Green Smoothies provide a nutritious, delicious snack or meal replacement. But, they also help picky eaters get some much needed veggies in their diets. Ours usually include some leafy green vegetable, fruit, yogurt and water. Super easy and always satisfying.
How we started on Green Smoothies
The company I used to work for required annual blood checkups for me and my husband. The idea is that if you know what your levels of cholesterol and glucose are, then you are more likely to adopt a healthy lifestyle. Well, it certainly worked for us.
After receiving our results one year, my husband was especially worried about his health. He had gone back to school for a second career path and his degree was centered around heart health. So, when he saw his numbers, he knew he had to make some lifestyle changes, especially considering how little fruits and vegetables he had in his diet.
I had a friend who posted a picture online of her blender filled with kale, mangoes and yogurt. She said it was the most popular breakfast in her house. So, I told my husband about it and we agreed to try green smoothies for a week.
The next morning we had a blend of kale, spinach, mangoes and apples. And, HE LOVED IT! And my picky two year old loved it too. We drank green smoothies every morning for breakfast for months after that.
Green Smoothie Recipe
2 cups dark green leafy vegetable
1 cup of frozen fruit
1/2 cup of fresh fruit
2 cups of water (up to 4 cups depending on desired thickness)
1/2 cup of greek yogurt (plain, vanilla, or flavored)
1 Tbsp. local honey
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 5-10 min until smooth. Add more water if it looks too thick. Makes enough for 4 one cup servings.
Do’s & Don’ts of Making a Green Smoothie
- Use frozen fruit. I find that the ice cold temperature makes the smoothie more palatable. Room temperature smoothies are just not as easy to drink. Using mostly fresh fruit and adding ice later makes it hard to get the ice blended up and we found too many large ice chunks.
- Use 1 or 2 different kinds of leafy greens. More than that can make it have a bitter taste that almost tastes like poison.
- Use as many types of fruits as you like, but be aware that some fruits just do not blend up well or their seeds can taste really bad when blended.
- Blend for at least 5 minutes. It will seem like a long time, but the smoother the texture, the more likely your picky eaters are to drink it.
- Substitute almond milk for water if you want a creamier texture.
- Use Kiwi. I love the taste of Kiwi, but when you grind up the seeds, it gives the smoothie a terrible aftertaste.
- Use too much fresh fruit. A small amount of fresh fruit can be added in, but you want it to be mostly frozen fruit.
- Make it too complicated. The more “stuff” you add in, the more you are risking an unpleasant or bitter taste. Start with something simple and experiment with 1 or 2 add-ins at a time.
Kids and Green Smoothies
My kids love these! Sometimes I serve them with our dinner if I am just too burned out on our usual vegetables. My kids never have trouble drinking them all gone.
Even though the fruit and yogurt masks the taste of the leafy greens, my kids still taste the vegetables. And they don’t mind them. Plus, they get all the benefits from the dark green vegetables: fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
I also believe that drinking these regularly has made it easier for my kids to try and enjoy other vegetables. My husband and my kids are more willing to try other vegetables. Maybe it has something to do with getting used to the flavors of the vegetables or maybe it is my imagination, but they genuinely seem to like other vegetables now.
If your family is also finicky, here are Six Tips for Managing Picky Eaters!
Green Smoothies vs. Juicing
I know lots of people juice these days. It is a super popular way to detox or get extra vitamins and minerals in your diet. But, after incorporating green smoothies into our diet, I feel they are the better option.
First of all, when you juice, you are leaving behind all that good fiber in the machine. Green smoothies include the good vegetable and fruit fiber that helps make us feel full and more satisfied for longer.
Second, you do not need special equipment to make a green smoothie, unless you don’t have a blender. But a blender is a more useful, versatile tool in the kitchen. You can use it for more things unlike the juicer which has only one function.
Lastly, my kids just prefer the green smoothies to vegetable juice. I do not know if it is the yogurt or the fruit or a combination, but the taste of a green smoothie is just more pleasing for my kids.
Finding interesting and tasty ways to incorporate vegetables and fruit into our diet is always a challenge. My picky eaters do not even like to see foods they love combined in a different way. But, green smoothies have been a great way for this momma to know that her kids eat regular servings of fruits and vegetables! I hope your family enjoys them too!