I’ve had several people ask me about my smoothie recipe and how I make it. So before we go any further down the SPIRIT, BODY, MIND connection road, let’s stop and chat!
First of all, we need to understand what PHYTONUTRIENTS are (“phyto” referring to the Greek word meaning “plant”), or PHYTOCHEMICALS as they are sometimes called. These are the heavenly and HEALING compounds the good Lord put in His plants. Along with giving many of them their coloring, different phytonutrients serve differing purposes including protection from UV rays, fungi, bugs, germs and other attacks. Vegetables and Fruits are the most concentrated sources of phytonutrients. And since dark leafy greens are the highest nutrient dense foods on the planet, they are full of them, along with but not limited to, vitamins, minerals, fiber, chlorophyll and protein. (YES, I said protein!) When we eat our veggies and fruits, they too give us the same HEALING benefits they give to the plants! WOW! Heavenly Father is awesome!!!
In the beginning, when I was trying to incorporate more greens in to our diet through Green Smoothies (with the purpose of setting us on a path of HEALING) I was met with much rebellion. Since the SAD diet (STANDARD AMERICAN DIET) consists mostly of processed, dead foods, we are not use to the taste of the raw, living foods, especially the dark, leafy greens. Therefore, quite frankly, Green Smoothies may not taste very good when you first get started. Gratefully at this point in the game I can put just about anything in front of them and they don’t bat an eye. Not true in the beginning. (Everyone’s a critic!) I now know that Smoothie consumption for us was an evolutionary process and more of an acquired taste, and I have come up with a recipe called “SMOOTHIE IN STAGES”. Through my trial and error, I hope to make this easier for anyone interested in taking on this endeavor. So, here’s my take on the ever-increasing in popularity, and now infamous “Green Smoothie”.
I remember somewhere in his book “Eat to Live” Dr. Fuhrman asking the question “What is the most important phytonutrient?” His answer is something like “the one you aren’t getting.” Meaning, there are SO many of them (scientists isolate and discover new ones all the time) and all are beneficial for HEALTH and HEALING. So, VARIETY is key to eating your vegetables and fruits. By the time you evolve to the end of “SMOOTHIE IN STAGES” you will get that variety!
SMOOTHIE IN STAGES
(I like to call this ‘DINNER SMOOTHIE’ because it tastes great for a HEALING drink at mealtime.)
- spinach (most mild tasting) or a mix of spinach and kale
- 1 Tbsp chia or flax or hemp seeds (rotate every day)
- 1 banana
- 1 orange or 3 cuties
- 1 small apple or pear
- nub of ginger
- 1 cup frozen blueberries or cherries or mixed berries
- 1 cup frozen pineapple
- frozen strawberries
Wash fruits and greens if needed. (I bought a scrub brush in the cleaning isle at Walmart and scrub while holding the fruits and veggies under the water.) Place greens halfway up Vitamix or Blendtec jar (64 oz.)*, snuggly but not so packed that it won’t process. With a knife, mostly peel your orange, leaving a little rind on and as much white as you can. Cut the WHOLE apple (or pear) and orange in to quarters and put in with the greens. Place the rest of the ingredients in, topping off with the frozen strawberries to top of the jar. Add water to the top line, cover and blend on high for 1 minute. I like to add more strawberries as it is processing, making it a little thicker.
Later after your family gets use to eating this fruity and tasty version, change it up a little by adding the following. This will ramp up the nutrients even more, to where they should be and introduce more variety.
- Start using different combinations of greens. I like the bags of mixed greens at Costco.**
- 1 tsp raw green powder. Start with a little green powder and work up to 1 tsp. I rotate through Amazing Grass or NOW brand Wheat Grass, Garden of Life Perfect Food Alkalizer & Detoxer, & Sun Warrior Ormus Greens. Just buy a new one every paycheck (I buy a lot of stuff from Amazon or Vitacost) and they will last you a LONG time. If you take the greens right from your garden, you don’t need the powder since they are fresh and have not lost many, if any, of their nutrients.
- Try different citrus. I love 1/2 a lemon or 1/2 a lime or 1/4 lemon with 2 cuties.
And finally you can graduate to the last stage. Hopefully when you get to this point, everyone is done with their “constructive(?) criticism”!
- Only use half the banana and eventually cut it out all together. Cut back on the pineapple, making room for more veggies and VARIETY!
- Start crowding out the fruits just a bit, rotating every day, by adding a chunk of one or two of the following: cucumber, carrot, celery, jicama, beet, a few sugar snap peas, or any raw veggies you have (although I’ve never thought broccoli, cauliflower, garlic, onions, or such sounded good.) Sometimes I buy a purple cabbage, peel off the outer layer (you don’t have to wash it), chop it up and put it in the freezer in a freezer bag. Then I can use a little at a time.
*Do what you can to get a high-powered blender. It completely changes your life! (All right, that’s a little dramatic, but ALMOST!) Vitamix or Blendtec are top quality. They can be expensive but you can purchase refurbished ones from the companies (with the full warranty), or find them on KSL, Ebay or such. When I got mine a few years ago I asked that it be my Christmas, birthday, anniversary, Valentine’s and Mother’s Day gifts all combined, along with any other money I received from parents for Christmas or my birthday. You can use a smaller blender, but over time they will break and you can’t use the whole fruit or flax in them as they don’t process as well.
**You can freeze ANYTHING for your smoothies, although I don’t like to freeze an apple whole. Here’s some suggestions:
- I have a gallon size freezer bag that stays in my freezer, that I put any odds and ends in (example: the leftover fresh veggies cut up for dinner or a salad, the tops of the strawberries that I cut off when I send strawberries in my kids’ lunch, the core and stem of an apple, the melon seeds (but not watermelon), the ends of the asparagus that are too tough to cook.) Or, if something is going to go bad (like the last of the carrots, or sugar snap peas, cucumbers after they start going soft), I wash them, cut them up and put them in there too.
- If I have some fresh lettuce, dandelion greens, chard, or any greens that I haven’t used up and may go bad, I chop it, wash it, let it dry a little, place it in the freezer as flat as possible, and freeze. Voila! It’s already for Smoothie making!
- I buy the bags or containers of greens at Costco and stick them in the freezer.
- I’ve heard of making up and freezing individual Smoothie bags so that all you need to do in the morning is put your greens in, dump the contents of the bag in, fill up with water and process.
- Or, you can wash and cut up each individual item and place in their own freezer bags.
- Depending on how many frozen items you add, after you place everything in the container and fill with water, you many need to let it unthaw a bit.
Adults 18 years and older should drink AT LEAST 32 oz. every day. Teenagers 12-18:12-16 oz. Children 6-12:6-8 oz. Feed any children younger as much as they will drink, offering this first thing in the morning and throughout the day.
Try making a Green Smoothie for your babies. Up to age one, puree some spinach, with any combination of raw carrots, yams, bananas. After they are 9 months old, try adding apples, avocado and a little organic, raw coconut oil (good fats for brain development.) This is a healthy alternative to baby food and with the enzymes from the raw veggies and fruits it helps create good gut flora and happy, loose digestion (if you get my drift.) My grandbabies LOVE Green Smoothies (sniff-sniff, happy tears, JOY)!