When I first began my smoothie journey, I can’t even count the number of times I went to the store, packed my cart with leafy greens for smoothies then went home and couldn’t drink the result due to the texture. While leafy greens are one of the healthiest ingredients to add to our smoothie preps, they are also extremely aggravating due to the way they blend (or don’t at all).
As most people do not eat enough vegetables in their diet, healthy Green smoothies are a delicious and easy way to add more leafy greens and other vegetables to your diet. Leafy greens are nutrient dense, packed with calcium, fiber, and protein, and high in vitamin A, vitamin K, and vitamin C.
I hope the following information can help you navigate the produce section so you are buying not only the healthiest greens, but also the greens that will mix the best with your other ingredients.
- Spinach – Eating spinach has been shown to benefit health in several ways, and it contains high amounts of all sorts of powerful nutrients. Spinach may decrease oxidative stress, improve eye health and help prevent heart disease.I suggest to use 1 cup of Spinach in your smoothies. 1 cup is usually 2 handfuls, if you are just throwing in the ingredients. It is also best to use baby spinach leaves as they mix well with the other ingredients and do not leave an overpowering taste with a gritty, leafy blend. The idea of a smoothie is to be smooth, not leafy!
- Kale – Kale is well known for its nutrients that boost wellbeing and prevent a range of health problems. It is packed with Vitamin K and fiber, both of which are a great addition to any smoothie. It has a slightly vegetal, bitter taste from other leafy greens, but stands out in any recipe.Since Kale has a very gritty texture, it can be a tough leafy green to blend. We suggest only using about a cup of Kale and adding it to a smoothie that has something a little softer in it like a banana or avocado. This way it blends in with the softer item and isn’t as rough as you are sipping it down.
- Chard – Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, and also packs in some dietary fiber just like Kale. But
unlike Kale, it is a little smoother and easily blends in whatever smoothie you are making with a taste that is more close to Spinach.
Chard can be a little sloppy when blended, so it is wise to add some creaminess and texture with powders or half a banana. For those not wanting to add sugar, mixing in whey protein or Superfoods like Maca or Moringa is always a great way to go.
- Collard Greens – Collard Greens are an excellent leafy green addition to any smoothie and are often left out for their more popular siblings, Kale and Spinach. They are slightly more bitter than spinach, but less bitter than kale.Collards have a rougher texture and can be hard to blend, so you may have to blend it a few more times than you are used to. If you are looking for a different taste than you are used to with your leafy greens, they are perfect, but make sure that the recipe calls for softer fruits or vegetables to blend with the collards