If you haven't yet tried green smoothies because they sound too weird, this one might change your mind, and the health benefits are huge. Here is the green smoothie we have been drinking for some time - my blueberry green smoothie.
There are many great things about smoothies. They are fast and easy to make, endlessly customizable, super healthy (with the right ingredients) and transportable to take with you on busy mornings. In fact, I've had one most every morning for more than 15 years. You could say I am hooked.
Oh, and this one? As I took the photo well after breakfast, I capped the jar and put it in the fridge. The next morning, I poured the jar into a blender and re-blended it and it was perfect. I am sure a really good shake would have sufficed, so they can even be made ahead if time is tight.
Superfood Blueberry Green Smoothie
I've used all superfoods to create one super way to start the day. The blue comes from blueberries and a blue-green micro algae called spirulina. More green power comes from big handfuls of baby spinach leaves.
To complete the smoothie, add protein (options at end), healthy fat from nut butter (almond, coconut, or cashew), and extra flavor from raw cacao powder and chocolate flavored liquid stevia drops.
Note - I usually buy my nut butters from Thrivemarket.com, because their prices are really good. The brand I buy is Artisana, for the taste and quality. Do what work best for you.
Nutrient-dense blueberries are packed with nutrition. Toss them into plain Greek yogurt, add to steel cut oats, or add them to smoothies. Blueberries are high in fiber, vitamins C and K and are thought to contain the highest levels of antioxidants of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables.
Blueberries are thought to help reduce blood pressure, prevent heart disease and they are great brain food to boot. Talk about food as medicine, these little berries offer huge health benefits. But be sure to buy organic. Conventional blueberries have high levels of pesticides.
Spirulina is considered one of the world's first superfoods. Its one of the most nutrient-rich, nutritionally complete foods on earth and offers a long list of health benefits. The fine, dark emerald green powder mixes easily into smoothies. That rich green color comes from chlorophyll, a natural detoxifier, helping our bodies get rid of toxins and other impurities. Spirulina also boost our immune system.
Just 1 teaspoon of spirulina provides 2 grams of complete protein (all essential amino acids) along with non-essential amino acids, and an amazing array of vitamins and minerals. I highly recommend you read more about the benefits here.
After researching brands, I buy Nutrex Hawaii. It's the only one of its kind to be cultured in a BioSecure Zone that is free of pesticides, herbicides, and GMOs on the big island of Hawaii. For pennies a day, you can add this amazing superfood to your diet. One note - if you are sensitive or allergic to iodine, skip the spirulina.
Adding baby spinach leaves to your morning smoothie is like an insurance policy to getting enough green veggies into your daily diet. The tender leaves blend smoothly into an emerald puree and it sounds crazy, but you don't taste the spinach.
Another nutrient powerhouse, spinach is rich in vitamins (K and A), minerals (Manganese and folate) and powerful little plant compounds called phytonutrients, shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer benefits. In particular, the high levels of vitamin K are great for our bone health.
The Rest of the Ingredients
Try a clean, unsweetened, plant-based or grass fed whey based protein powder. Read this post for help in how to choose a protein powder and a list of alternative ways to add protein from whole food sources such as hemp and chia seeds, nut butters (which also provide healthy fat) and plain Greek yogurt, for those who are not dairy sensitive.
Sweetness and Flavor
I add a few drops of chocolate flavored liquid stevia and a little raw cacao powder for a chocolatey flavor.
Superfood Blueberry Green Smoothie
- 10 ounces almond milk
- 3 handfuls baby spinach leaves 3 ounces
- ⅓ cup organic blueberries fresh or frozen
- 1 teaspoon spirulina optional
- 1 tablespoon cashew butter almond or coconut butter
- 1 serving protein powder of choice 1-2 scoops, see notes in post
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1 ½ teaspoons raw unsweetened cacao powder
- a few drops of chocolate liquid stevia optional
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend gradually, getting to high, until smooth.