Green Smoothies - the Leafy Greens

We broke down the content of our smoothie into 4 basic groups so that we could easily build a healthy smoothie each time based off the basic groups. We always make sure to add items from each group to ensure a nutritious and delicious smoothie.

As mentioned before, these are our 4 groups:

I am going to do a separate post about each category to keep it simpler and more organized. 
All posts should be up by the end of the weekend! 
I have tried my best to answer questions as they have come up, if I missed your question or you have another one feel free to ask and I'll do my best to answer. 

GREENS - The foundation of every green smoothie is of course the green, leafy vegetables.

Leafy greens have more nutrition  per calorie than any other food. They are a significant source of  vitamins A, C, E and K and several B vitamins. 
Greens are a rich source of calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. In fact we use greens as our number one source of calcium for the boys.
They are rich in fiber, extremely low in fat and carbohydrates and provide an excellent source of protein.

For our smoothies I use:
-Turnip Greens

I have used Mustard Greens and do not recommend them. Perhaps one day I'll find a good mix for them, but they are somewhat spicy and not at all enjoyable to us. 

I have heard that you need to mix up the greens you are eating, but I was unsure why so sent an e-mail to my MIL asking her. Here's what she said:
"Because of a substance called oxalic acid in some greens like spinach and parsley, it is good to alternate your greens. Oxalic acid is a mineral inhibitor (it blocks the absorption of minerals in the body) that is deactivated with cooking so using these kinds of raw greens in large quantities can be a problem. Swiss Chard and romaine lettuce are free of oxalic acid. Kale is low in oxalic acid and should not be an issue."
I alternate based on what is on sale or what I can find in stock, but we primarily use kale because it is the cheapest and we drink so many. Spinach has the least texture and taste to it so if you are starting out I would recommend starting with that.

Other options we haven't yet tried include Swiss Chard, Collard Greens, Parsley, Dandelion Greens and Beet Greens. Lettuce can be used too but it is not as nutritionally dense as the other greens.

In addition to the actual leafy greens we also include other vegetables in this category. They never take the place of the leafy greens, but they can be added in addition to. 

Other vegetables we add include;
-Carrots - these add a great flavor and texture to smoothies
-Cucumber - not sure that they are worthwhile nutritionally wise, but they are used to balance out the 'liquid' category sometimes. I have also frozen them and used them in place of ice.

A friend of mine uses beets in hers, but we haven't tried that yet.

Tips on Buying & Storing Greens:
- Purchase the bundles of greens instead of prepackaged. Yes, you'll have to wash them yourself, but you will save a lot of money!

- Buy 3-4 days worth of greens at a time, any more than that and we have found they start to wilt.

- Ask the grocer how long the greens have been sitting out for and/or if they have any fresher greens in the back they could bring out for you. They have always been so kind and helpful in bringing me the freshest greens. And this is just a me thing - but if they come from the back that means the general public hasn't had a chance to touch or sneeze on them yet. So much less gross to get them straight from the back!

- Buy the biggest bundle. Our greens are pre-bundled and sold by the bundle, not by weight. I have found bundles that are twice the size of the other bunches, and for the same price I snatch those up!

- Wash your greens on an as needed basis. I just use water to thoroughly clean them.


JC said...

I love Kale and pineapple together- lots of pulp and texture (at least in my blender, which isn't as nice as yours).

I freeze my fresh greens before they get wilty. That might be a good option too.

Do you buy organic? I was curious on how much these smoothies cost- that is if you want to divulge that info.

Jessica Morris said...

JC - I plan on doing a post about prices. I have had a few people ask!

We have frozen our greens in the past. My husband thinks this kills some of the nutrients though, so while we have stopped doing it for now. I'll have to research that for sure though :)

We do not currently buy organic. We did plant a garden for the first time this year and are hoping to grow a lot of spinach, amongst other things!

Stacy said...

I've had hit or miss luck with Kale. I used it one time and it was fine, then the next time I ended up with a smoothie so bitter I couldn't drink it. I've never tried turnip greens- I'll have to check into that. Spinach and baby spinach are staples though.
I've used swiss chard. It worked out well (I grew up eating it so it was familiar to me) and it didn't have an aftertaste. I've also used stalks of celery.
Romaine or red leaf lettuce also work well and have more nutrition than iceberg.

mum said...

HI Jess, Because you used the same photo, it has taken me 3 days to realize this is a new post! We have been freezing our spinach as is, because we don't use it all before it goes slimey!

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