I love green smoothies and the best part, my kids love them too! I have to admit when I first started drinking green smoothies, I did it as an easy way to get my son to eat his vegetables. What kid will eat kale if you put it on their plate, right? Put it in a smoothie and it’s yummy. Not to mention loaded with vitamins and minerals.
My kids get so excited if I mention making green smoothies. They think it’s a treat when I know they are getting lots of nutrients. Leafy green vegetables are a great source of calcium, magnesium, folate and Vitamin C. After a few weeks of drinking green smoothies, you may start to crave them.
Here’s a few tips I’ve learned along the way to help make introducing green smoothies easy for our family.
1. Start simple. Keep the green leafy vegetables to those that don’t have strong tastes. Kale and spinach do not have a strong flavor and blend nicely with fruits.
2. Less Green at First. When we first started drinking green smoothies, I really had a problem with the color. It was in my mind. They tasted fine. My kids would drink them but it took me some getting used to. Add mixed berries at first. It will make the drink purple instead of green.
3. Don’t add to many Ingredients. Just because you have vegetables, don’t put them in your smoothie. I’ve had my share of really bad tasting smoothies because I’ve put too much in or the food combinations did not work.
4. Have Fun. I try and let the kids help add the ingredients. This past spring, we had a really good crop of kale growing in our garden. I would give the kids a bowl and let them pick the kale for our smoothie.
I haven’t always had luck with green smoothies recipes. I’ve learned I’m better off sticking to ones I’ve found online. I don’t measure out the ingredients though. I usually just eyeball it as I’m tossing it in the blender. Our current favorite has kale, pineapple and cucumber. My kids won’t eat cucumber slices but in a smoothie, there are no complaints.
Kale, Pineapple & Cucumber Smoothie:
1 Handful of Kale
1 cup frozen pineapple
1 apple – cut into slices
8-12 oz of water – more or less based on how thick you want it.
1 Tbs chia seeds
Water – sometimes I use coconut water
Ice – if you want it colder
Our First Smoothie Recipe: Strawberry Banana
Handful of Kale or Spinach (whatever you have handy)
1 cup of frozen strawberries
½ cup vanilla yogurt (can leave this out if you don’t have any or want to keep it dairy-free)
Here’s another one I found when getting more adventurous with green leafy vegetables
Small handful of parsley
Small handful of kale (about 4-5 leaves)
1 cup frozen mixed berries
You don’t need a fancy blender to make green smoothies. I find the best way to make sure you don’t have green leafy pieces floating in the smoothie is to mix your green leafy vegetables first with water, almond milk or liquid of your choice. Once that’s mixed add in the other smoothie ingredients. In less than five minutes, you’ll have a nutritious and vitamin-packed drink.
Just remember, if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And if your kids turn their noses up at a smoothie, try making the same one another day. Sometimes it’s not the taste, it’s just their mood that morning. Sometimes a fun cup or fun straw can make that smoothie taste better. Enjoy!