(Health Secrets Newsletter) During the 1960s and after, smoothies were presented as a healthy dairy alternative. They were made with milk, yogurt or ice cream, with some fruits and maybe even chocolate or peanut butter. These became popular as tasty items that offered the illusion of drinking something healthy.
Though healthier than cokes and other sodas, that outmoded type of smoothie can’t compare to the health benefits of today’s green smoothies. Homemade green smoothies require good water as their liquid base, fresh organic green leafy vegetables, and some organic fruit to create a creamy drink that’s full of easily digested fresh food nutrients.
Green smoothies are easier and quicker to make than juicing, but shouldn’t replace juicing entirely. They can both be used to complement each other. But for starters, making green smoothies might fit a tight budget since a decent blender is cheaper than a good quality juicer.
Green smoothies are often used as starters for a person trying to embrace a raw vegan diet, which is a diet that’s not for everyone. Vegans can easily incorporate green smoothies into their diet. But green smoothies and juicing will improve anyone’s health as long as processed foods and pharmaceuticals are avoided.
You need a blender with a fairly powerful motor. A few were tested against each other in a Popular Mechanicsvideo that proved the most expensive blender is not necessarily the best. You can view this video with the first link below.At first, it’s recommended to go with an approximately 50/50 by volume blend of green veggies and fruits, or even 40/60 greens to fruits. This helps those starting out with something tastier (sweeter) at first, a good idea if you’re not used to raw ground up greens. Eventually you can get bolder with a higher ratio of greens to fruits.Greens can be chosen from several healthy vegetables: chard, spinach, kale, cilantro, parsley, cucumber, or wheat grass are all easy to blend. Another difference between green smoothies and vegetable juice is that vegetable juicing usually uses carrots for its base.Not so with green smoothies. No carrots are used, only green leafy vegetables and organic fresh fruits with good water. Why add fruit? Well, besides sweetness, fruits add another demention of nutrition and flavor. In fact, even kids will go for a green smoothie when fruit is added!
Plants contain insoluble fibers, the kind needed for making paper and cloth. Although those fibers are good for human gastrointestinal purposes, they don’t mix well with a blender when alone in water. Most fruits contain soluble fibers. Soluble fiber from fruits creates a creamy homogenous mix without particle separation, while offering the palatable sweet taste for those accustomed to the standard American diet.
Fruits from which to choose soluble fibers include: bananas, pears, kiwi, and berries of all types. Apples don’t have soluble fibers. But as with juicing, they add taste, body, and nutrition. Make sure you take out the stem, but leave the seeds. For a summer treat, freeze the fruit before blending.
You need to add just enough fluoride free water to liquefy the smoothie into a thick, drinkable consistency. Most are surprised by how much they enjoyed the taste of their very first homemade green smoothie. This reaction is typical of even junk food consumers.
So go ahead and experiment. Mix and match different greens and fruits at different times. Some like to add chlorella powder or other super food powders. But keep it simple, especially at first. Sometimes too many items in one mix can cause some ingredients to cancel each other out.
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