Ah, the green smoothie. Of all of the health foods trends we’ve seen come and go, there’s no doubt that the green smoothie is here to stay. And it should! Blending up fruits and veggies in an easily drinkable form is brilliant — and tasty. Lately we’ve been reading the book Clean Cuisine: An 8-Week Anti-Inflammatory Diet that Will Change the Way You Age, Look & Feel, which puts a big emphasis on having a green smoothie once a day for optimal health. While we’re planning to share a full review of the book on Fit Bottomed Girls soon, we thought it would be fun to share a little green smoothie Q&A with Clean Cuisine’s authors, Ivy and Andrew Larson, detailing the most common questions they get. They call theirs “SuperGreen” smoothies — and be sure to tune back into FBE later today for when we share their Thai Style Pineapple-Cilantro Smoothie recipe!
Q&A About Green Smoothies With Ivy and Andy Larson
Would juicing be better than drinking a SuperGreen smoothie? No. Juices are not “whole foods;” juices are a fractured food missing the fiber along with key antioxidants found within the fiber that are naturally present in the “whole” fruit or vegetable. Keep in mind, fiber is also an essential component of detoxification and is crucial for helping rid your body of toxins. Once you reduce toxins, you’ll actually absorb nutrients better. Fiber-rich foods also help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full longer, but because juices are missing the fiber they don’t do a very good job of filling you up. You will undoubtedly end up being hungrier (and eating more!) if you drink juice instead of your SuperGreen smoothie.
Can’t I just have an extra salad instead of a smoothie? You could do this but it’s not optimal, especially if you have digestive issues. Your body actually assimilates considerably more vital nutrients from blended greens than from chewed greens because the blender breaks down the food into super teeny-tiny particles.
Can I just drink the same SuperGreen smoothie every day? Yes and no. Sure, it would be better to drink the same SuperGreen smoothie every day rather than no SuperGreen smoothie at all, but you’ll be shortchanging your nutrition if you don’t rotate your greens. Just like we suggest you eat a wide variety of whole grains, fruits and vegetables in our Clean Cuisine book, we also suggest you eat a wide variety of greens. This is because each and every green has its own unique nutrient, antioxidant and phytonutrient profile. For optimal health you want to switch up your greens and try different SuperGreen smoothies as often as you can.
How far in advance can I make my SuperGreen smoothie? You can make SuperGreen smoothies up to 24 hours in advance as long as you keep them cold in the refrigerator. I often make a double batch for us so that we usually only make a new one every other day. Also, the chia seeds in the smoothies will thicken over time, so you may want to add more water if you don’t drink your smoothie within 15 minutes after mixing. Another option is to put your smoothie back in the blender with two or three ice cubes for 30 seconds just before drinking to “freshen” it up.
How long does it take to make a SuperGreen smoothie and clean up? No more than five minutes start to finish — considerably less time, effort and mess than it takes to squeeze juice!
What if I don’t like the taste? Add more fruit or pitted dates for sweetness. If you want to really mask the flavor of the greens simply add more fruit.
Why are chia seeds so great in green smoothies? The chia seeds are not essential, but we just add them for a fiber, omega-3 and antioxidant booster.
What are your favorite ingredients to throw in a green smoothie? —Jenn