Day 4: Go Green & Get Your Smoothie On!

Hello Friends and welcome to day 4 of the sugar free challenge!

We’re celebrating the beauty and power of all things green starting with my freestyle green smoothie tutorial.  Please don’t hesitate to ask questions or share your own smoothie magic.

In this household, we are seriously into our daily green smoothies.  We never leave on a road trip without it.  It also makes for the best fast food around… pour some into glass jars, place in my mini cooler and, viola…you’re good to go when out and about without having to choose between starving or eating lame food.

Disclaimer: I don’t really have a recipe per se, just a general outline and then depending on what’s growing in the garden, in season, or what’s stocked in the fridge and what we’re all in the mood for, I adjust accordingly and suggest you follow your heart and do the same.

Green Smoothie Lowdown

Main dry ingredients: 

Here are a few of the plant based protein powders I use.  Often, I’ll mix a few together to up the protein and change the taste. Raw Protein Powder has a very mild taste and no sugar. Vega almond/vanilla protein smoothie powder, Hemp protein powder, Orgain Organics, Tiger Nut Smoothie Mix. 

Cacao Powder- Adds a rich chocolate flavor without the sugar.  Good source of magnesium, iron and fiber (as touted on the packaging 😉 This makes it so much more appealing to kids (and chocolate loving adults).

Hemp Seeds- With approximately 25% of calories in hemp seeds come from protein and containing all the essential amino acids making them a complete protein source.

Flax Seeds- High in Omega-3 essential fatty acids, the “good” fats. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s and is high in fiber and antioxidants.

Chia Seeds- More wonderful omegas and protein source.  A little goes a long way as the seeds soak up liquid and can make your shakes quite thick.  Blueberries do the same, fyi.

Maca Powder- is sold in a powder form derived from a root grown in South America. It is very rich in nutrients (has a higher calcium level than milk) and is very nutrient dense. It boosts the immune system, helps balance hormones in men and women, improves stamina and aids the body in adapting to stress. 

Coconut Oil-another favorite.  Besides all the many benefits (too long to list so read here) a tablespoon in your smoothie adds a velvety texture to your shakes.  And it has about a bizillion other uses….from skin and body care to toothpaste.

Turmeric- A great anti-inflammatory ingredient which is also recommended to help prevent Alzheimers.

Cinnamon- Helps regulate blood sugar and tastes yummy…especially with the cacao. Note: Ceylon is recommended as the best quality to use.

Cardamom- Intense flavor so go sparingly.  Benefits are as a digestion aid and as an antioxidant.

Cayenne Powder- Another great anti inflammatory ingredient and we love the little kick it gives the smoothies.

Coconut flakes- delicious and chewy. Calorically dense so use accordingly.

Raw Sunflower seeds or any other raw nuts you enjoy.

Spirulina Powder- has the highest protein and beta-caratene levels of all green superfoods and is the highest known vegetable source of B-12. 1 tsp per person.

Greens- this is the base of your smoothie and where all the magic resides. Use almost anything you like but my go to list is: Kale (green not dinosaur), spinach, power green mix by Organic Girl or Earthbound, Swiss Chard (red is my fave), Spring lettuce mix, cucumber, cilantro, beet tops, watercress….

Other fun stuff-fresh peeled ginger chunks (to taste), carrots, roasted beets chunks, a little avocado…

Frozen Fruit- I get a lot of our frozen fruit at Costco at a big savings and it’s organic!  Love cherries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches and the mixes.  Also I buy a bunch of bananas, let them ripen and the peel, slice and freeze them in tupperware.  Bananas really make your smoothies sweet and creamy.  

Soaked Medjool dates make a yummy sweetner but it’s best used sparingly as it is sweet.

Liquid- Water, Coconut, Cashew, Almond or any other nut milk. 

My Basic Smoothie Configuration (although it changes all the time based on what’s at hand and what we’re in the mood for)

Greens go in first.  Handful of spinach, kale, cilantro and cucumber, whatever is looking fresh and tasty. *Fill to half of the blender.

Dry mix- 1 scoop protein powder, 1 TBS cacao, 1 TBS flax, 1 TBS Chia, 1 tsp maca, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cinnamon, dash of cayenne and dash of cardamom. I premix and just scoop int o save time.

Big ol’ scoop of coconut oil.

Add frozen fruit… about a cup. I like a little mini mix; 1/2 banana, strawberries, blueberries, cherries and peaches…

Add liquid- I usually do 2/3 nut milk and 1/3 water.

Blend for a minute and a half (we have a Blendtec and we love ours).  

Of course there are so many great recipes out there and so many different flavor combos (I don’t like tropical fruits in my smoothies at all but they may be your faves), so please do experiment and share your smoothie knowledge with us!

Happy blending and let me know if you have any questions.

xo Tricia

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