I have a secret. I don’t eat breakfast most days. No, actually, I drink it. In the form of a green smoothie. Yes, it looks like green sludge. I actually like that it looks so off-putting, because it tastes amazing. Much more smooth, sweet, and flavorful than you’d ever imagine. Honestly, it’s as good as any smoothie that uses just fruits. Nutritionally, it’s better.
To say this drink has changed my life would almost be an understatement. If you Google around green smoothies, you’ll find all sorts of recipes and lists of benefits. Some of the benefits I’ve personally noticed:
- Higher, even energy levels.
- Better moods.
- A clean, light feeling because the smoothie is full of fiber and nutrients.
- Better digestion.
- Calmer, brighter skin.
- Food cravings are noticeably reduced.
- A feeling of accomplishment for having loads of veggies as the first meal of the day. (I think this is important–so much of balanced eating is psychological and emotional as well.)
- I’ve noticed that the smoothie makes it easier to stick with healthier eating throughout the day.
- Filling enough to power me through Yoga teaching and practice, without weighing me down.
I’m forever indebted to my friend, clinical nutritionist, and fellow Yoga instructor, Kim Snyder, for blogging so extensively about the green smoothie. I’m so glad she got me into it. It’s made a huge difference in my life.
The smoothies I whip up aren’t exact replicas of any one recipe. The one pictured today was a tropically-inspired combo of frozen spinach, fresh pineapple chunks, banana, and shelled hemp seeds. The hemp seeds add a nice wallop of protein, fiber, good fats, and zinc to the drink.
Pineapple Spinach Colada Green Smoothie
To serve 2-3
Combine the following in blender:
8 ounces (1 cup) frozen spinach
10 ounces filtered water (more if needed)
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 large banana or 2 small bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
Stevia or agave nectar (if needed, to adjust sweetness)
Whir up all ingredients except agave nectar or sweetener in blender . Test for sweetness, adding agave or stevia if needed.
Note: By using frozen spinach, you don’t have to bother with ice cubes. If room temp spinach is all you have on hand, though, by all means, use that and just add in some ice cubes.