A couple of weeks ago I received an email from lovely blog reader Sam, requesting my ultimate green smoothie recipe, the most nutritious and filling one I could come up with!
Green smoothies are a fantastic way of getting more leafy green vegetables into your diet (which I feel are some of the most nutritious foods available), as well as being the perfect vehicle for adding various nutritional powders. One of the great things about green smoothies is that they are endlessly customisable – you can make them as cleansing or as decadent as you like but they will always be pretty healthy!
As you can imagine it was hard to come up with an ‘ultimate’ recipe as depending on how I feel I make my smoothies lighter, sweeter or more filling. What I have came up with is both very healthy and very tasty, as well as being filling. As always you can very easily change up the components to suit your own tastes:
Laura’s Ultimate Green Smoothie (vegan, serves 1, can be raw)
- 100g of chopped kale (or greens of choice – if in doubt or if your blender isn’t too great go for spinach or romaine)
- Quarter of a cucumber, chopped
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 scoop of protein powder of choice – (optional, my choice here would always be vanilla sun warrior)
- 1 1/2 cups of water or non diary milk – personally I find the protein powder adds enough creaminess so just use water
- 6 ice cubes
- Sweetener – optional and probably depends on the sweetness of your protein powder. You could try adding 1 tbsp of agave syrup, honey, stevia or a couple of chopped dates
- 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum – available in the ‘free from’ sections at the supermarket: xanthan gum adds creaminess and thickness
- 1 tsp of maca powder – available from Holland and Barrat – I love maca powder, its supports the adrenal gland and helps to balance hormones
- 1 tbsp of ground flax – adds essential fats
- Other powders as desired – I went with a scoop of midori greens
This will make a pretty big thick smoothie which will be perfect for eating out of a bowl. I love thick smoothies in a bowl as I tend to gulp down smoothies from a glass, so these are more filling for me. If your having yours from a bowl its fun to add some toppings. Here are my favourites for taste and nutrition:
- 1 tbsp of goji berries
- 1 tbsp of raw cacao nibs
- 1 tbsp of nut butter (you can mix with some warm water to create a more creamy texture)
- 1 tbsp of bee pollen
- Plain raw nuts and seeds
Start by washing the greens and placing in the blender followed by the banana, cucumber and powders except the xanthan gum.
Add one cup of liquid and set to blend. It may take some time for the mixture to start blending depending on your blender. I usually stop and start mine a few times pushing the mixture down on to the blades in between. Once it has blended up a bit add the other 1/2 cup of liquid along with the ice cubes. Blend again until smooth. Stop and check for sweetness and thickness. If needed add your sweetener and if you want to eat from a bowl or just prefer something thicker add the xanthan gum.
Blend again leaving the motor going for a good 30 seconds so that its very well combined. Pour into glass or bowl and add toppings. Enjoy!
I topped mine with my favourite goji berries, cacao nibs and bee pollen. I use a very large bowl to fit it all in, if your just using a small bowl you will have some over flow!
I have also have a few more green smoothie recipes here including a carrot cake and apple pie green smoothie! I think the beauty of smoothies is that you can make them your own using whatever ingredients you have to hand so go and experiment!
This is my ultimate for taste and nutrition but I think my absolute favourite would have to be a simple greens, cocoa and frozen cherry mix – perfect every time! Have you ever tried a green smoothie? If your a green smoothie lover, what would be in your favourite combo?