This green smoothie makes me feel fantastic, and I love knowing I’m nourishing my body with every sip. Between you and me, I’ve been perfecting this recipe for about a decade!
It’s full of dark leafy greens and sweetened with carrots and tropical fruits, and has added immune boost with turmeric, ginger and lemon juice. For a long while, I thought this recipe was all I needed in life! I drank it daily, until I learned more about the possible effects that too much kale can have on the body. Kale, and other cruciferous veggies, contain goitrogens which can affect thyroid function over time, and oxalates which can bind with calcium in the body and cause long-term problems.
But while you can have too much of a good thing, you can also have not enough of a good thing! Cutting kale entirely would be missing out on an amazing superfood with loads of health benefits.
To get the best of the vegetable stand, I’m now starting to cycle my smoothies. I alternate green and ruby, and often skip smoothies on the weekend.
*Teaser:* My new Ruby smoothie is thick and creamy. It’s sweetened with beets and wild berries, thickened with plump avocadoes, and rounded off with nourishing field greens and protein-rich hemp seeds. This one was an instant hit with my toddler (especially when topped with pumpkin seeds and goji berries!) Stay tuned for a post with that recipe.
For now, here’s my first pride and joy of smoothie recipes. It’s green, it’s delicious, it’s nutritious!
The greens 🥬
When I first started drinking smoothies, I used to be all about the 100% fruit smoothies, but I felt crazy crashes as my body tried to regulate that quantity of (even natural) sugars in one go.
Now, I always aim to have roughly 80% of my smoothie jug full of organic vegetables—from dark leafy greens, to lighter lettuces or cucumbers, to sweeteners like carrots and beets. This recipe draws on the superpower of kale and spinach, to get antioxidants, vitamins A & K (and more), iron and more.
Pro Tip: Buy frozen chopped organic kale and spinach to save loads of time.
The fruits 🥭
I try to keep my fruit content to less than 20% of my total smoothie — usually mangoes, pears, or apples. If I’ve botched the recipe and it’s too bitter, I throw in a ‘rescue banana’ to add sweetness.
It can be a flavour adjustment to get to this level of fruits, and it took me a few months to be able to readjust to a better balance of veggies to fruits in my smoothies. I found that adding sweet vegetables like carrots instead of more fruits really helps with how palatable these smoothies are!
Note: Always blend whole fruits, instead of juices which remove the fibre that helps our bodies process the natural sugars.
Natural boosters shots 🎉
You know how you can order ‘booster shots’ at smoothie bars these days? These area totally natural version of those!
Ginger is both anti-inflammatory and antioxidizing, which also support great immune system function. Taking the time to pre-prep it and freeze it in an ice cube tray makes it SO EASY to add to smoothies!
Collagen or Paleo protein
Protein is the building block of the body, and collagen—which forms gelatin—is 98% protein. Collagen specifically represents 30% of the human body’s protein content. Our ancestors would have accessed collagen through natural sources like bone broths and consuming tendons and organ meats—but when I’m not eating many bone broths (which is most of the time in the warmer months) I like this little protein boost in the mix.
Honestly, it took me a couple of years to fully switch to choosing organic foods. I still cringe when I spend the extra $2 on a punnet of blueberries, but I’ve learned to think about it as an investment in my long-term health.
The main benefits are reducing the amount of toxins our bodies have to process (our poor livers!), and that the nutrient density is higher in organic produce (and even coffee and wines). It’s an investment in long-term health.
Viv’s green smoothieCourse: BreakfastDifficulty: Easy
1.5 cups • organic spinach (chopped and frozen)
1.5 cups • organic kale or mixed field greens (alternate smoothie days to avoid overeating kale)
1 small chunk • fresh turmeric (peeled)
1 large • organic carrot with peel on
1 ice cube • 100% frozen ginger juice extract
8-10 cubes • frozen mangoes (substitutes: organic apples, wild berries)
1/4 cup • frozen organic basil
1/4 cup • 100% coconut milk
1.5 cups • filtered water
1/2 lemon • squeezed
(optional) sprinkling of turmeric powder to taste
(optional) banana, berries, or other fruits to taste
(optional) scoop of unflavoured collagen paleo-friendly protein powder
- Toss all ingredients into a blender. I like to pre-prep and store the blender jug (unblended) in the fridge the night before to make blending frozen fruits easier on the blender’s motor (and for a faster morning routine!)
- Blend! *Whizzzzzzz*
- Add more water or ingredients for desired texture and taste!
- Enjoy feeding your mitochondria!