I started drinking green smoothies during my first Whole Living Challenge attempt, and ever since then they’ve been a staple in my a.m. intake. What thrills me even more than the fact that I start most days drinking literally one of the healthiest things you can put in your body (kale) – and LIKING IT! – is that Kate likes green smoothies, too!
1 c. Kale (stems removed, coarsely chopped, firmly packed)
1/2 c. Parsley (loosely packed)
1 Granny Smith Apple
2 1/4 c. water
(Recipe Credit: WholeLiving.com)
I usually blend my green smoothie ingredients with 2 1/2 cups of water, and I blend it until it’s nice and smooth and I can hardly see any kale flecks. We’re still loving our Black & Decker Blender that I first blogged about a year ago. We’ve been using it daily (sometimes twice a day) for the past year, and it still works great! The hardest part of drinking smoothies for me isn’t the taste (I don’t think these green smoothies really taste like much of anything) – it’s the texture. For a fraction of the price of Ninjas and other high-end blenders, this little powerhouse blends my smoothies so well that I don’t have to worry about gagging on any chunks. It does such a great job, in fact, that I can often get my green smoothies blended to an almost juice-like consistency!
I got Kate hooked on green smoothies by adding orange juice to them. At first I started her on a 50% green smoothie, 50% orange juice combination, and then I gradually reduced the OJ and increased the green smoothie. Now she just gets a little splash of OJ in her cup and still drinks it up with no complaints!
With so many fresh ingredients, green smoothies require a fair amount of prep. For one batch, which produces 2 smoothies (usually shared between Kate and I), I found that I was spending a lot of time in the kitchen washing and chopping kale, parsley and apples – something I rarely have time for in the mornings!
Another issue I was finding on my green smoothie brigade is that sometimes my kale or parsley goes bad before I can turn them into delicious, nutritious, morning delights. I HATE seeing food go to waste, so chucking the last few leaves of kale or sprigs of parsley because I can’t chug my vitamins fast enough is NOT okay with me.
My solution has been to bulk prep, freeze, and blend as needed – and it’s been working beautifully!
I chop up an entire bunch of kale and an entire bunch of parsley all at one time and measure them out into freezer bags – one green smoothie batch per freezer bag. Then I fill each bag with one peeled and chopped Granny Smith apple, and one peeled and chopped banana. (I don’t add any liquid to the freezer bags; I wait until I’m ready to blend to add water.)
I typically get about 8-10 batches of green smoothies per 1 bunch of kale and 1 bunch of parsley. (Don’t worry if you end up having more kale than parsley or vice versa – just divide your extras evenly amongst the batches.)
When you’re ready for your green smoothie fix, simply fill your blender with water, open up your freezer, and toss in a bag of already prepared smoothie ingredients! The best part is – there’s no need to thaw your ingredients! Toss them in frozen, blend, and a minute later you’ll have 2 nice cold smoothies ready to enjoy! (Or one to enjoy now and one to refrigerate for later!)
Your green smoothie ingredients can keep in the freezer for easily a month and still taste great when you blend them. I’ve even had green smoothie ingredients frozen for over two months that I’ve blended up and they still taste as great as a freshly chopped up smoothie! (Don’t worry if your bananas brown up a little bit in the freezer – they’ll still taste great in your smoothie, I promise.)
Have I convinced you to jump on the green smoothie bandwagon yet? What are some of your tips for a quick, easy, and healthy weekday breakfast?
The recipe for the Cranberry Nut Bars you see in my freezer can be found here: Cranberry Nut Bars (Homemade Kind Bars).
NOTE: Some readers have mentioned that large quantities of parsley (like in this smoothie recipe) are not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding moms. Please check with your doctor and make substitutions accordingly.