There are a variety of reasons that I'm not on "the smoothie train", which you can find at the bottom of this recipe (seemed a bit strange to start a recipe with reasons why I don't like that particular category of food). However, every once in a while, a green smoothie can be a tasty, quick, and easy way to get in some greens and this one is particularly helpful with the boost of protein from yogurt and spicy kick of ginger. Feel free to mix and match with other ingredients, such as kale in place of spinach and pear and cinnamon instead of apple and ginger. Makes one smoothie.
- 2 cups tightly packed raw spinach
1/2 cup water
2-3 ice cubes
1 green apple, cored and chopped
1/2 cup lowfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, diced
Blend spinach with water and ice. With blender on low, incorporate the apple, yogurt, and ginger. Increase speed to high and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth. Enjoy cold.
A few reasons for not being on "the smoothie train":
- I like to eat my food - call me crazy, but there's just a much greater satisfaction from biting and chewing than from drinking a thick liquid, IMHO. After all, we developed chewing hard food skills at a young age and we might as well use them while we can!
- By blending our fruits and vegetables, we're "pre-digesting" our food in a way. To put it simply, our bodies don't have to work as hard to get nutrients from the food. This may sound great, but in our modern era, we typically don't need "easier" calories. Additionally, the benefits of fiber, which is one of the reasons why plant foods are so awesome, are likely to be diminished when the fiber is "sheared" into smaller pieces. We chop, cook, and process food in other ways all of the time with similar effects, but it's all about a combination of different processes - raw, cooked, fermented, etc. that lead to the most balanced diet.
There's nothing inherently wrong about smoothies made with vegetables, fruits, and other wholesome ingredients and if that's the only way you'll eat produce then godspeed, but the best way to get fruits and vegetables is to bite into them, as nature intended. Sometimes though, a smoothie is a great way to go!