All about Green Drinks 101

**Update:  I have had a lot of questions regarding the type of blender I use to make green smoothies. I've always used a Vitamix. Click HERE to see the Vitamix. If that one is too pricey, I've also successfully used my Magic Bullet Blender for years, link HERE ."** (affiliate links)

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The thought of eating vegetables can be gag-worthy to some...

But the idea of DRINKING your vegetables can sound just down right repulsive.

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If you would have asked me 5 years ago to drink a green smoothie I would have laughed in your face than had nightmares for 6 months after that. They are down right scary.

Oddly enough, not only do I now eat my veggies, but I drink tons of them too. Trust me. I gots me lots a friends....(And good Engrish too...)

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And if somebody asked me what is ONE thing they could do differently to adapt a healthier eating lifestyle, I would beg them to drink a green smoothie everyday. It's the one thing that I believe can have a major impact on your diet and change the way you feel.

But what exactly are the benefits of drinking green?

Improved digestive system

Better energy

Opportunity to give your body nutrients it most likely wouldn't receive on a regular basis

Being able to eat raw veggies(w/o a cup of ranch dressing on the side.)

-Weight loss

-Fight off sickness

-Sleep improvement

-Rid your body of toxins

-Essential vitamins, nutrients, and minerals

-Helps your kids (and hubby's!) get their veggies

-Fast to make AND healthy!

The list goes on and on....

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But sometimes the benefits are not enough to convince somebody to drink green. Sure it's good for you, but is it really worth stomaching something that can taste so freak nastay?

That's where your wrong my friends...Because I am here to tell you I have never tried a green drink I didn't like.(And trust me...I've had my fair share of green drink varieties.) With the right ingredients, knowledge, and helpful perks, green drinks can taste more like a regular smoothie(even a dessert one) without even noticing the hint of any vegetables!

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First, let's start with the veggies:

Spinach is an obvious choice when it comes to drinking greens. It's a very mild tasting green, so a lot of people love to use it. On top of that, it's a familiar ingredient. People are scared of it, but not too scared since they know a little bit about it. I think spinach is a GREAT green to add in smoothies, but I think sometimes we get stuck in a rut of ONLY using spinach. There are SO many other veggies out there that have different types of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that our bodies need.

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Here are my favorite veggies to use as of right now:

Spinach

Kale (no stems, just leaves. Stems are stanky!)

Rainbow and Green Chard

Collard Greens

Dandelion Greens (Just a little, it can tend to me strong)

Mustard Greens (just a little, it kind of has a kick.)

Cucumbers

Carrots

Beets

Avocados

Pumpkin Puree

*Remember to wash your greens to get rid of dirt and yucky stuff! (Yes, I said yucky. So professional.)

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And to store greens properly, I just wash them, dry, and then put them in labeled zip lock bags with a paper towel.

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Perfect for portioning sizes for smoothies and what not!

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Next Step: Add your fruit!

Veggies aren't the only thing that you can add to your green drink. I especially love adding fruit!

Fruit is a great way to add a natural sweetness to your drink, giving it a 'smoothie' like taste, and hiding the taste of some of those veggies. Not too mention fruit is another great way to get in some extra goodness like antioxidants and fiber!

Here is some of my top fruits to add in smoothies. And fruit will do, it just depends on your liking. For more tropical flavors choose things like mangos, oranges, pineapples, etc...

Bananas (GREAT sweetener! Also does well hiding those veggies!)

Cherries

Strawberries

Blueberries

Blackberries

Raspberries

Mangos

Pears

Pineapples

Peaches

Orange Juice (Fresh squeezed)

Pomegranates

Grapes

Apples

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Next, give that smoothie some VA VA- VOOM!

Here is where you can go above and beyond a strawberry banana smoothie, and move onto a sweet almond cherry coconut bliss smoothie. The world is your...green drink? That made no sense, but are you catching my drift? There are many little things we can add to our green drinks to give them that extra flair that will make them more desirable to drink. No one ever said no to a chocolate PB drink! And if they did, well then...I'm speechless. :-)

Here are some things to add to those green drinks to give them some extra OOMPH!

