Smoothies have been my mainstay of healthy eating. The hubs and I have marveled at the fact that by 8am, we will have already consumed more servings of fruits and vegetables than many Americans consume in a whole day. Add to that healthy non-dairy milk and a sprinkle of chia seed for omega 3 fats and you can hit the ground running.
My basic breakfast smoothie is a cup of unsweetened almond milk (or unsweetened vanilla-almond milk or, my favorite, coconut-almond milk). That goes into the blender with a generous helping of greens–I don’t measure, just eyeball it, but probably close to 2 cups, about half of a small bunch or 1/3 of a large bunch of greens. I remove the tough stems and just use the leafy parts. My favorites are lacinato kale (also called dinosaur kale or black kale), red chard, and green curly kale. Collard greens work fine, though I think they have a slightly stronger taste. Spinach is the most mild (I usually hoard spinach for salads so it rarely goes into smoothie duty). I’ve also used beet greens and those work fine, plus you have the actual beets to use for another dish. Turnip greens, mustard greens… just pick a green and go for it!
After blending the greens and almond milk together, I add a whole banana (peeled, duh) and then whatever other fruits I want to use. If you want more veggie power, zucchinis are pretty mild as are cucumbers. Go ahead and throw in half of one if you like. I am generally content with the greens. Fruits that work well include pineapple, fresh or frozen berries, fresh pears, fresh peaches, apples, oranges, kiwis, whatever you have on hand.
If the green color turns you off, go ahead and try this berry green smoothie. The bright berry colors overpower the green, but you still get all the health benefits of green-ness.
Berry Green Smoothie
1 C nondairy milk
about 2 C greens
1/8 of a fresh pineapple
1/4 C each frozen or fresh strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries (or 3/4 cup mixed frozen berries)
1 T chia seeds
Blend it all together and enjoy. Do you like my smoothie cup? It was 50 cents on sale at the end of the summer, and it holds A LOT. Score!