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Mango Mash Green Smoothie

Mango Mash Green Smoothie

I am a lover of green smoothies and always looking for ways to use different greens. Cause ya know, we should all be rotating our greens on a weekly basis. So when I had some leftover chard in the house from making mac n cheese, I used the remaining greens for a smoothie the next morning. Quick, easy and ever so yummy!

Chard is a relatively “non-green” tasting green anyways, but paired with the sweetness of mangoes, banana, and a date…the taste disappears. The chia, hemp, and flax seeds add a bit of “power” to the smoothie that can easily classify this as a meal replacement if you choose to keep the whole thing to yourself. Hey, who am I to judge? My son came up with the “mango mash” name and, well, I went with it. Cause that’s what you do when an 8 year old gives you green smoothie name ideas.

Mango Mash Green Smoothie

Mango Mash Green Smoothie
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 oz
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 T chia seeds
  • 1 T hemp seeds
  • 1 T flax seeds (use whole flax if using a high power blender)
  • 2 leaves of chard, stems removed
  • 1 cup frozen mango chunks
  • ½ cucumber (peeled if not organic)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • ½ chunk of ginger (leave peel on if using a high powered blender
  • 1 round slice of lemon (leave pith on)
  • 1 pitted date
Instructions
  1. Add all the ingredients to the blender in the order they are listed.
  2. Blend for 1 minute
  3. Enjoy!

Until next time, keep it real.

Green Smoothies 101: Why You Should Rotate Your Greens

 

Why You Should Rotate Your Greens

It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of the green smoothie. Adding more greens to your diet is one of the simplest choices you can make to improve your overall health. Chock full of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, protein, antioxidants and more, greens are the shining star of your green smoothies and can help protect you from cancer, arthritis, heart disease, dementia and can even slow down your bodies aging process. Yet, when drinking green smoothies day after day, there is something you need to be aware of called “alkaloid buildup.”

All leafy greens contain alkaloids. Small amounts of toxins occur naturally in every leafy green (a defense mechanism for predators—you know, scary bunny rabbits and caterpillars). Tiny amounts of alkaloids cannot hurt you and may even strengthen the immune system. However, if you keep consuming the same leafy green for weeks on end, eventually the same types of alkaloids can build up in your body and cause unwanted symptoms of poisoning.

HELP! I’ve Never Rotated My Greens!

Settle down. There aren’t any stories making the evening news of people who are poisoning themselves with green smoothies. Sometimes I think people create controversy over healthy eating in general (when they should really be focusing on the people eating Big Macs day after day) which can create fear where it isn’t needed. Don’t sweat rotating your greens too much as alkaloid build up is rare and wouldn’t be something to send you to the doctor’s office. This is simply information to be aware of and as long as you are consciously rotating your greens from now on, you will be fine.

How Often Should I Rotate Greens?

Start by rotating your greens on a weekly basis. One week you might buy kale, the next you might buy spinach. Once you get the hang of it and want to make green smoothies a habit, (I know you will love them as much as us!) start rotating 2-3 greens per week. One week you might use spinach and kale the next week chard and romaine.

Leafy greens come from different “families.” Each family has their own DNA and minor amount of toxins. By eating from different families, you are eliminating toxin build up as well as getting varied nutrients from each.  You can rotate however you see fit, I choose to use 2 or so different greens each week.

To help you get started in mixing up your greens, here is a list of greens separated into family groups:

AMARANTH

Spinach: A staple in most green smoothies, it’s a great starter green since it is classified as one of the “5 magic vegetables” leaving little to no taste when added to a green smoothie. It’s health benefits include cancer prevention, lowers blood pressure, asthma prevention, strengthens bones, improved vision, skin smoothing, reduces inflammation and more.

Chard: Chard is a colorful leaf which may have abilities to help stabilize blood sugar levels and may provide special benefits in the diets of individuals diagnosed with diabetes.

Beet greens: The last time you bought beets, did you think to save the greens? Not many people do, but by throwing them away you are missing out on many nutrients. Besides being a good source of protein, phosphorus, and zinc, beet greens are also a great source of fiber. Studies have also shown the vitamin K in beet greens contains blood clotting properties, helps ward off osteoporosis, works with calcium to boost bone strength, and may also play a role in fighting Alzheimer’s disease. Beet greens have a higher iron content than spinach, and a higher nutritional value than the beetroot itself.