Nut Butters (Almond Butter, Peanut Butter, Walnut Butter, Sunflower Butter...etc. Great source of protein and healthy fats!)

Nuts (Don't have the butta', then just throw in a few nuts!)

Cocoa Powder (Chocolate...Heck yes!)

Carob Powder

Oatmeal (Bring on the hearty breakfast grains!)

Almond Extract

Vanilla Extract

Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)

Mint Leaves

Basil Leaves

Coconut Milk

Orange Juice (If you combine coconut milk and Oj, you get a creamsicle taste!)

Cocoa nibs

Dark chocolate chips

PB pong balls or Fudge Balls or S'more Balls

Apple Butter

Pumpkin Butter

Lemon, Lime

Ginger

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Don't forget those added bonus:

Every green drink needs those few added bonuses that will boost their nutrient value even more!

Here are my favorite little added bonuses:

Chia Seeds

Ground Flax seeds

Protein Powder (I love to use a plant based protein powder. My favorite brand is Sun Warrior!)

Choice of Liquid (whether it be non dairy milk, reg. milk, water, etc.)

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Lastly if needed, add a sweetener.

I've gotten to the point where I don't usually need a sweetener, especially if I have loaded it with fruit. But the more stronger tasting veggies like beets, I tend to add a little bit to sweeten the drink to my liking.

Here are my favorite go-to natural sweeteners:

100% Pure Maple Syrup

Agave Nectar

Raw Honey

Dates

Stevia

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So where to begin?

Start simple. Add ingredients you are familiar with, and slowly each time add in different things to get used to. You will adjust smoothies to your taste buds preferences, and in time find what is right for you!

Here are a few recipes to get you started!

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 Beginners Green Drink

1 C. non diary milk

2 C. spinach

1 frozen banana

1 TB. Chia Seeds

1 tsp. Sweetener of choice

1tsp. vanilla

Ice

Optional: Peanut Butter

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 Tropical Cream Green Drink

1/2 C. fresh OJ

1/2 C.-1 C. coconut milk

1 C. spinach

1 C. kale

1 frozen banana

1/2 c. frozen pineapple, mango, or peaches

1 tsp. vanilla

2 TB. coconut flakes

ice

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Red Velvet Smoothie

1 C. non dairy milk

1 medium beet peeled, steamed, and chopped

1/3 c. frozen raspberries, cherries, or strawberries

1 frozen banana

4 TB. cocoa powder

4 pitted dates

1 TB. chia seeds

2 tsp. sweetener of choice

1 tsp. vanilla

ice

PICTURE

Green Smoothies are great for breakfast! Baby Boo has one pretty much every morning, it's her favorite thing to have!

Here is a typical smoothie for Boo. It's loaded with healthy fats, protein, greens, and tons of vitamins and minerals!!

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Princess Bliss Avocado Green Smoothie

1 C. milk of choice (I used coconut-from a carton, not a can.)

1 frozen banana

1/2 frozen avocado

1/2 c. kale

1/4 c. oats

1/4 c. vanilla yogurt (soy or reg.)

1 TB. Chia seeds

1 TB. almond butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 TB. maple syrup (Boo really doesn't need a sweetener because she can't tell the difference, but for older kids you could add a little more than 1 TB.)

ice

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Then this morning for breakfast the three of us split this smoothie:

My husband said it was the BEST smoothie he has ever had...And trust me, those words don't always come out of his mouth...

SHOCKER! :-)

Chocolatey Chocolate Green Smoothie

1 c. milk of choice

handful spinach

handful kale

handful chard

1/4 c. dandelion greens (just the leaves)

1 frozen banana

handful frozen cherries

4 spoonfuls cocoa powder

2 TB. almond butter

1 TB. chia seeds

2 TB. agave nectar

2 c. ice

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A lot of times I make more than enough smoothie, so I just freeze the extra in an ice cube tray and use them for another day! That way, when I am in a hurry I just throw some in a blender with some milk and voila!

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Whew! That was a LONG post! Don't be afraid to try a green drink! If anything, you won't regret the way it will make you feel on a regular basis. :-)

For additional recipes, just go to my recipes tab underneath the header and click on green drinks!

Have a great day!! :-)