Here’s a basic green smoothie recipe featuring kale, collards, or spinach, made filling and tasty with banana and avocado.
If you’re using kale or collards, a high-speed blender is preferable to make this nice and smooth. A regular blender is just fine for handling baby spinach. Banana gives this beverage heft, and half of an avocado gives this smoothie a particularly nice mouth feel.
Hemp seeds are suggested as an optional ingredient. They’re one of the best, most concentrated sources of Omega 3s — even better (and tastier) than flaxseeds. They make a great addition to this creamy smoothie.
Look for both hempseeds at most any natural foods market. Whether you use them or not, this filling smoothie makes a great way to start a day. Recipe adapted from Wild About Greens by Nava Atlas. Photos above and just below by Susan Voisin, FatFreeVegan.
More about basic green smoothies
Following the dictate, “everything in moderation” it’s a good idea to vary the kind of greens you use in your smoothies, especially if you get into the habit of making them daily.
Spinach, kale, and collards have the best flavors for blending into greens—spinach is so mild, in fact, that if you close your eyes and just taste, you hardly know it’s there.
A common ratio for green smoothies is about 60% fruit and 40% greens. It isn’t always possible to measure precisely, though a somewhat larger ratio of fruit makes the smoothie more palatable. Once your palate adjusts, though, there’s nothing to keep you from using more leafy greens than fruit.
- 2 medium curly kale or collard leaves, torn, or a couple of big handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- 1 medium banana (see note)
- 1/2 medium ripe avocado
- 2 cups vanilla nondairy milk
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, optional (but highly recommended)
- Lemon juice, to taste
- Agave nectar, to taste
- Combine the greens, banana, nondairy milk, and optional hemp seeds in a blender. Blend on high speed until completely smooth.
- Pour into a 12-ounce tumbler and add a little lemon juice and agave nectar to taste. Drink at once at room temperature or add a cube or two of ice (unless you've used frozen banana).
If you like your smoothies nice and cold, freeze the banana ahead of time. Peel, then cut into 1/2-inch slices. Put in a covered container, then freeze for several hours or better yet, overnight — since chances are, this is the kind of smoothie you’d enjoy in the morning.
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