Green smoothies. It’s what for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack.
If you’re looking for a little variety when it comes to your fruit and vegetable routine, consider a green smoothie.
Using foods like avocado, spinach, kale, basil, and more, green smoothies deliver a lot of good great nutrition in a compact serving that’s easy to consume or transport if you’d like to take it for breakfast or lunch on the go.
Chia seeds and flaxseeds
While flax has been around since the 1970s, chia seeds made their breakout in the early 2000s. Both are staples in my diet and pantry. Chia seeds and flaxseeds are nutritional powerhouses and they’re so easy and versatile to include in so many ways. I use ground flaxseeds in place of many recipes to reduce the carbs and to boost the nutritional content of things like hamburgers, salmon patties or meatloaf.
Whole chia seeds are great for thickening things like smoothies, oatmeal or chia pudding but like flaxseeds, they need to be ground in order for their nutrients to be made available for absorption. I have both in my pantry, but to be honest, I use whole chia seeds mostly to thickened a smoothie (which isn’t needed with this recipe, the avocado does that well) or to make something like chia pudding or even chia jam.
Flaxseeds are great for smoothies of course, but they are a great ingredient to bake with as in this Flaxseed Bread, Orange Flax Muffins, or Apple Zucchini Flax Pancakes. Not to be outdone of course is the mother of all flaxseed uses: Red River Cereal and Red River Cereal Blueberry Muffins.
Lignans are plant compounds that have antioxidant and estrogen properties, both of which improve health. Interestingly, flax seeds contain up to 800 times more lignans than other plant foods. Lignans have been associated with lower rates of sex hormone-related cancers.
Studies show that those who eat flaxseeds have a lower risk of breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women. And in men, flaxseeds has been shown to have a modest risk reduction for prostate cancer.
Spinach is a great, low-calorie vegetable that is loaded with health-promoting carotenoids such as beta-carotene and lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin, in particular, are awesome allies to have when it comes to longterm health.
Your body will concentrate lutein and zeaxanthin in the layers of your skin offering antioxidant protection against UV radiation.
These carotenoids will also be concentrated in the back of your eye helping to reduce one of the most common causes of premature blindness in those over 55 years of age; macular degeneration. Lutein also gets concentrated, if you get enough of it in your diet, in your brain – there, it helps to preserve cognitive function as you age – amazing.
Everyone is loving avocado these days, it makes for great smoothies like this keto-friendly avocado chocolate smoothie.
One medium avocado has:
- 322 calories
- 17 g carbs
- 13.5 g fiber
- 3.5 g net carbs (keto friendly)
- 30 g fat
- 20 g monounsaturated fat
- 4 g protein
- 163 mcg folate
- 30 mg choline
- 60 mg magnesium
- 975 mg potassium (same as 2 medium bananas)
Technically a fruit, avocados are versatile and are a great way to thicken a protein shake or smoothie. They add a creaminess until pretty much anything else.
Green smoothies are a beautiful vibrant emerald colour, perfect for St Patrick’s Day:) but really, who wouldn’t want to enjoy these any time of the year?
Lean n' Green Spinach Avocado Smoothie
- 1 medium avocado halved and pitted
- 1.5 cups spinach
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
- 2 Tbsp ground chia seeds
- 1 dash cinnamon
- 1.5 cups milk, 2% can be substituted with brown rice, almond or soy milk
Combine avocado, spinach, yogurt and honey into a blender.
Add ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, and cinnamon
Blend, slowly adding in the milk until desired consistency is reached.
Repeat steps 1-2.
Let your avocado shake sit for 10 to 15 minutes in the fridge. The buttery, avocado flavour will become more pronounced resulting in a tastier shake.