People are always asking me for recipes, and what they’re usually looking for, specifically, is recipes that are super-quick, super-easy and super-healthy.
For that, it’s hard to beat the green smoothie.
There are a thousand variations on this, but this is a tried-and-tested one that I find myself coming back to time and time again.
- 2 medium bananas
- 150g of organic berries (choose from strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or a mixture)
- 50-100g of organic spinach (if you’re new to green smoothies, experiment to find the right green-to-fruit ratio for you)
Blend, and enjoy. (Side note: in order to make green smoothies, you need a reasonably powerful blender: one that will blend the leafy greens to a delightfully creamy consistency. A less powerful blender will leave you with fibrous bits floating around. This isn’t what you’re looking for; the best smoothies are, well, smooth).
Why is this the perfect green smoothie?
- The bananas make it thick and creamy – if it doesn’t have banana it’s not a proper smoothie, as far as I’m concerned. Bananas are also a great source of potassium, a mineral that is little talked about, even though (a) it’s uber-essential and (b) nearly everyone is deficient in it. (My article on that is here.)
- No leafy green is a milder, more palatable smoothie ingredient than spinach. Other greens have bitter or otherwise overpowering tastes that can tend to dominate; spinach merely dials down the sweetness.
- Berries are among the most nutrient-dense fruits while also being very low in sugar.
The sugar point is hugely important, as many green smoothie recipes are so loaded with the stuff that a can of coke would be a lower-sugar option.
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you this isn’t something to be concerned about, as “it’s natural fruit sugar”.
Too much sugar from any source is too much, and with the wrong smoothie you can take easily take in double the recommended daily maximum sugar intake in just a few slurps.
For anyone with blood sugar issues this is a direct route to food cravings and mood swings.
Believe me, I know. During my first forays into the world of green smoothies I used mango in place of berries. Back then I didn’t realise how much sugar, and specifically fructose, mango contains, nor why fructose is a sugar to eat as little of as possible.
The maximum amount of fructose we should be eating in a day, from all sources: 25 grams. Fructose content of a medium-sized mango: 30 grams.
By way of comparison, a regular Snickers bar contains around 15 grams of fructose, as does a pack of M&Ms. Yes, half the amount in that “healthy” mango…
But I digress. Back to the topic of today’s article.
Well…all it really remains for me to say is that I hereby crown the banana-spinach-berry blend the perfect green smoothie for being both ridiculously healthy and utterly heavenly. Enjoy 🙂