First Day of Summer: Green Smoothies

Monday, June 20, 2016, by Kashay Webb

Since it is the first day of summer, I thought I should share my recipe and tips for the perfect green smoothie. I started drinking green smoothies about 3 years ago as a remedy for my excruciating menstrual cramps and a way to get my veggies and fruit in before a busy day. They taste wonderful and once you're drinking it, you don't even notice the spinach! The recipe I use consists of:
1) Two handfuls of spinach, kale, arugula, or whatever "green" you prefer
 -My hands are tiny so I put two handfuls instead of one but you are welcome to put as much spinach as you want. It should be a pretty sufficient amount though because it really defeats the purpose of a green smoothie without the "green".
2) A handful of strawberries
-You can use any berry but after many failed attempts of finding the best recipe, I found that strawberries tastes great with this recipe.
3) One whole banana
-The banana is what gives the smoothie its creamy consistency.
4) Pineapple chunks + juice
-I use canned chopped pineapples, about 5 or so chunks is great. The most important part is the juice because that is what really masks the strong flavor of your veggie. A half cup of pineapple juice does the trick!

I've come to realize that this recipe on its own makes a pretty warm, watery smoothie. If you would like your smoothie to be more creamy and cold like a smoothie should be, follow these additional steps:
1) Prep your smoothie ahead of time.
-I wash, chop, and seal everything in plastic gallon bags so that I can freeze the ingredients for later use. I usually make enough bags to last for a week because I drink them every morning. Most smoothies require ice but if you do this step, you don't need the ice because everything is already pretty cold and solid. Also, chop the strawberries and banana before putting it in the bag (if your blender is like mine, it doesn't like a challenge.)
2) When you want to make your smoothie, thaw the ingredients until they're slushy but not melted.
-Rock hard fruit is really difficult to blend so make sure everything is thawed out first. Don't let it  melt! Otherwise you are stuck with a watery smoothie again.
3) Add a liquid.
-At this point, the pineapple juice you put in the bag is in a solid form. I usually add green tea as my liquid or coconut water. I add the liquid in small increments so the smoothie does not become too watery. This step requires you to focus on how smooth or slushy you would like your smoothie to be.
4) Add extra ingredients.
-At this step I add maca root, spirulina, and chia seeds. I usually add them at the end because I am forgetful and if I do it earlier I will forget I added the ingredients already.
5) Pour the smoothie in a mason jar, get a straw, and enjoy :)