Recipe: I owe my survival to this green smoothie
By Isabelle Bennett, Features Editor
Let’s start things off with a disclaimer: I’m one of those weirdos who hates cheesecake because I feel that cake should be sweet and cheese should be salty — I also feel that the real weirdos are people who happen to like cheesecake. Similarly, I used to feel that smoothies should be sweet and vegetables should — well, not be in them. Green smoothies appeared to be a way to just ruin a good thing. But then, I tried them.
As someone who is always on-the-go (a nice way of saying “often running late”) I need a breakfast that is fast and easy to make. I don’t drink caffeine, so it also has to be something that wakes me up and keeps me full for the morning. As though those expectations weren’t high enough already, I want it to be something that sits lightly so that I can avoid cramps and feel energized when I workout. My breakfast favourites have phased in and out over the years, but one of my all-time favourites is a nice, green smoothie. Here’s how I make it.
1. Start with a big handful of spinach.
I grab as much spinach as one handful can hold and put it right in my blender, but if you have giant hands that might be a little too green for you. You won’t be able to taste it, but I find adding spinach makes the whole thing seem a bit more flavourful (and it makes me feel Popeye-level shredded). I’m guessing one packed cup is good, but the beautiful thing about smoothies is that you can easily fix your mistake of adding too much of one thing by adding more of everything else. I buy spinach in bulk and freeze it since I eat one of these things every blinking day and running out sucks.
2. Add in one banana and five to ten large strawberries.
Like the spinach, I often keep the strawberries frozen. Particularly during winter, I’ve found it to be cheaper to buy frozen strawberries. It simplifies things too, eliminating the need to cut out the stem. Whatever you have for bananas works, it doesn’t matter if they’re fresh, frozen, bruised or brown just make sure you take the peel off.
3. Add yogurt and a splash of orange juice.
In case it’s not clear yet, I’m all about ease. This is part of the reason why I usually buy individually-portioned yogurt cups to add to my smoothie. I find it saves me money, because it stops me from using too much, and it seems like they’re always on sale. The flavour doesn’t really matter, I find this mainly just helps with the consistency (and the probiotics leave me feeling like a health queen). Orange juice is usually easier (and cheaper) to have on hand than lemons and work just as well!
4. Channel your inner Gordon Ramsay and add whatever else you want.
I usually skip this step, but I don’t know you or what you’ve been through or what your body needs. Sometimes I add another type of berry if its on hand or some grated ginger if I’m feeling really crazy. There’s this weird guy I know who likes to add raw eggs for protein. Protein powder or other kinds of nutrient-rich blends are also options.
5. Blend well and enjoy.
I’m a bit of a blender snob and I’ll never stray from my Vitamix blender. I don’t think the type of blender you use matters much at all, though. The cup doesn’t matter, nor does whether you use a straw or not. I like to take mine with me in a shaker cup so that I don’t have to aggressively sip it all at once. What matters is that it tastes great!
Let me know your thoughts if you have a chance to give this recipe a try.