If you’ve ever tried a green drink and turned a little green in the face, you’re not alone.
More often than not our excitement for the healing properties and good-for-you benefits of our first green drink overrides our fear of drinking salad through a straw – until we taste it.
Fear not! I have five tips that will help you ease into green drinks. The key is to combining ingredients that complement each other and taste great.
Tip #1 – Use mild greens to start.
Get to know your green veggies before adding them to your green smoothie. Take a taste of each before you put it in the blender – if it’s too strong when it’s plain hold off on adding it – blending it will amplify the flavor (not mask it as most people think). Spinach has a very mild taste and is excellent for green smoothie beginners. Cucumbers are mild and add volume to your drink. Work your way up to the stronger flavors of dandelion greens & cilantro; your threshold for strong flavors will increase over time.
Tip #2 – Add low-sugar/high antioxidant fruit for flavor and sweetness.
Berries and stone fruits (e.g. nectarines) are low in sugar and big on flavor. Adding a 1/2 cup of this type of fruit will give your smoothie a great flavor and extra healing power.
Tip #3 – Know that texture matters.
This is often the most neglected aspect of preparing any food at home. Play around with different textures of blending your green smoothie to understand what fits your palate best. If you like a creamy smoothie, add 1/2 of an avocado or 1/2 of a banana and blend on high. (Note: be careful not to blend on high too long as the friction of the blender can heat the produce and kill some of the nutrients.)
Tip #4 – Work up to superfood add-ins.
I like to think of a green smoothie as mostly greens, a small amount of low-sugar fruit and a few tablespoons of any superfood added in. Use mild flavors if you’re just starting to explore green drinks and experiment with stronger flavors as you go.
Chia seeds, flax seeds and coconut oil are all mild in flavor and are excellent additions to your smoothie. Maca and goji berries are superfood superstars but have strong flavors. Find a smoothie recipe that you like then add in your extras one at a time to get to know what flavors you like. Over time you’ll be able to tolerate and grow to like the stronger flavors.
Tip #5 – Chill out.
Adding a few ice cubes will do wonders to helping you like your green smoothies (and green juice too). I’ve found that most people like the flavors of green smoothies much better when they’re chilled.
Elizabeth’s Beginner Green Smoothie Recipe
- 2 large handfuls spinach
- 1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
- 1 teaspoon flax or chia seeds (or both)
- 5 ice cubes
Recipe: Wash and prepare all produce. Blend in a high-speed blender until smooth.