Green smoothies seem to be everywhere these days, from juice bars to daytime TV shows. But what's so great about green smoothies? Are they really that healthy? What's the truth about green smoothies?
What are green smoothies?
No, when people talk about green smoothies, they don't mean a smoothie with food coloring in it for St. Patrick's day! A green smoothie is a smoothie that is blended with fresh leafy green vegetables, such as collard greens, kale, rainbow or Swiss chard or spinach. Some people also use fresh green herbs such as mint or parsley in their green smoothies.
Most people who advocate the nutritious value of green smoothies believe that it's best if the entire smoothie is made from fresh raw vegan food ingredients, that is, raw fruits rather than frozen or canned, and with fresh juice, fresh coconut water, or almond milk for liquid, instead of milk or yogurt, as in some smoothie recipes. Another raw vegan option to add into your green smoothie? How about homemade raw vegan hemp milk!
Are green smoothies really that good for you?
In a word: Yes! Here's why. Leafy green vegetables are the most healthy food on the planet. Is a green smoothie better for you than just eating a salad with the same greens? There are a couple of responses to this question. The first is yes because you can eat a lot more greens a lot easier in a smoothie than in a salad. So you're much more likely to actually make and eat a green smoothie than eat the equivalent amount of greens raw in a salad.
See also: Green smoothie recipes to try
Some people advocate that the digestibility of the greens, when pureed into a green smoothie, is what makes a green smoothie healthier than just eating the greens plain. They reason that the greens are much easier to digest when pureed in a smoothie, taking up less of your body's energy in the digestive process, and giving your body that much more nutrients and energy.
Do green smoothies actually taste good?
They sure do look a bit odd! Once you get used to drinking a green slurpy-like concoction, there's nothing unusual about it at all, but the first time you try it, they do look pretty awful, and your friends and family are sure to give you and your green smoothies a few odd looks. But the good news is if made properly, a green smoothie tastes just as good as a regular smoothie! The greens may add plenty of color to your recipe, but they shouldn't alter the taste much at all.
Another quick tip? Strongly flavored fruits such as mangos, blueberries and strawberries are better than more mild fruits such as bananas and papayas in green smoothies. You may also want to try different greens. I personally don't like herbs such as parsley and cilantro in my green smoothies, and I've never been a fan of mustard greens (though I know many people who love that unique spicy tang they have). I prefer collards or spinach in my green smoothies, as I find they have a more mild taste. Swiss chard works well too. For an extra green boost, try cucumbers or celery!
See also: Why you should love mustard greens
What's the bottom line?
This is one health trend that I personally love. It's easy to make a green smoothie for a snack or better yet, for breakfast, and the energy boost and nutrient boost you receive really is palpable. I say, try it out for yourself. One green smoothie a day for a week and see if you don't just fall in love with green smoothies too!
Green smoothie recipes:
Here are some green smoothie recipes to try: