Photos by Rikki Snyder
Hi there everyone and Happy New Year! My name is McKel--some of you may know me from Nutrition Stripped, my plant-based, gluten-free food and nutrition blog. I’m a Registered Dietitian, Health & Wellness Coach and food blogger who absolutely loves green smoothies; in fact I drink my Stripped Green Smoothie daily without fail! Today I’m going to share some of my personal tips and tricks on how to build a perfect green smoothie--either as a snack or as a meal.
- Green smoothies are easy to digest! Because the fruits and greens have been blended, the cell walls where nutrients are encased are broken, making the nutrients more readily available for use by the body. Think of it as being “pre-digested.”
- They're packed full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, polyphenols, fiber, water, and oh did I mention fiber?
- They're perfect first thing in the morning before your usual breakfast, as a snack, OR increase the serving to take place of your breakfast (up to 32 ounces or until you’re satisfied!).
- Green smoothies are quick and easy. If you’re someone who is always on the go, this is a great way to ensure you’re getting a substantial amount of greens into your diet (which are oh so important!).
- If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy eating green leafy vegetables, this is a perfect way to sneak them into your diet.
- Not to mention, green smoothies are VERY kid friendly!
- Green smoothies are versatile. You can always add or remove ingredients to your liking. That’s why they are so easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.
- They're filling.
- They're energizing.
- And of course, they're DELICIOUS!
If you want to enjoy a green smoothie as a snack, you'll want to use this formula: Greens + Carbohydrate + Protein. For a meal smoothie, the formula is: Greens + Healthy Fat + Carbohydrate + Protein. Add optional superfoods to any type of smoothie for a nutritional boost. Here are some of my favorite ingredients:
- Greens and Other Veggies - the king green kale, spinach, romaine, celery, swiss chard, mustard greens, dandelion greens, cucumber, wheatgrass, herbs such as mint, cilantro, parsley, and basil, etc.
- Fruit - bananas, apples, green apples, pears, kiwi, pineapple, peaches, mango, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, papaya, lemons, limes, grapefruit, orange, blood orange, figs, dates, plums, acai, etc.
- Proteins - plant-based protein powders (brown rice, pea, Sunwarrior, Vega, etc.), hemp seeds, chia seeds, nut butters, etc.
- Healthy Fats - chia seeds, avocados, coconut oil, hemp seeds, nuts/seeds
- Superfoods (Optional) - bee pollen, maca powder, lucuma, cocoa nibs, spirulina, chlorella, cinnamon, cayenne, young coconut meat, unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut water, avocado, chia seeds, hemp seeds, matcha tea powder, nut milks, sprouted buckwheat groats, raw gluten free oats, etc.
You'll find lots of healthy green smoothie recipes on my blog and today I'm going to share one of my favorites--a Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie. With healthy fats from avocado, protein powder, and spinach leaves, this smoothie definitely makes a filling meal!
- 2 heaping cups organic spinach
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or your milk of choice
- 1 cup filtered water more or less, for desired thickness
- ½ avocado pit and skin removed
- 1 scoop chocolate protein powder of choice I used Vega Sport
- ¼ cup fresh mint or 1 drop of mint extract
- 1 tablespoon dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs
- Stevia to taste for sweetness
- Ice optional
- Add all of the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until thick and smooth.