Smoothies are super popular and why not?
They’re one of the easy ways to pack in a lot of nutrition in a small serving that’s portable and easy to consume. The sky’s the limit as they say when it comes to the ingredients. You can use fruit, milk, milk alternatives, protein powders, ground nuts and seeds, whole grains, pasteurized egg whites, raw or cooled cooked vegetables and more.
This smoothie gets its green (although masked by the blueberries) from spinach but you can easily use greens powders too.
Spinach hasn’t been as popular as kale has been but, make no mistake, spinach is no shrinking violet. Spinach is full of nutrients and then some.
Like other green leafy vegetables, spinach can easily be added to smoothies to boost their nutritional value. Spinach is rich in two disease-fighting carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin. Leafy greens, like spinach, also benefit gut health due to the presence of a unique sugar that feeds a specific type of gut bacteria.
Greens powders are any number of different powders made from various dried grasses or algae. They’re loaded with nutrients like vitamin C, lutein, as well as, phytonutrients that are shown to reduce inflammation, support heart health, lower blood pressure, support macular health and more.
Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae that people can take as a dietary supplement. People consider spirulina a superfood due to its excellent nutritional content and health benefits.
Chlorella is a type of algae that grows in freshwater. The whole plant is used to make nutritional supplements and medicine. Most of the chlorella that is available in the U.S. is grown in Japan or Taiwan. It is processed and made into tablets, powders, and liquid extracts.
Blue Spirulina is a blue-green algae that grows in ponds, lakes and alkaline waterways. Phycocyanin is a blue pigment derived from spirulina which gives the algae its dark blue pigment when it has been extracted. The great news about Blue Spirulina is that it does not have a fishy taste, unlike green spirulina. It is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, carotenoids, and antioxidants
These are typically powdered liquids of freshly squeezed grasses such as barley grass, wheatgrass, alfalfa, watercress, spinach, parsley or kale blends.
This smoothie has the added goodness of berry nutrition including strawberries and blueberries which are probably the first superfood. I remember how blueberries were being promoted as a potent ally in the fight against dementia almost 20 years ago.
Banana Berry Green Smoothie
- 1 banana
- 1.5 cups strawberries fresh or defrosted
- 1.5 cups blueberries fresh or defrosted
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1 tsp blue spirulina, spirulina, chlorella other other greens powder - optional
- Blend the liquid and spinach together first. Then add the remaining fruits and vegetables. Serve immediately for best consistency.