In my last post, I shared some healthy eating habits to begin to incorporate into your daily routine and one of them was to eat more veggies. The ideal would be about 10 servings daily, but don’t worry, you don’t have to do it all at once. Just build up gradually adding a few more servings a day than you already eat on average.
Generally, I find it really hard to add veggies to my breakfasts unless I’m eating fried or scrambled eggs. And since my kids aren’t huge fans of eggs and I’m all about simplifying meals so I don’t want to waste time making a meal for me and a meal for them, I only eat eggs once or twice a week. Green smoothies are a great way to eat multiple servings of vegetables first thing in the morning.
First things first, green smoothies are not always green but are called that because a significant portion of the ingredients come from leafy green vegetables ranging from spinach and kale to romaine lettuce. In the above picture you can see all the fruit and vegetables that went into my morning smoothie. There is about 2-3 servings of vegetables in the smoothie alone, and I love how eating that many vegetables first thing in the morning sets me up for healthier eating the rest of the day. This meal is perfect for the pickiest of eaters as you can’t really taste the greens all that much in a smoothie. Even my 14 year who hates spinach has always liked green smoothies.
Green smoothies are so versatile and easy to adjust for your own taste. I think learning how to make things without having to follow a recipe is key to simplifying heathy eating so that it can fit into a busy day with kids. I don’t know about you, but my kids wake up early and asking for breakfast almost immediately. I don’t have time to fuss about with a recipe but need to just throw ingredients together while they are trying to help and begging to eat the food I’m trying to use for the smoothies.
Here are a few tips to creating your own unique green smoothie blends:
- start with juice from half a lemon (this works wonders to cut the bitterness from the greens)
- add your greens, experiment with different greens until you find your favorites (I love spinach and romaine lettuce). If you have never tried a green smoothie before I’d start with a smaller amount (maybe 1 handful) first and work your way up to a larger amount like I have shown here.
- If you have a normal blended, I’d stop here and blend your greens with some of the liquid, but if you have a stronger blender like a nutribullet or blendtec then you can skip this step.
- add banana, the amount depends on how sweet you want your smoothie to be. I do half for me and the baby and a whole banana for my older kids.
- add about a 1/2-1 cup of frozen fruit of any kind (berries, mango, pineapple, pear, grapes, etc) depending on the amount of greens you have added. The goal is to have a ratio of more greens than fruit. So as you increase the greens, decrease the amount of fruit.
- if you want to make a meal out of this, you’ll need to add protein and fat to the smoothie. Some options are 3-5 spoonfuls of greek yogurt or 1 tablespoon chia or milled flax seeds.
- then add the liquid to cover the ingredients and blend together until all liquified. I used to use milk, but for the past 6 months I’ve had to do dairy and soy free because my baby is allergic and I’m nursing him so I switched to either plain water or coconut water. I actually like the water better than the milk but my kids like milk best.
That’s it! Try a few different mixtures until you find your favorites. One word of warning, if you use berries do not expect your smoothie to be green, it might be a browner color. If that bothers you just pour it into a cup that prevents you from seeing the color while you enjoy it. I hope these tips will help you join me in getting some veggies in first thing in the morning!