Jungle Goddess Smoothie
There are so many food trends that are prevalent in today’s world, it’s hard to keep track, know what’s worth it, and what will be forgotten about a year from now. However, there is one trend I definitely think is here to stay, and that is the green smoothie. Looking back over the years, the evolution of my personal green smoothie has been quite the journey. It began as a small handful of baby spinach was wearily added to my usual concoction of frozen berries and yogurt. Once I had that under my belt, I slowly began to discover the beauty of using banana to thicken the smoothie and add creaminess, and I also began adding healthy fats, like a spoonful of almond butter, peanut butter, or coconut. From there, I became even more adventurous and started adding different “superfoods” such as hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax oil and maca powder. I learned many lessons along my “green smoothie journey,” and have some tips and tricks for creating that perfect smoothie every time:
Don’t use too much fruit: a good rule of thumb is no more than 1 cup of fruit per smoothie. It helps to ask yourself if you would sit down to that much fruit in one serving normally, if it weren’t all pureed in a blender. While fruit is an extremely valuable and nutritious food, too much eaten at one time can actually have adverse effects, such as spiking blood sugar and can even cause weight gain.
Put as many veggies as possible into your smoothie: Not only does this allow you to “bulk up” the smoothie without adding extra fruit, it is also so important to be eating as many vegetables at every meal as we can. Vegetables are the key to a healthy diet, hands down. And you don’t have to limit yourself to just spinach- think out of the box, too! Frozen cauliflower and zucchini are very mild in taste and add a nice thick consistency to the smoothie. Other vegetetables I have used (all frozen) include cucumber, sweet potatoes, beets, butternut squash, and even green peas!
Always add healthy fat: If your smoothie only consists of fruits and veggies, it is not going to keep you full for very long, and you have a higher chance of all of that fruit spiking your blood sugar if you don’t have a good, high-quality fat to go with it. Nut butters, flax oil, nuts and seeds, and coconut all work here. Plus, they add a really nice satiating quality to the smoothie!
Don’t forget the protein: Since smoothies are often used as a meal replacement, it is important to make sure you have all of your macros (fat, protein, and carbs) covered. The fruit and vegetables cover the carbohydrate factor and we already addressed healthy fats. Luckily, healthy fat and protein often go hand in hand (nut butters, nuts and seeds), but if you use a low-protein fat like coconut, you want to make sure and throw in some hemp seeds or your favorite protein powder, especially if you are having your smoothie for breakfast.
Add those superfoods!: Have a bag of chia seeds or raw maca powder that you have heard can work wonders but you are not sure what to do with? Throw them in your smoothie! This is the place where you can really rack up nutrition points so don’t be shy! My favorite smoothie superfood add-ins are hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax oil, maca powder, cacao powder, and spirulina!
Don’t be afraid to amp up the flavor: Dried spices, herbs, flavored nutmilks, and citrus can add so much flavor to your smoothie and will keep things interesting. Cinnamon goes great with a banana and almond butter based smoothie. Cardamom is a really interesting twist on a smoothie made with mango and coconut. Basil is delicious when paired with blueberries and bananas. Vanilla and sea salt will really amp up the chocolate flavor when using raw cacao.
For this Green Jungle Goddess Smoothie, I stayed true to my advice and covered all of my bases I talk about above. Not only is this smoothie delicious in all of its tropical vibes, but it packs killer nutrition, too. Fresh ginger is a very power inflammation-fighter and fresh mint is good for your skin and digestive system. You get a healthy serving of both fruit and veggies, which contain all kinds of goodies such fiber, iron, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin K, among others. Hemp seeds contain a good dose of protein and the coconut milk covers your bases for weight-loss aiding healthy fats.
To make this smoothie over-the-top good for you, consider adding the spirulina powder. It is one of the highest quality and most bioavailable sources of plant-based protein and iron on the planet, and contains crucial b-vitamins like thiamin and riboflavin. And as an added bonus, it gives the smoothie the most insane green color!
Try out this delicious green smoothie and see if this is something you want to add to your daily routine! This smoothie can easily be a blueprint for what you have on hand! You could swap out pineapple for mango or almond milk for coconut milk. Throw in some chia seeds if you have them lying around or a handful of pumpkin seeds for an extra dose of magnesium.
Whatever you do, enjoy this smoothie in your SoloSol Jungle Goddess Yoga Pants, dreaming of palm trees, waves, and sunshine!
Guest Blog by Elizabeth Lim, Holistic Health Chef and Beach Babe
To see more of her recipes and meal delivery, check out her site Kale & Coconuts