I first learned about green smoothies in 2010 from a good friend of mine. Soon after, I had the opportunity to sit in on a green smoothie class taught by Robyn Openshaw, the Green Smoothie Girl (www.greensmoothiegirl.com). I loved the class and have been to several since. You can watch a short ‘how to’ video with green smoothie girl at the end of this post. I gave green smoothies a try. After doing them for a short period of time I noticed I had more energy, easier digestion and less food cravings. Awesome! I’ve been doing green smoothies for my family since then. I’ll usually make a large blender full in my Blendtec each morning and Scott will take a coffee mug full with him to work, I’ll drink 20-32 oz and each of our four kids has a glass(we have five but Nora’s not old enough to drink anything besides breast milk). If they don’t finish it at breakfast they finish it sometime before dinner.
Over the past few months, I’ve been trying out all sorts of smoothie recipes, several with oats as one of the ingredients. But most of the recipes I found online that had oat smoothies also had a good amount of yogurt and since I’m trying not to do dairy right now because our newborn seems to have a cows milk sensitivity for now, I decided to try adding oats to the green smoothie we have daily. The kids didn’t even notice, so I’d say it was definitely a success!
I find that Costco has the best price for spinach, by far, and you can get berries for a really good deal as well. I go through my huge bag of spinach in about 2 weeks. The spinach will stay good that long if you store it in your fridge, laid out flat. But if you store it straight up and down(like in the picture above), the spinach on the bottom will go bad within a week. Also, notice that I sometimes use fresh bananas and sometimes frozen bananas. Tip: When bananas are on sale I stock up and then I break bananas into thirds and freeze them on a cookie sheet for about an hour and then transfer them to a ziploc bag which I date and label. These banana pieces work great for smoothies.
I will also freeze a few bananas in their skins(yup, just throw them right in the freezer) to use in banana bread after I’ve let them thaw on my counter.
Let’s get started on the green smoothie! First, add your liquids to the blender. I usually do 12 oz water and 2 oz 100% juice to sweeten it(you don’t need a sweetener and I like it great without though I’ll usually add either a little juice or Stevia or agave because my kids and hubby prefer it that way). Tip: if you ever use fruit canned in it’s juice, you can save the juice in a little jar and use it as the juice in your smoothie. It’ll keep in your fridge for about a week. Next, add in a leaf or two of kale(which has a stronger taste) and a couple of large handfuls of spinach, which is a really mild green. Liquefy them.
This is what the stevia I get looks like. It comes in little 1/2 tsp packets and it looks like a white, granulated type of sugar. Stevia has no impact on blood sugar levels. I add in a packet of this if I’m not using 100% juice to sweeten the smoothie.
Sometimes I’ll add some oats, about 1/2 cup, but that’s optional.
At this point I’ll also usually add in a tablespoon of chia seeds or soaked flax seeds(flax oil works great too, but a little expensive), both of which are really high in your omega fats. I like to blend up my greens, seeds and oats before I add the fruit so they grind up nice and smooth. Tip: I’ll soak about 2 Tbsp flax seeds in 3/4 c water in a small jar with a lid on top that has a screen for easy straining(I got the repair window screens at Ace hardware and cut them in circles to fit the tops of my jars). Let it sit for about 2 hours and then strain out the water. If you’re not using it right away, rinse and add fresh water. You can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days and rinse and strain a couple of times during the day.
Now add your fresh fruit. I like to add 1 and 1/2 bananas plus a whole apple, cored. Once your fresh fruit is in, add 3c frozen berries and 1 ice. I love the frozen mixed berries from Costco and the frozen tropical mix but you can use whatever you want. The frozen mixed berries(blueberries, blackberrys and raspberries) will change the color of your smoothie from green to a brownish-purple color which some children(and husbands :)) prefer.
Blend everything together for 2-3 minutes in your high power blender until smooth.
Green Smoothie- makes approx 60 oz
12 oz water
2 oz 100% fruit juice(or you can omit juice and use 14oz water with 1/2 tsp Stevia or 1 Tbsp agave)
1-2 leaves kale
2 large handfuls spinach
1 1/2 banana
1 apple, cored
2 c frozen mixed berries(blackberry, blueberry, raspberry)
1 c frozen tropical fruit(pineapple,papaya, mango and strawberries)
1 c ice
optional: 1 Tbsp soaked flax seeds, 1 Tbsp chia seeds,
optional: 1/2 c regular rolled oats
Combine liquids, greens, and optional ingredients in high power blender and liquefy. Add in fresh fruit, frozen fruit and ice. Blend until smooth about 2-3 minutes.