Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Basic Green Smoothies

I am in the midst of a raw cleanse- eating only raw foods for at least 10 days.  I'm not alone, a group of Facebook friends is leading the way.  I didn't have any plans to do any sort of cleanse but when I heard a group was doing one, I thought why not?  Raw foods are nutrient dense and the best way to maximize the benefits from the foods we eat.  Doing a cleanse can help detoxify the liver, colon, and kidneys.  Even Dr. Oz is promoting a cleanse (just ask my mom).

Who doesn't need a little detox these days?  With all the chemicals we're exposed to on a daily basis everyones body can use a little break.  A raw detox helps your body's natural detox system to eliminate toxins more efficiently and stock up on nutrients.  I eat pretty health on a regular basis but I’m hoping to see a different in the way I feel over the next couple of weeks.  Ill let you know how my little experiment turns out.

In honor of my rawsome detox I'm going to share some tasty raw recipes here.  These recipes are not just for cleanses!  Hopefully they encourage you to include more raw foods in your diet.  It's not hard and it is so good for you!

I wanted to share our green smoothie recipe because it is such a staple in our house.  One of the first things I did when I changed the way we were eating was start making nutritious smoothies for the kids every morning.  I get raw spinach and kale into my kids before 8am- and that’s awesome.  These also are great to tide the kids over until I’ve got breakfast ready.

People equate smoothies with being healthy but if you take a look at the ingredients in the smoothies most chains make you'll realize they are not so healthy. This smoothie doesn't have any added sugars or processed foods, just fruits and veggies full of nutrients and vitamins that our bodies need.   You should keep in mind that there is plenty of naturally occurring sugar in the fruits in this smoothie so you might want to skip any additional fruit in the morning to limit sugar.   You can also slip in some additional veggies (carrots, celery, cucumber, beets) and you'll never know the difference.

Green Smoothies
Makes 2-3 servings

Juice from 1 large lemon
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 pear, cored and chopped
1 kiwi, peeled
3 cups packed spinach
3 large kale leaves, stems and all (or chard, collard greens, dandelion)
mint leaves
1 cup filtered water

Other smoothie additions:
Star fruit
Raw unsweetened coconut

Throw all the fruit in a high-speed blender and blend on high until smooth.  Add in your greens slowly so they are sucked down.  Blend until smooth. 

If you don’t have a high-speed blender you can still make these, they just might be a little gritty.  If you want to you can eliminate some of this by cutting out the stalks of the kale however they are full of nutrients and phytochemicals so avoid this if you can.

My kids love their green smoothies.  Aidric will drink 2-3 sippy cups full every morning.  We keep it classy at our house when the smoothies are a little too cold.  Nothing like a Vegas and village idiot koozie to keep little hands warm.  These kids are ready to hit the road!

I like to add a little extra water to their cups to make them easier to drink.  If you want your smoothie colder you can add ice or use frozen fruit.  I also try to cut up all of the fruit and veggies the night before.  It makes it really easy in the mornings!

Try one of these out and you'll see it doesn't taste nearly as green as it looks!

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