If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I like green smoothies. Many times I make them for my lunch as they are so quick and easy to make. But if you’ve never tried making a green smoothie at home, you may find it challenging at first, not knowing where to begin. And this is why I decided to write this post. I’ve been making green smoothies at home for a while now so I know what works and what doesn’t. I also know how to make a green smoothie taste better, how to make it healthier and how to make it just perfect. So read on and learn everything you need to know about making your own green smoothies at home.
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Benefits of green smoothies
First of all, before we dive any deeper, let me just mention why green smoothies are good for you and how they can benefit your health.
Green smoothies are good for us because well, they contain greens or some kind of green powders derived from green vegetables or grasses. The main emphasis on green smoothies is this green goodness they contain although you can add other ingredients to them as well to make them super healthy.
But why are greens so important and what’s the benefit of consuming them daily?
Greens are an important part of our diet as they help us stay healthy and fight various diseases and illnesses. They are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
By eating them every day we are helping our immune system stay strong and we help our bodies fight free radicals (these can cause damage to cells and DNA, and in long term a disease).
Due to the antioxidants they contain, greens are anti-ageing and good for keeping our brains in top condition. They also offer anti-inflammatory benefits and cellular support. Not to mention their positive effect on cardiovascular health and the fact that they can help to fight diabetes. So many health benefits and these are just some of them!
Eating greens every day can even help us burn more fat which can result in weight loss over time (in conjunction with a calorie-controlled healthy diet).
If you don’t eat your greens every day, now you can see how a green smoothie could help. It can certainly give you a boost of various vitamins and minerals, helping you be healthier.
How to make a green smoothie at home
Making a green smoothie at home is really not that complicated. To start with, you can make it really simple, just so that you can get used to the colour and the taste.
You can control the taste of your green smoothie easily by adding or reducing the amount of certain ingredients.
The basic ingredients that you will need for your green smoothie:
- You need something green! (obviously) – That could be in a form of fresh vegetables, such as spinach, kale, cucumber, celery or you could go for one of the super greens powders which have an addition of enzymes (for better digestion) – I’ve used Lean Greens powder in the past.
- Liquid – I recommend you choose an unsweetened plant-based milk or water as your main liquid. This is to make your smoothie healthier.
- Healthy fat – Adding some healthy fats to your smoothie helps with the absorption of vitamins and minerals so try not to skip this important step. Try adding some avocado, almond butter, coconut oil or any other healthy fat you fancy. In the beginning, when I first started making smoothies at home I didn’t know about this important step but now that I know I always make sure that there is some kind of fat in my smoothie. You don’t need to add much though.
- Something to disguise the green or bitter taste – To make the green smoothie more palatable and to disguise its ‘green’ taste, here are the ingredients to consider adding: raw cacao powder, Vanilla bean (or extract), flavoured protein powder, fresh ginger and almond butter.
- Fruits – Adding some fruits to a green smoothie makes it sweet and delicious. Just don’t go overboard with fruits (try not to use more than a handful). Choose from the following: banana, apple, pear, mango and pineapple or anything else that you fancy. You are welcome to experiment!
- In the beginning, you may not like the green smoothie taste so to make it taste better you could try adding some stevia (natural sweetener) but don’t make it something that you regularly use. With time, your taste buds will adapt/change and if you make your green smoothie too sweet this won’t be possible.
- Enhance the flavour by using the following ingredients: a pinch of salt, lemon/lime juice, cinnamon, mint.
- Ice makes a green smoothie nice and refreshing and dilutes it a little bit so that any strong flavours are not so much into your nose.
How to make your homemade green smoothie extra healthy:
- Add turmeric for cancer prevention and to reduce inflammation in your body (also add some pepper for better absorption of turmeric)
- Add matcha green tea for an energy boost and extra antioxidants
- Make it a good source of omega 3 fatty acids by adding some of the following: flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, avocado (adding avocado also adds extra creaminess)
- Use coconut water instead of normal water – coconut water helps to re-hydrate your body after the exercise as it contains electrolytes (sodium, potassium).
- Add a superfood powder – There are so many superfood powders to choose from and which one to go for really depends on what you want to achieve or what your body needs. Baobab powder, for example, is a great source of vitamin C and calcium so great for energy and if you don’t get enough calcium from your diet.
Maca powder is also great for energy and so is acai powder which is full of antioxidants (twice the antioxidants of blueberries).
How to make a green smoothie more filling
If you’ve ever had a smoothie (not necessarily a green smoothie) you will know that a smoothie is like a drink, it feels your stomach up and you feel satisfied but only for a short while. After an hour maybe, you will want to eat or drink something else.
Green smoothies are the same – you can make them very light and only with basic ingredients and they won’t fill you up much.
If you want to make your green smoothie more filling you have to add some extra ingredients. The key is to add the right amount of protein and fat (but not too much) and the smoothie will really fill you up so you won’t feel hungry for at least a few hours if not longer.
Here are some examples of protein and fat you could add to your green smoothie to make it more filling:
- Ground flaxseeds
- Almond butter
- Chia seeds
- Vegan protein powder blend
- Desiccated coconut
- Extra virgin coconut oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Hemp seeds
- Brown rice protein powder
Getting started making green smoothies at home
If you are a green smoothie ‘virgin’, it’s a good idea to start with simple ingredients before you start experimenting with adding some fancy ones. You will need a good blender of course. If you don’t have one, here are some blenders for you to consider.
Make it easy on yourself in the beginning. Start with plant-based milk, banana and some spinach. Give it a try and you will see that the taste is not too bad. You won’t taste the spinach, by the way. Next, you could try experimenting and customising your smoothie a little bit by adding additional ingredients such as some healthy fats, protein or superfood powder.
Try and not to make your green smoothies too sweet in the beginning – you should use at least twice as many vegetables as fruits. This is to keep the sugar content of your smoothie down (natural sugar is not bad but too much of it can still play with your sugar levels in your blood).
If you are worried that you won’t like the green smoothie, you can start by using half vegetables and half fruits and then slowly reduce the amount of fruits you use over time so you can adjust to the taste.
So now you have all the information you need to start making green smoothies at home. If you do give it a try, I would love to know how you got on. Let me know in the comments!
Health benefits of green juice