least some frozen fruit in order to thicken and chill your smoothie. Alternatively, you may add a few ice cubes, but I prefer to pack my smoothie full of flavor and nutrition without added water.
So now that you have all this green smoothie information at your finger-tips (and hopefully a good supply of frozen bananas), what are you waiting for?
Please do share any great smoothie tips with us here! Have you tried making a green smoothie yet? Are you the proud owner of one of those coveted special smoothie makers?