I’m reading an interesting book at the moment: Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. In this book, Boutenko explains how leafy greens are among the most overlooked, yet nutritious foods we can eat.
What I’m finding most fascinating so far is Boutenko’s discussion of the amino acids which form protein, and how, “if we maintain a variety of greens in our diet, we will cover all essential amino acids in abundance” (Boutenko, p.41). The essential amino acids required to form protein cannot be synthesized by our body and therefore must be absorbed through our diet.
Boutenko explains how it is simpler and more efficient for the body to take these individual amino acids (from ingesting greens) and create the protein we need, rather than breaking down the already formed protein in another species, such as in a chicken or cow for example, and extracting the amino acids to create human protein for our body. In fact, it is rather ironic how we eat a cow because we believe we need the protein, and yet the cow herself derived her protein, not by eating other cows, but by her natural herbivore diet of greens. (Of course, however, factory farmed cows are not actually fed their natural diet of greens, that would be way too expensive, rather they are fed unnatural GMO’d soy and corn, a lot of drugs, a variety of other garbage and often even animals.)
As Boutenko points out, a lot of people simply don’t like the taste of greens, so they are reluctant to add more to their diet. However, we can hide them amongst other tastes! We saw how easy it is to hide spinach in chocolate with the irresistible spinach brownie recipe I shared a while ago, but we can also do this with smoothies. In my experience, we can add between 2 and 4 cups of any greens to a smoothie and the bitterness will be completely camouflaged with a banana and about 4 fresh dates. Alternatively, ripe mango or pineapple can also successfully mask the greens.
Inspired to make green smoothies a part of my everyday routine, I created my Green Breakfast Smoothie, which I’ve been making every morning for several weeks now. Here is my recipe, which you can use as a model to build your own. I recommend to use organic ingredients, if possible. Also, use purified water if you can, instead of tap water, which contains many impurities.
If you don’t have sufficient fresh greens available or for an added green boost in addition to your fresh greens, you can include a scoop of powdered greens. There are many on the market for you to try and see which you like best. If you are in the mood for a little chocolate flavor, add a spoonful of raw cacao nibs.
Since I am using this smoothie as a meal replacement (breakfast), for added nutrition, I add a few raw nuts (and water). You can also make your own nut milk and use this instead. It’s easy to make nut milk and when you make it yourself, you avoid preservatives which are common in commercial brands.
Give it a try. Add or subtract ingredients to suit your individual needs and tastes.
Maria’s Green Breakfast Smoothie
1 to 2 bananas
4 fresh dates, pitted
2 to 4 cups spinach or kale
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup raw nuts of your choice (I use cashews, walnuts or almonds)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon shelled hemp seeds
1 tablespoon powdered greens
1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
1. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender. Blend until creamy.
2. Pour into glass (with ice if desired, or you can blend ice into the smoothie). Sip through a straw and bliss out!
“The more I read about the nutritional content of greens, the more I became convinced that greens were the most important food for humans.” ~Victoria Boutenko, Green for Life
I created a new facebook page for those of you interested in learning more about juicing and smoothies. Also, join me on my vegan cooking page where I share vegan recipes and health-related information every day.