Why you should drink a green smoothie every single day
Add a Green Smoothie to your daily routine and see the amazing health benefits, including weight loss, glowing skin, increased energy levels and a stronger immune system.
Transform Your Health with Green Smoothies
Over the last 15 years, I have followed many diets: low fat, low carb, calorie counting, sugar free, gluten free, dairy free, the list goes on. One suggestion kept appearing on whichever diet I was following at the time…
The Green Smoothie.
No matter what eating plan I was obsessed with for that particular month, The Green Smoothie would always pop up as the supposed ‘key’ to weight loss and good health…and I would continue to screw my face up at the thought and move on to the next suggestion.
The thought of drinking something that would likely taste of pond water (not that I have ever drunk pond water) just seemed too much, in spite of the myriad of health benefits it would provide.
I was certain I would just have to miss out on this particular health fad and get my nutrition in other forms.
Until I tried one.
About five years ago I finally bit the bullet, held my breath so as not to taste it too much and took my first slurp of Green Smoothie. To my surprise it was delicious!
I remember reading that if you chose the correct fruit, you wouldn’t taste the ‘green’ flavour of the spinach or kale.
I didn’t see how this could be possible. How could you add spinach to a lovely sweet fruit smoothie and not have it taste ‘green’?
Well, you can! As I finished my first ever green drink, my smoothie game had changed forever.
Every smoothie I have made since that day has contained a green vegetable of some kind. My glass of nutrition has become a daily staple.
The majority of my friends, family and colleagues felt the same as I used to, and as you probably do too. ‘What on earth is that?!’ they would ask as I produced my bright green smoothie from my bag.
None of them believed me when I said it tasted delicious.
Until they tried it.
I really believe that drinking a green drink is more about overcoming the mental barrier, rather than a flavour issue.
We have designed these recipes to help you overcome the situation of your brain shouting, “You can’t drink that, it’s green!” and allow you to make green drinks an important part of your day.
They energy you will feel after a mid-morning green smoothie is far better than anything a cup of coffee or chocolate bar can give you.
Our advice is to begin with very sweet fruit, to show you just how much of a taste treat a green smoothie can be.
As your brain starts to accept that green is good, you can then experiment with fresher and more vibrant flavours.
But aren't smoothies full of sugar?!
In our house, we follow a diet that is low in REFINED sugar. Refined, or added sugar is associated with many health problems. These include weight gain/obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer.
There is no doubt we should avoid the ‘white stuff’ where possible. However, we eat natural sugars in the form of fruit and vegetables every day, without counting or measuring how many grams we’ve had.
When you make a fresh smoothie at home you are making a drink that contains large quantities of fibre, as well as being packed with minerals and vitamins.
The fibre will slow down the absorption of the sugar. This will prevent a blood sugar spike, leaving you feeling full for a long time after drinking.
Compare this to drinking orange juice from a carton. It has no fibre, has been squeezed from the fruit months, or even years earlier and is likely so highly processed that it is devoid of any nutrition.
To avoid any concerns about calorie intake or sugar consumption I would recommend that you replace the fruit you would normally consume during your day with your green smoothie. That way, you will not be consuming any more calories or sugar and will have an easily digestible, nutrient dense drink which will keep you full for hours.
Oh and don’t forget, it will be delicious too!
Different types of milk
All of the smoothie recipes on our site use dairy-free milk alternatives, such as coconut milk, almond milk and oat milk. This is simply so that all of the recipes are initially diary-free and vegan. However there is no need for them to be if you are a milk drinker.
Any milk, dairy or alternative, can be substituted for the original milk used in the recipe. In fact, this is often a good way to experiment with the flavour of green smoothies, to see which combination suits you best.
I have chosen my favourite milk for each recipe, but of course everyone’s palette is different.
When buying dairy-free milk alternatives, be sure to buy the unsweetened variety. The sweetness from the fruits means there is no need to add sugars or sweeteners from your nut milk.
Tip: If buying canned coconut milk, the coconut cream will often separate from the coconut water. This can be useful if you want to make a thicker smoothie, as you can use more of the cream and less of the water.
Otherwise, shaking the can well before opening should give a more homogenised liquid.
Of course, you can equally replace any of the milk with water. Be aware that this will affect the texture of the smoothie and possibly wash out some of the flavour. I would recommend adding a little less to start with, as you can always add more, but you can’t take it back out!
