Clean Green Smoothie

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I don’t have many rules about green smoothies, but I do like them C-L-E-A-N, tasty and just thick enough to feel substantial.  Not too thick. This one is my favourite.

It is just – so – refreshing!

I prefer smoothies without added milks  – not even vegan milks, such as almond, rice or coconut. Not even homemade vegan milks. Or coconut water. Or protein powders. Milks and coconut water can quickly pile on extra calories and fat and most store-bought varieties  contain sugar, preservatives, added flavours and colours. Protein powders are processed from the proteins that have been extracted from the whole food which means they are not a whole food. Furthermore, some protein powders are loaded with toxic compounds such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury. An investigation into the safety of protein supplements recently led the Consumer Union to conclude that we don’t need the extra protein or the heavy metals found in supplements.

To keep my green smoothies clean, I liquidize whole fruits and vegetables with filtered water. The fruits and vegetables chosen are ones I usually have on hand so it’s not often that I have to make a trip to the grocery store to whip this up. However, if do find myself without some of the ingredients, the recipe infinitely adaptable to substitutions. The grapes sweeten the smoothie perfectly so no need to add refined sugars or sweeteners. The amount of water I add depends on how thick I want the smoothie. If I really feel that I need a protein boost, I might toss in a tablespoon or so of flaxseed, hemp seed, spirulina or chlorella. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 apple, quartered
  • 1 orange, juiced
  • 1 lemon, peeled and halved
  • 1 cup red seedless grapes
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 cups kale, packed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat leaf parsley

I use a VitaMix to make this really smooth. There’s not much of a method but I find that everything blends better when I liquidize the fruits with some of the water before adding the greens. 

The amounts are approximate – start with 1/2 a lemon and only add the other half if you like your smoothie with a bit more tang. If you like it sweeter, add more grapes. Same with the cilantro – I usually add more. I love cilantro and no amount is ever too much for me. 

Yield: 1 litre/32 ounces. (2 X 16-0z., or 4 X 8-0z. smoothies). If making ahead, shake well before drinking. 

If you don’t have an orange, leave it out.

Use a fresh lime instead of lemon.

If you don’t have an apple, use a pear.

If you don’t have kale, use spinach, swiss chard, collards or use a combination of several greens. (I would avoid using really bitter greens such as arugula though). 

See where I am headed with this? Select the fruits and vegetables you love and be as creative as you want!

NOTES

Freshly made green smoothies last 2 or 3 days max in the refrigerator so you want to make what you can consume in that amount of time. Or, you can pour the blended mix into containers and freeze it for another time. A nice way to avoid waste is to freeze fruits and vegetables near the end of their shelf life for making this smoothie later. 

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