Green Juices vs. green Smoothies and a few favorites part 2
There are certain phrases in our society that I find perplexing. "Let's grab a coffee" is one of them. Oftentimes the friend asking me on said coffee date does not drink coffee, and knows that I don't touch the stuff either. Yet somehow, coffee has become a stand in for "let's spend some time catching up over a beverage." I would like to change that. Recently, I have been making an effort to ask friends if they would like to grab a juice or a smoothie. I think it's catching on as last week a (very pregnant) friend of mine asked me on a smoothie date. I was delighted.
After giving much attention to the basics of green juice, it's only fair to show some love to my other favorite green concotion-the green smoothie. Unlike green juice where the fiber is separated out (for lighting fast nutrient absorption), a green smoothie is made by blending all of your ingredients together in a blender. My basic formula for a green smoothie is:
- a liquid base such as water, coconut water or nut milk
- a fat or protein source for density such as nut butter, avocado or young coconut
- some fruit for sweetness such as pineapple, mango, blueberries, banana etc
- GREENS GREENS GREENS such as spinach, kale, romaine etc
- some spices or extract for extra depth of flavor such as ginger, basil, cilantro, cinnamon, vanilla etc
Smoothie making is a very imprecise science. Throw one or more ingredients from each of these categories into a blender (your best choice is a Vitamix) and you will have a delicious, nutrient dense smoothie in no time! Green smoothie drinking has many benefits including:
A Jump Start on Digestion
As I mentioned before, digestion is hard work for your body. Unlike a juice a smoothie still requires digestive work from your body but it is much easier on your system than digesting a whole meal. The blender does a good deal of pre digestion for you, which allows the smoothie to be absorbed by your body much more easily.
Sneak In Some Greens
A green smoothie is a great way to sneak some extra greens into your day. By adding a few handfuls of spinach or kale or a head of romaine to your smoothie you are giving yourself an extra boost of alkalinity for the day. Oftentimes green smoothies contain more greens than a lunch-sized salad! Sweet, creamy, green smoothies are also a great way to get kids or those adverse to greens to get their daily dose.
Quick and Easy Meal
On most weekdays I will have a dense green smoothie for lunch. Not only are smoothies easier to consume on the go, but they don't weigh me down and make me feel tired for the rest of the afternoon like a big meal would. A green smoothie gives you all of the nutrition of a filling lunch minus the bloat and post lunch slump!
A few notes about green smoothie consumption:
- The bulk of your green smoothie should be greens, not fruit. A little fruit for flavor and sweetness is ok but make sure not to add too much as the sugar in fruit adds up quickly. Especially when blended!
- Nutrient dense green smoothies should be thought of as a meal not a beverage. Just look at all the ingredients you are putting into your blender! Definitely meal material!
- Don't drink the bottled green smoothies you find at the grocery store. Not only does the pasteurizing process kill all the nutrition in them, but they are usually mostly fruit juices. Just look at the nutrition label- shocking amounts of sugar!
- Always drink green smoothies on an empty stomach. They are fast to digest (although slower than green juice) and if anything is blocking their way they will make you gassy and miserable!
I drink a green smoothie almost every day for lunch. Whether I am making my own or getting one on the go these are my very favorite ones!
There is a reason I call this my everyday smoothie. It is my go to favorite smoothie to drink at home. Sometimes I will change it up by adding some frozen fruit or mint but in general if I am home at lunchtime this is what I am having!
One Lucky Duck Sarma's Favorite Green Shake
This super green smoothie is a bit on the lighter side as it does not have a fat source, just greens, greens, some fruit and herbs and more greens! It is perfect when I do not want something super filling!
One Lucky Duck Avocolada
This cold, creamy, sweet smoothie instantly puts me on the beach... if only in my mind!
Juice Generation Garden Green Coco (hold the banana)
Juice Generation recently added coconut shakes to their menu and I could not be more thrilled. With it's combination of young coconut, spinach and kale this smoothie is amazing! I personally ask them to hold the banana as I am not a huge fan and think it makes it too sweet.
Planet Raw Maca Mint Chocolate Chip Mylk Shake
Whenever I visit LA, Planet Raw is my first stop from the airport. This amazing sweet shake is more of a dessert than a meal, but as a special treat I will often have one for lunch!
I hope these posts cleared up any questions you might have about green juices vs. green smoothies!