Smoothies are a great way to incorporate leafy greens into your diet that you wouldn’t normally eat. And best of all, they are RAW so you are maximizing their benefits.
I’ve seen a major Kale movement in the last few months and it seems to me that everyone knows about it and lots of people are using it in their smoothies. Everyone that I speak to that is transitioning into healthy eating says something about Kale. Kale is wonderful and I highly recommend using it in your smoothies, salads, or as a cooked vegetable. That being said there are more greens out there other than Kale and they should not be ignored.
For Example there are Collard Greens, Watercress, Spinach, Romaine Lettuce, chard, etc. All are excellent for smoothies and all offer different nutrients and benefits for your health.
But there is one more thing to consider. These greens fall into families. And as the saying goes…there is such a thing as too much of a good thing! Leafy greens are wonderful but they all contain small amounts of toxins. (Although to be honest, if only a few leaves are used daily in a smoothie it shouldn’t be a big deal.) But to err on the side of caution is always best so here is a list of some leafy greens and/or vegetables and the families they fall into:
Brassicaceae/Cruciferae: Kale, Collards, Watercress, Arugula, Turnips, Cabbage, Bok Choy, Radish Greens, Mustard Greens, Broccoli, Cauliflower
Amaranthaceae/Chenopodiaceae: Spinach, Chard, Beet,
Asteraceae: Dandelion, Romaine Lettuce
Apiaceae: Parsley, Cilantro, Celery, Carrots
So don’t get stuck on one kind of green. I don’t rotate by any given cycle but I’ll buy a bunch of collard greens and use those until they run out. Then the next time I buy Spinach. Then Collard greens, then Romaine lettuce…so on and so forth. I don’t buy too much at once because I don’t want to risk my greens going bad. Use greens from different families from time to time and enjoy the benefits and variety of as many vegetables as you can!
Speaking of variety… This week I bought Collard greens and Mint. MInt is an herb and falls into the Labiateae family. I’m trying it in different smoothies like chocolate mint, etc. I’ll keep you posted throughout the week.
I made an interesting smoothie today:
- frozen coconut
- collard greens
- mint leaves
- 1/2 banana
- strawberry Kefir by Helios
I didn’t add the 1/2 banana initially. When I first tasted it, I really didn’t like the texture of it. I thought maybe it was the coconut and it was a little bitter. Justin liked it and drank his whole cup but Orly hated it. I ended up adding a 1/2 banana to it and that made it much better.
Note: After Orly got home from school and had his quiet time, he asked me for some fruit. I had some smoothie left over in the fridge and I stirred it up and made him try it again. He ended up liking it (probably because I had put the 1/2 banana in it) and he drank the whole thing. Yet another example of how important it is for one to try things over and over again, especially kids!!! I found the consistency to be much more liquid-like in the afternoon. Not sure why but that helped a lot.
It wasn’t my best smoothie but it had leafy greens, herbs, probiotics, and antioxidants – that’s a plus in my book!!!