APIACEAE

Parsley: Used more than just a garnish, parsley is among some of the foods containing the highest concentration of myricetin (per 100 grams), a flavonol shown to have chemopreventive effects on skin cancer. Parsley is rich in many vitamins, including vitamin C,  B 12, K and A. This means parsley keeps your immune system strong, tones your bones and heals the nervous system.

Cilantro: Cilantro is good in more than just your guacamole. It has been found to suppress lead accumulation in rats, which gives promise for the use of cilantro to combat lead and other heavy metal toxicity. In addition, it has also been found to have an antibacterial effect against Salmonella making cilantro a great detoxifier.

Celery: Despite it being made up of mostly water, celery provides a fair amount of dietary fiber. Celery is also rich in vitamin K and contains folate, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C. It can have a potentially potent flavor in smoothies, so make sure to use only a little bit and balance it out with a fruit.

Carrot tops: When you buy carrots, do not throw out the greens! Carrot tops are filled with chlorophyll, shown to fight against tumor growth and acts as a cleansing agent. To lessen the bitterness of their flavor, add a banana or two.

ASTERACEAE

Romaine: Not typically thought of as a nutrient powerhouse, romaine lettuce has some heart healthy properties. It contains vitamin C and beta-carotene, which help prevent build up on artery walls and help lower cholesterol.

Dandelion greens: A serving of dandelion greens will give you near the amount of calcium as milk without having to touch dairy as well as other vitamins and nutrients. Bitter in taste, use a banana to help cancel it out.

Others in this family include butterhead, loose-leaf and crisp-head lettuce.

CRUSIFERS

Kale: It’s no surprise that kale has been ranked as one of the world’s healthiest foods. One cup of kale packs 3 grams of protein and over 1000% more calcium than a cup of cooked spinach. You will most likely see either curly kale, lacianto, or red russian kale at your local store. Try them all, but start with only 1-2 leaves to your smoothies until you get used to the taste.

Collards: Maintaining a high intake of cruciferous vegetables has consistently been associated with lower cancer risks. High in vitamins A, C, calcium, iron, protein and fiber this green is not one that you want to miss out on.

Cabbage: Both the green and red cabbage made the “5 magic vegetables” list making them a great choice to add to your green smoothies. It’s another diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer fighter.

Bok choy: Also knows as “Chinese cabbage,” bok choy is best bought in the winter months. It’s taste is pretty mild and is wonderful in soups and mango pudding as well as your green smoothies.

Although pretty spicy in flavor, arugula, turnip greens, and mustard greens are also in this family and can be added to green smoothies in small amounts if you don’t mind the taste.

Spirulina – The “Other” Green

If you really want to take your green smoothies to the next level, try adding some Spirulina. Technically not a green that you would find growing in your garden, this blue-green microalgae is found in warm, fresh water bodies. It comes in a powdered form and is the world’s first superfood, and one of the most nutrient-rich foods on Earth.

Spirulina has between 55 and 70% protein (more than beef, chicken, and soybeans), 8 essential and 10 non-essential amino acids, as well as high levels of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), beta-carotene, linoleic acid, arachidonic acid, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, phosphorus, nucleic acids RNA & DNA, chlorophyll. It helps improve the immune system, and provides exceptional support for the heart, liver, and kidneys. Spirulina is also a natural detoxifier, oxygenates the blood, and helps cleanse the body of toxins and other impurities that may be causing illnesses or other health complications.

Nuts_Spirulina_v04 (1)

Green smoothies can help change your health in extraordinary ways. I’d love to hear about your green smoothie praises or challenges and help you embrace the green smoothie habit.

Until next time, keep it real.

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through our link you will not incur any additional costs but Keepin’ it Real earns a small commission. We only recommend products we have used, would use or trust. Your support is greatly appreciated so we may continue to spread the news about real food.

