Green Smoothie Prep Guide {Simply Healthy Series, Part 1}

I LOVE SMOOTHIES.

I mean I really, really love them. Like, a lot. In the beginning of my Instagram account, my husband voiced his concern that ALL I was posting were smoothies, and did I really want to categorize myself as The Smoothie Girl?

And although there is more to me than my daily smoothie (I hope?), I do drink a smoothie basically every single day. I just think they are the best food in the world. You can throw tons of goodness in there, get all the nutrients you need for a meal, and still often feel like you’re drinking a healthy milkshake. They are totally my favorite food. And though my smoothies look different from week to week, this week I think I hit the smoothie jackpot. Allow me to explain.

One of the best things about smoothies is being able to eat large quantities of vegetables all at once but without actually eating a salad. (Is it weird that I’m a holistic nutritionist who doesn’t love salad?) Banana is the go-to veggie-hider for most smoothies because it’s pretty much ice cream after it’s frozen. But when it comes to adding banana in your smoothie, you want just enough to camouflage any unpleasant or earthy taste from the greens in there but not so much that you are getting more sugar than you need. High-sugar fruits like bananas, pineapple, and mango should be used sparingly, just enough to sweeten it and make it delicious without spiking your blood sugar.

Over the years, I’ve adapted my tastes to actually like the earthy green taste of vegetable-heavy smoothies. And I’m a firm believer that smoothies should have more veggies than fruit in there. My favorite smoothies (besides chocolate, duh) are pretty heavy on the vegetables. When you get the right combo, it tastes awesome–even if it’s not 90% banana.

But as much as I love vegetable-filled smoothies, they can be a little labor-intensive–lots of washing and chopping. And OF COURSE I believe in vegetables, with all my heart, but sometimes I’m feeling a little lazy/busy/not in the mood to make a big deal out of making a smoothie. So I might skip the veggies and go for a nice easy chocolate protein smoothie. The problem is that I find myself missing the way I feel when I am drinking them.

So this week, I figured it out. The answer to the green smoothies by body wants without all the hassle. On Saturday night, after grocery shopping and filling my fridge with veggie goodness, I put in my headphones with a good book on and started washing and chopping my heart out. I pulled out 4 gallon-size Ziploc baggies and filled them with (almost) everything for each smoothie. It took a while to measure everything out (to make them all even), but with the kids in bed and my book playing, I didn’t mind at all. Then I tossed the filled bags in the freezer and went to bed.

Fast forward to this afternoon, when I wanted a good dose of veggies for lunch but didn’t want to go to the trouble of actually doing anything. I pulled out one of my bags, put a cup of water in the blender, dumped in the ingredients, added a pinch of a couple spices, and blasted it for a few seconds.

And then, as I sipped my deep and beautiful green drink and heard the angels singing (almost) I thought: I need to tell everyone how to do this.

Hence, this post. Now here’s how to prep your own smoothie bags so you, too, can have a heavenly liquid meal in a jar. You’re welcome. Oh, and P.S., this smoothie, although high in all that is good, is not a good source of protein–which you really need to have for it to count as a meal. So I had a cheese stick on the side. BAM. You could also throw in some unflavored protein powder.

The Ultimate Green Smoothie Recipe:

(Serves 1)
1 c. filtered water
3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1/2 head romaine, roughly chopped
1/2 bunch lacinato kale, destemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 Fuji apple, cored and roughly chopped
1/4 c. chopped cucumber (peel on if organic)
1/4 c. fresh cilantro
1/4 c. fresh parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
4 Brazil nuts
1/2 tsp. fresh minced ginger
Dash each of cinnamon and turmeric
Small pinch of cayenne
1/2 frozen banana

How to Prep:

Do at least 4 smoothie bags at a time (so you’ll quadruple the above recipe in ingredients, putting 1 recipe’s worth in each bag). Wash and chop the celery, romaine, kale, apple, cucumber, and herbs, and throw them in a bag. Add the nuts and ginger. Seal the bags (suck out any extra air) and put them in the freezer. When it’s time to eat, put 1 c of water in your high-speed blender, and add the fresh juice of the lemon and lime and spices. Dump in the ingredients from your bag and blend until smooth. Add your frozen banana half, blend, and enjoy with your protein on the side!

When you find a recipe you like, no matter what it is, you can prep it ahead if that makes it easier for you. For my superfood chocolate smoothie, I sometimes pre-portion out all the ingredients in little so it’s easier. You can freeze pretty much any fruit or vegetable or pre-measure out any protein powders or pantry ingredients ahead of time. I wouldn’t freeze dairy (like if you’re putting yogurt in your smoothie) but pretty much anything else is fair game.

When you make healthy food readily available and easy to eat quickly and conveniently, you’re much more likely to eat it, and less likely to reach for the chips. Because although chips are delicious, they don’t count as a meal no matter how many you eat.

If you want this and more recipes in a pretty little e-book, grab your free copy of Blend Happy!

Happy smoothie-making!

Steph

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