The benefits of green smoothies, and a quick and easy recipe hack.
Easy Green Smoothie, why do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I have found no better food worthy of starting my day off than an easy green smoothie.
It’s quick, easy to carry on the go, and sets a precedent for making good, nurturing choices for myself all day long.
It’s delicious and sweet, but it’s got lots of fiber so you’re not taxing your body’s insulin response.
If you’re ready to try for yourself, all you need are leafy greens, fruit, some good fat (avocado) and/or protein (seeds) if you’re hungry, and water. Just the act of concoting your own creation based on your tastes and desires turns on the creativity spigot. Full of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients, green smoothies pack a healthy punch to clease your system and give you tons of energy.
Coffee drinker? Try a green smoothie first. You might just love the natural energy buzz you get.
Below are just a few of the reasons why they’re my favorite breakfast as a busy mom:
1. Blend & Go
You don’t need an expensive blender like a Vitamix or a Blendtec for an easy green smoothie (althought they’re nice to have). Any blender will do, and a Nutribullet is perfect because it’s powerful, easy to clean, and you can take the cup you made it in with you – with its own lid.
2. Make Better Choices All Day
Green smoothies awaken our healthy cravings. Dark, leafy greens contain the deepest intelligence of the plant. Chlorophyll is the plant’s ability to transform sunlight into energy. Our world and our lives depend on this.
When we eat greens, it’s like a part of us remembers what true nourishment is. As a result, our cravings begin to change; our feeling of connectedness to our ecosystem grows; our access to our inner knowing and thus our greatest potential emerges. Not to mention the natural buzz of a green smoothie. If you’re a coffee drinker, try this first and put your coffee off. Who knows, you could eventually even decide to replace caffeine with green smoothies.
3. Nature’s Air-Conditioning
Greens are cooling and detoxifying. They’re great for acne, itchy rashes, and overheating—whether physical or emotional. Eat them for any meal of the day to clear out your energy channels and put some natural air-conditioning into your blood, calming your nervous system.
4. Incorporates Bitter Taste
We don’t get much bitter taste in the Standard American Diet, except sometimes coffee. According to Ayurveda, there are six tastes, and we want to get all of them at each meal for general wellness. It’s easy to incorporate them all into a smoothie:
Sweet – Fruit
Salty – Celery
Pungent – Ginger
Astringent – Lemon/Lime
Sour – Lemon/Lime
Bitter – Greens
Of all the six tastes available in our culture, bitter is the most rare in our culture. And yet, according to Ayurveda, bitter taste has this wonderful ability to scrape and clean our physical and energetic channels, and cool us down! Greens are considered bitter, so as you begin to incorporate more greens into your smoothies easily while combining with sweet fruit. Bananas, apples, peaches, strawberries, pineapple, and pears are all great choices. Dates are a yummy way to sweeten anything. Over time, you can decrease the fruit.
Pungent is important if you need a little digestive support. It also warms it up which helps calm the nervous system – especially important if you tend to experience anxiety. Add ginger on cool days or if you’re just feeling anxious.
Just go through the list above and make sure you have it all – because you CAN have it all, no matter how busy you are!
5. Encourages Culinary Creativity and Connection
Making a green smoothie is a co-creative act, meaning we can’t try to control it too much. Make it with what you have around. Then taste it and add something else. You’ll learn as you go. Cucumbers are sweet. Carrots are even sweeter. You could even give sweet potatoes a try! For a creamy addition try a little bit of avocado. If you’re super hungry, add oats or tahini. Concerned about too much sugar? Add some almonds. There are endless combinations to create a delicious, plant-based smoothie, and reconnect to food as earth’s nourishing offering to us.
6. Easier to Digest
Breaking down raw leaves and seeds in a blender makes it easier to digest so the nutrients become more accessible to the body. When your food looks similar to what it will look like in the stomach,your body has to do a lot less work to get the nutrients out. Thus, we have more energy for things besides digestion. Adding a bit of ginger to your green smoothie helps with digestion – and on colder days, helps warm it up. Use room temp water and greens for additional digestive support.
You could also juice, as in the picture, but you lose the fiber. And it’s a lot harder to clean a juicer than a Nutribullet…
Co-Create Your Green Smoothie
Co-creating with the universe means letting go of being rigid around recipes, and feeling your way forward. It means looking around and seeing what’s available (in your fridge or at the market) and what calls out to you. Walk down the organic aisle and imagine the veggies speaking silently. “Eat me!” “I’m here to nourish you.” Pick the ones that speak to you the loudest.
It also means asking yourself questions, even tasting it as you go: sweet enough? Need a little more spice? Feel too light? The word “oil” is the same as “love” in Sanskrit, the ancient language of Ayurveda and yoga. So nurture yourself with a wonderfully creamy, satiating smoothie that’s perfect for you right now!
2 handsful of greens – dandelion leaves from your (unsprayed) yard, or get kale, chard, spinach, or greens from the tops of root vegetables like beets and carrots, or just lettuce greens. Add veggies if you like.
sweet fruit – banana, apple, berries, pineapple, pear, or 2 dates for sweetness, or half of two of these
healthy fat and protein – avocado, almonds (soaked when possible overnight so you can slip the skins off), sunflower seeds, flax seeds, chia seeds, nut butter or tahini
pungent spice – ginger, black pepper, or cayenne if it’s cool out, or you’re fighting a cold, or you feel anxious
acid – lemon or lime to alkalize your blood
room temp water – 2 cups or less, depending how thick you like itBlend in the best blender you have. If you have a restaurant-grade one like Vitamix, BlendTec, or Nutribullet – great! If not, you’ll be chewing a bit. THAT’S OK! We’re used to chewing our food, right?
Here’s a combo I’ve been enjoying lately:
My Latest Fave Green Smoothie Recipe
1/2 organic apple with skin
2 big handsful of kale or spinach
A drizzle of tahini
A sprinkle of chia seeds
A half of an avocado
A bit of ginger
I blend, pour into a jar, and drink all morning.
Check in and see how you feel after drinking. Some people who are trying to cut back on coffee drink this first, and are surprised about the nice wake-up buzz all those micro-nutrients provide!
On days that you make a green smoothie in the morning, notice how much easier it is to make healthier choices throughout the day. You are waking up our intelligent cravings, and stepping into a nurturing role with yourself. Invite your wise, powerful, nurturing “Ma” Self to put on the chef’s hat every day!
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Jessica Jennings is a mom of a tween, as well as a yoga therapist, lifestyle educator and Certified Feminine Power Transformational Facilitator. She created Ma Yoga® for Pregnancy, Motherhood & Beyond in 2009 to help mamas meet both the challenges and opportunities of this exciting time of life. Now, her Ma Journey membership helps busy moms love their bodies with nourishing and nurturing routines. Get free weekly guidance and inspiration for wherever you are on your journey at MaYogaLiving.com/care-package!