10 Reasons to Start Drinking Green Smoothies

10 Reasons to Start Drinking Green SmoothiesCommon sense tells us we should be including more fruits and vegetables into our diet. According to USDA recommendations, depending on your age, getting 5 cups of fruits and veggies PER DAY should be your goal!  However, many people just don’t follow through with those recommendations. And while we do consume some 415 lbs of veggies each year, the most popular choice, corn and potatoes, aren’t exactly nutritional superstars. 

Greens are some of the most nutrient dense foods on earth. According to Dr. Fuhrman’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI), you can see that greens kick ass when it comes to nutrients. Go Greens! So what’s one to do to help increase fruit and veggie consumption?

Enter the green smoothie.

When I started our real food journey back in 2012, the first thing I started adding to our routine was green smoothies. I nicknamed it monster juice just so my kids would drink it, but after realizing it actually tasted good, they have been on board ever since. Bottled juices never make it into my shopping cart these days, instead we start most mornings off with a smoothie. Find out why you should to.

10 Reasons Why You Should Be Drinking Green Smoothies

  1. Green Smoothies offer pure nutrition.
    Greens rank high in vitamins A, C, K, calcium, folate, potassium and protein. Yes, plants have protein. Green smoothies can pack in a whopping 5-6 servings of fruits and veggies in one batch! Now that’s something to get excited about.
  2. Green smoothies help increase fiber intake.
    Unlike bottled juices or smoothies, making fresh green smoothies uses the whole fruit and veggie without pasteurizing which kills essential nutrients. The end result gives you all the fiber and nutrition the produce contains. Fiber is good for colon health and helps to keep things moving.
  3. Smoothies are quick and easy to make.
    All you need is a blender. I love, love, LOVE my Vitamix, but any simple blender will do. Preparing a pitcher of green smoothie will take you about 10 minutes…including cleanup. How’s that for fast food?!
  4. Pack and go.
    Kept cold and sealed (we use these Ball Jars for a tight seal) green smoothies will stay fresh up to 3 days. Although fresh is best, I also freeze mine on occasion. Pull them from the freezer the night before you want to drink them and by morning you are good to go.
  5. Homemade green smoothies are cheap.
    Ever considered buying a green smoothie at a smoothie bar? It might set you back 6-7 bucks. In addition, drinking a daily green smoothie will provide you with many essential vitamins and nutrients you need, a much cheaper and natural option to buying multivitamins.
  6. Green smoothies help you get your sexy back!
    The cleansing properties in green smoothies are naturally beautifying. Results include clearer skin, stronger and shinier hair and nails and you might even shed a few pounds. When our diet is lacking it shows on the outside.
  7. Anyone can drink them.
    From young to old, green smoothies are good nutrition for everyone!
  8. Green smoothies are liquid energy.
    Do you have trouble getting going in the morning without a morning cup of joe? Does the 3 o’clock slump hit you hard? Grab a green smoothie instead. I was able to drop my coffee habit after adopting daily green smoothies. They give a surge of energy lasting well beyond a cup of brew.
  9. Reduce cravings.
    Green smoothies reduce cravings for junk foods, unhealthy sweets, salt and fat. I’ll bet you’ll find after a few weeks you will crave more nutritious foods.
  10. Reduce the risk of serious disease.
    Fueling your body with whole plant foods is necessary to allow your body to work at it’s peak level. Obesity, certain cancers, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are all preventable diseases linked to diet and lifestyle. Adding more fruits, veggies and whole plant foods will significantly decrease your risk of developing chronic disease.

There are so many recipes out there for green smoothies. My favorite, and a good place to start, is here or here. Go green today!

Until next time, keep it real.

Our recommendations:

Affiliate disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase an item through our link you will not incur any additional costs but Keepin’ it Real earns a small commission. We only recommend products we have used, would use or trust. Your support is greatly appreciated so we may continue to spread the news about real food.

Sources:
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/
http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/downloads/State-Indicator-Report-Fruits-Vegetables-2013.pdf
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-07-10/eating-fruits-and-vegetables-healthy/56118742/1
http://www.webmd.com/diet/leafy-greens-rated
http://www.usda.gov/factbook/chapter2.pdf