Perfect for the dog days of summer
Before I get into the makings for the Green Smoothie, here’s a reminder close to my heart: I’m a former dog(s) owner and August 26 is National Dog Day. If you share your life with (wo)man’s best friend, give your lifelong pal(s) an extra treat today.
It’s also the “dog days of summer,” signaling the beginning of the end of summer. A quick and nutritious and non-stove meal (aka smoothies) always comes in handy.
A green smoothie is nutritious and delicious
Smoothies, in fact, are a “two-fer,” combining “deliciosity” and nutrition. Typically low in calories and fat, it’s the perfect remedy for a guilty conscience (Raise your hand – who hasn’t strayed from their diet this summer? 😕)
Also, the sky’s the limit for flavors. So while I’m providing a recipe, there’s plenty of room for ad-libbing.
Ingredients for a green smoothie
Here are some Green Smoothie ingredient ideas:
- Liquid: juice, milk, tea all work well
- Fruit: any fruit will do. Frozen fruit is convenient, available year-round, and makes your smoothie nice and cold.
- Greens: spinach and kale are the most common. I have also used and liked swiss chard.
- Protein: optional, but a good idea to add a scoop or two of protein powder, especially if you want the smoothie to be a real meal replacement. I like vanilla flavored, but some people like chocolate, especially when banana is the fruit, amirite?
- Healthy fat: “Good fat” popular choices include avocado and nut butters.
For today’s smoothie I’m using green tea, a nectarine, and spinach. Remember, spinach doesn’t add any taste to the smoothie. The formula is fruit = flavor. Also, first time smoothie makers might want to start with fruit juice, this makes the overall effect sweeter. To add balance and longevity to your meal-in-a-glass, add protein powder. Otherwise, you’ve made a drink of 100 sugar calories. Five minutes later – you’re hungry.
Do I need special equipment?
Equipment? A blender is needed. Don’t have one? – SHOPPING! Vitamix, Blendtec, Ninja are all fantastic, or, so I’ve heard. If, like me, you just have a regular old blender, fear not! This still works. Just blend the spinach with the liquid first, then add the fruit and other ingredients before blending again. This two-step process gives your blender a better shot at pulverizing the spinach.
The result is delicious and seems like you’ve packed an entire salad bar into a glass!
Version #2: Try this method using a cup of frozen sweet cherries for the fruit. The green is decidedly more olive-colored, but the taste is truly delicious.
Give one a try!
- 1 cup green tea cooled
- 1 nectarine cut up (or 1 cup frozen fruit)
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 2 scoops protein powder vanilla flavored
- Place spinach and tea in blender. Cover and blend for a minute until all spinach is broken up. Stop blender and add the fruit and protein powder. Blend again for 30-60 seconds until all ingredients are incorporated and liquid is smooth.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.
Need a little more? This would be great with a No-Bake Energy Bite for a perfect summer breakfast or snack.