Simple smoothies that will make you love leafy greens

Simple smoothies that will make you love leafy greens

Credit: KING / Caitlin Murphy

Kale, banana, frozen cherries, frozen mango and a teaspoon of cinnamon bend together to make Sarah Adler’s Cinnamon Green Smoothie. Add chia seeds for an extra boost of fiber.

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by CAITLIN MURPHY / Special contributor to KING 5

KING5.com

Posted on August 8, 2013 at 8:45 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 9 at 1:00 PM

Everyone knows they should eat their veggies, but let’s be honest, not everyone does. If sitting down to a plateful of kale and spinach doesn’t exactly float your boat, then nutritionist Sarah Adler’s three hidden veggie smoothies might be exactly what you’re looking for. These tasty treats are the perfect way to get the health benefits of veggies without having to necessarily taste those leafy greens.

The list of health benefits of vegetables is very long. Vegetables like kale and spinach are some of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet. They are packed with fiber to keep you full and phytochemicals, which can fight cancer, diabetes and heart disease. You’ll also find calcium and potassium for strong bones, along with iron, beta-carotene and a host of antioxidants.
 
Certified Health and Nutrition Coach Sarah Adler’s approach to food turns down the calories in/calories out noise. After spending years “exercising constantly and thinking about food all the time, but not in the right way”, Adler says she stopped counting calories and started focusing on eating real, whole foods. Thinking of food as a way to fuel her body and focusing on simple, flavorful recipes with five ingredients or less, inspired Adler to love food. She delights in teaching people to enjoy each bite of every meal.

And while Adler can’t get enough broccoli, Swiss chard and wheat grass, she acknowledges that green veggies can be an acquired taste for most people. She says, “don’t expect to love the taste of veggies right away as enjoying them is a gradual process.” Given that, these three smoothie recipes feature “hidden” vegetables. Each blended beverage includes fruit, which has strong, sweet flavor to mask the taste of the vegetables.

You’ll also find different degrees of veggie-ness in these smoothies.  Kids and “picky husbands" (as Adler likes to put it) will like the Everyday Green Smoothie with spinach, banana and blueberries. As you get more comfortable with the taste of veggies, move to the Tropical Smoothie and then the Cinnamon Green Smoothie. Both feature kale and fruits like mango or cherries. Adler recommends incorporating more fruit when you start your smoothies, then slowly start reducing the fruit and adding more veggies.

Try one of these recipes as a quick and easy blended breakfast or fast lunch. Along with antioxidants and fiber, each smoothie also features healthy fats and protein from avocados to keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day.

Everyday Green Smoothie
Adler loves this as an intro-to-greens smoothie. “Spinach is naturally sweet, so you really can't taste it at all once it's all blended up with the other ingredients. Plus, it’s full of amazing antioxidants, iron and folic acid which helps purify your blood and detoxify your body naturally."

The healthy fats in the avocado helps add luster to your skin, nails and hair and gives the smoothie a creamy texture. “The frozen blueberries are full of antioxidants, fiber, and are naturally sweet and dark to cover up the green color for those green smoothie skeptics.”

Ingrediets:
1/2 cup frozen blueberries (add more for kids for a sweeter taste)
1/2 banana
1/2 avocado
As much spinach as you can handle (2-3 handfuls to start and work your way up to 2-3 cups!)
ice + water to blend

Directions: Add spinach, banana, avocado and blueberries, in that order, to a blender. Add a splash of water (approx 1/3 cup) and ice and blend well.

Tropical Green Smoothie
“This smoothie is a great example of getting outside of the box on typical fruit and veggie combo. With a base of kale, which has fiber, vitamin c and calcium, I added frozen mango and coconut water, which are both great for rehydration and electrolyte balance. These also offer a naturally sweet taste without any added sugar.”

Adler incorporates fresh mint to aid digestion and give the smoothie a clean and fresh flavor. “The cocoa powder has so many antioxidants and is a great source magneisum to help tired or sore muscles. Plus, it gives you a natural boost and a hint of a chocolate taste to it."

Ingredients:
3-4 leaves kale (dinosaur or lacinato kale preferably)
1/2 banana
4-5 cubes frozen mango
5-6 leaves fresh mint
1/4 cup (or more for desired consistency) coconut water
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp (or more) chia seeds

Directions: Combine all ingredients together with ice and blend on high.
Other great add-ins: pineapple, splash of hemp, almond, coconut or real milk or coconut flakes.

Cinnamon Green Smoothie
This smoothie is Adler’s current favorite. “Along with all the benefits of the ingredients we already talked about, the addition of cinnamon takes this smoothie to a whole new level.”

Adler says cinnamon is naturally sweet and acts as an anti-inflammatory, plus its spicy flavor can easily turn a smoothie into more decadent treat. The chia seeds are another great source of healthy fat and protein. “They actually expand in water, so they help keep you full, so you're not starving an hour later!”

Ingredients:
3-4 leaves kale (dinosaur/lacinato variety)
1/4 banana (or more)
1/4 avocado
4-5 pieces frozen mango
5-6 frozen cherries or frozen grapes
3 count pour of coconut water or hemp milk
2 tsp chia seeds (optional)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
ice + water to blend

Directions: Combine all ingredients together with ice and blend on high.

To learn more about Sarah Adler and her company Simply Real Health visit her website.
You can also view her how-to videos for the recipes and more at Connect with Alder on social media on Twitter: @smplyrealhealth, Facebook and Pinterest.
 

 

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