smoothie2Green smoothies are all the rage these days?  If you’re wondering whether to give them a try or looking for ways to make your smoothie special – read on.

I started drinking green smoothies about two years ago, and I am definitely a fan.  I drink one almost every day.

A green smoothie is a great way to get your daily dose of herbs, superfoods, vegetables, fruit, protein, healthy fats, and enzymes, and they can be delicious.

However (some things to watch out for)

  • I usually avoid using raw, cruciferous vegetables in my smoothies, because they contain  a substance that can lead to thyroid problems like goiter or hypothyroid.  Eating cruciferous vegetables occasionaly  or eating cooked cruciferous vegetables is usually fine.
  • I avoid smoothies that are too cold – like those made from frozen fruit.  If you are a warm, healthy person living in a warm climate, this may be OK.  But if you tend to feel cold or have joint pain, low back pain, knee pain, incontinence, fatigue, or poor digestion such as bloating, gas or loose stool, try to avoid any very cold food or drink.  Honestly, this time of year in cool, rainy, Oregon – drinking cold smoothies and cold water will cause me to have symptoms that are totally absent as soon as I warm things up.  Make your smoothie with freshly brewed, hot tea to counter the cold of frozen fruit.  
  • A smoothie made with fruit, fruit juice, ice and possibly milk  is a completely different thing than the green smoothies I am referring to – its dessert not a meal.

So what goes into a green smoothie?  Here is what I like:smoothie6

  • fruit: I use whatever is local (if possible,) organic, and available such as banana,  apple, pear, apricot, plum, pomegranate, any type of berry, mango, papaya, avocado, pineapple, or orange. A small slice of lime or lemon is also delicious.  Avocado will make your smoothie extra creamy and is a great source of healthy fats. 
  • vegetables: Some of my favorites are romaine lettuce, celery, cucumber, daikon radish, carrot, spinach, fresh ginger root, sweet potato, pumpkin, and winter squash.  There are so many great vegetables, figure out what you like, include variety and bright, varied colors, but watch out for too many raw, cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc.  In addition, some people are sensitive to nightshades like tomato and green pepper.
  • Tonic Herbs (I often put in all my herbs for the day and then divide my smoothie into two parts – one i drink in the morning and one I pack in a thermos to drink in the afternoon or evening.) If you have a good blender – you can put your herb capsules in whole.  (See Part 2 next week for more information about why you should include Tonic Herbs and how to choose the right ones for you.)
  • flax and chia seeds – a great source of protein and healthy fats.  Chia seeds will make your smoothie thick and creamy.  I mix flax and chia seeds together in a jar and then just add a big spoonful of this mixture to my smoothie. 
  • some liquid – i like to use strongly brewed Spring Dragon Tea – and usually a little coconut, almond, or hemp milk.  I also add at least a little Kangen water to aid in the absorption of all these micronutrients.   In the winter I especially like to use Spring Dragon Tea – so that my smoothie is not too cold.  I will boil the water when I first wake – pour it over the Spring Dragon Tea and a handful of almonds and let it brew and soak while I’m getting dressed.  (soaking your almonds overnight is even better)

You now have a basic smoothie – start here if yore feeling over whelmed.  The following ingredients, while optional, will take your smoothie to the next level, helping you on your way to Radiant Health.

  • a green superfood powder – my favorite BY FAR  is Tonic Alchemy herbs-and-superfoods-tonic-alchemy-95-oz-30-servings-686-256px-256px
  • a fruit superfood powder – my favorite BY FAR  is Brazilian Magic.
  • a liquid, angstrom-sized, multimineral blend or individual minerals – I like Mother Earth Minerals Healthy Woman – long term rotection for your teeth and bones.   We have this in stock n our Eugene store.  Dragon Herbs Shilajit is also a good source of minerals.herbs-and-superfoods-brazilian-magic-48-oz-36-servings-680-256px-256px
  • a small amount of Arctic Cod Liver Oil or fermented cod liver oil – a source of natural (not synthetic) vitamin D ( I ind I don’t taste this – but if you do – it comes in capsules.)  Wehave this in tock in the store as well.  If you live somewhere sunny you won’t need this the waywe do in the PacificNorthwest in winter.
  • a handful of nuts (i like raw almonds – soaked if you’re organized enough)  for protein, yumminess and more healthy fats.
  • protein powder is optional.  I prefer nuts and Chia seeds.  But if you do opt for protein powder Sunwarrior Rice Protein and Hemp Protein are my favorites.
  • a spoonful of coconut oil is healthy and delicious.
  • raw cacao powder.  Raw cacao aids boosts your body’s ability to utilize the mushrooms that feed your immune system like Reishi and Chaga.  It also is quite energizing – and some days – you just need something that delicious.
  • a pinch of high quality salt like Real Salt,  Himalayan Pink Salt, or high quality Sea Salt.

Flavor - you can do a basic smoothie with whatever fruit and vegetables you have on hand – or you can plan ahead for things like

  • banana + peanut butterherbs-and-superfoods-guilin-sweetfruit-drops-011-256px-256px
  • pumpkin with cinnamon
  • blueberry-banana, or strawberry-banana
  • pini colada (use fresh coconut, shredded coconut or coconut milk from a can with pineapple)
  • or – chocolate!  just use raw cacao powder and/or raw cacao nibs – if this is not sweet enough for you – add sweetfruit drops, a banana, 1-2 dates, or a little raw honey like our Manuka Honey or some local, raw honey, or maple syrup.herbs-and-superfoods-manuka-honey-250g-681-256px-256px
  • chocolate+peanut butter
  • if you like your smoothie sweet – add some Sweetfruit Drops or Raw Honey
  • remember – these flavors all have vegetables in them.

 How to make a smoothie

1. put everything in a good blender and turn it on.  Its that easy.

vitamixcontrolsi have some tips in Part 2 to check out – my favorite tips, tricks, and smoothie secrets for the extra step i LOVE. 

I now have a vitamix blender, and I absolutely love it.  The blender has a smoothie setting.  I put in all the ingredients, turn on the blender, and it turns off automatically when everything is blended smooth.  It will blend just about anything.  In the summer you can use the Vitamix to make the most delicious, healthy ice cream and sorbet… 

 What if…

My smoothie is too thick? -

Try putting in more liquid or Less chia seeds (they will thicken anything.)

My smoothie is not sweet enough?

Add more fruit, dates, a little fruit juice, Sweetfruit Drops, Stevia, or Raw Honey.

Be sure to ask your smoothie questions in the comments below.

Check back next week for Part 2: Supercharge your smoothie.

For more info on the correlation between raw cruciferous vegetables and thyroid click here

Cheers! see you next week.