Nutritional content of our favourite non-diary milks
Coconut milk contains a special type of fats called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). These fats are used differently by your body than long-chain triglycerides found in other foods.
They have been linked to increased weight loss, and increase the feeling of fullness after eating.
Coconut milk contains manganese, copper, phosphorus and magnesium, as well as vitamins B6, C and E. It also contributes to your daily intake of protein and fibre.
Unsweetened Almond Milk
Almond milk is a popular alternative to cow’s milk, due to its low fat and low carb content. It is a source of calcium, as well as containing vitamins B12, D and E.
Oat milk tends to be a less popular choice for smoothies, but I really enjoy its creamy flavour and texture. One serving can contain as much as 50% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin B12 and is also a source of vitamin D and calcium.
Oats are also a rich in beta-glucens, which are known to be good for the heart.
Fruit – fresh, frozen or canned?
I personally used frozen fruit whenever I can. Generally, these fruits are picked at peak ripeness and frozen within a few hours. This means fewer of their nutrients are lost by the time they reach your delicious smoothie. Using frozen fruit also mean you don’t need to add ice.
After frozen fruit, I opt for fresh. I tend to avoid canned fruit, as the canning process uses high temperatures, which can reduce the nutrient content.
Canning also usually involves the fruit being peeled and many fruits contain high levels of vitamins and minerals in, or just below the skin.
We are big eco-warriors here at Thyme To Feel Alive and have reduced our use of single-use plastics enormously over the last couple of years. For this reason, we never buy plastic straws.
However, when drinking smoothies, it can be useful to use a straw, to prevent the acidic fruit from eroding teeth enamel.
We use silicon re-useable straws which we bought here. We have been using the same 5/6 straws for about 6 years and I doubt they will ever have to be replaced. They can be cut to fit the size of the container you plan to use for your smoothie and are BPA free.
But I really don’t want a drink that tastes green!
If you are still unsure whether these green smoothies will taste fantastic, start slowly. Start with just 4 or 5 leaves of spinach (there’s no way anyone could taste that, right?!)
Then after a few days, move up to a handful of leaves. Once you notice that there’s really no difference in flavour from adding more greens, you can go ahead and add as much as you like.
Obviously, the more greens your smoothie contains, the more it is going to be packed with powerful nutrients.
Why would you ever want to add greens to a smoothie?
Non-green smoothies can be a great nutritious snack, especially if you use anti-oxidant packed berries. But adding greens to your smoothie will take the health benefits to another level!
Leafy greens such as spinach, kale and watercress are packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. These help to boost your immune system and prevent illness all year round.
Visible health benefits from drinking a green smoothie daily include:
- Glowing skin
- Lack of brain ‘fog’
- Reduced inflammation
- More energy
- Improved digestion
- Stable blood sugars
- Sharpened cognitive function
Tips for a really smooth smoothie
Unless you have a very high powered blender, to get the smoothest possible texture it is best not to put all the ingredients into the blender cup at once.
As a rule, add your leafy greens and liquid first and blend for a minute or so. Then add the fruit and blend again.
If you choose to blend all the ingredients at once, put the leafy greens in the part of the cup which will be nearest the blade (often the top of the cup, if the blade screws on top).
This should prevent an chunks of green “stuff” remaining in you smoothie (we wouldn’t want that!)
Do I need an expensive blender?
If you are just starting out on your smoothie journey, you understandably may not want to spend a lot of money on a blender for your smoothies.
My first smoothie maker was a Smoothie to Go by Kenwood. It was a great starter blender and I liked it so much I bought my mum one too. It lasted me quite a few years before the blade became blunt.
However after I discovered green smoothies and began making them every day, I decided to invest in a high-powered blender.
Although it was expensive, I was committed to living a healthier life and knew the Nutribullet would make this process easier.
I have used my Nutribullet every day for 4 years and it still produces a perfectly smooth drink every time.
Green smoothies that don't taste green!
If you have never had a green smoothie before, it is probably best to try a couple that are sweet and delicious and definitely don’t taste green!
The recipes below are our absolute favourite starter smoothies. Once you have tried them all, you can start to experiment with changing some of the ingredients. You can also reduce the fruit and add in more vegetables.
Let us know in the comments which ones you like the most!