What’s Missing In Your Green Smoothie

green-422995_640  Many people consume green smoothies in an effort to eat healthy, eat clean or “detox”.  I do not particularly like the idea of having smoothies regularly in place of meals. I believe they can however, be enjoyed in moderation as a source of hydration and antioxidants as part of an already nutrient-dense diet. Green smoothies and juices can also provide a powerful antioxidant called Glutathione. Glutathione is most present in raw fruits and vegetables. When preparing a smoothie, I recommended using more vegetables than fruit because vegetables are lower in sugar. Additionally, be sure to switch up the variety of vegetables and fruit. Try buying in season and local produce. And lastly, don’t forget to include one very important ingredient in your smoothie….FAT!

I always tell clients to include a protein and fat in their smoothies to help balance out all of the carbohydrates from the fruit, juices, and vegetables. This is especially important if they are just consuming the smoothie in place of a meal. The combination of fat, protein, and carbs helps maintain stable blood sugar and contributes to satiety. Including a healthy fat source is also an important component of a green smoothie for another reason. Many of the nutrients will not be absorbed readily without fat. Green leafy vegetables are a rich source of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin, E, and Vitamin K. Some good dietary fat sources to throw in include coconut milk, coconut oil, avocado, nut butters, flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed.

Oxalate Concern

Lately the oxalates in green smoothies are raising some concern. Not everyone may tolerate the frequent consumption of green smoothies and juices due to their high oxalate content. Oxalates are, for those of you that don’t know, naturally occurring chemicals found in most plants. They basically protect plants from pray (bugs). Oxalates form oxalic acid, which has been linked to kidney stones. Foods highest in oxalates include celery, leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and Swiss chard. For some people, consuming too many of these raw greens can be problematic, especially if you are already at risk for kidney stones (family history, diabetic, etc). But for most healthy people, green smoothies should’t pose a problem especially if they are not the center of your diet!


RecipeAvocado Sorbet

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large avocado
  • 1/2 banana or one small banana
  • 1/4 cup raw spinach
  • Coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk (I used a small amount)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Crushed ice

Directions:

Blend ingredients in blender and enjoy! Add more liquid to make a smoothie.


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3 Ingredient Chocolate Pudding

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This chocolate pudding is comprised of unexpected real food ingredients, avocado and banana! If you’re like me and always have bananas and avocados on hand, you understand how quickly they ripen at once. Next time you’re in need of salvaging these fruits from being thrown out or just simply looking for a satisfying and healthy dessert, try making this rich and delicious chocolate pudding! It makes a perfect late evening snack or dessert. For a more balanced snack during the day, a small amount of protein powder can be added.

Not only are you getting a combination of complex carbohydrates and healthy fat, but you’re also getting a dose of potassium and magnesium. Both potassium and magnesium play enormous roles in our health. Magnesium is needed for nearly every function in the body and supports our immune health. Potassium is also an important mineral for the proper function of organs, tissues, and cells. Potassium is crucial for proper heart function and consuming potassium rich foods regularly can help lower blood pressure!


3 Ingredient Chocolate Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 small ripe avocado
  • 2 tbsp organic cocoa powder
  • Enjoy Life dark chocolate chips to garnish (optional)

Directions:

Cut banana and avocado into smaller pieces and place in small mixing bowl. Add in 2 tbsp of cocoa powder. (I tend to not measure and just eyeball it). You can mash by hand with a fork or if you have a blender, toss all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth. If you mix ingredients by hand, the pudding will have more lumps. Top with dark chocolate chips and try not to lick the bowl clean 😉


Banana Coconut Delight

                                                                 Banana Sautéed in Coconut Oil..YUM

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Are you trying to eat healthier this year but not ready to give up dessert? This simple real food dessert is SO satisfying and delicious! If you have not experimented with coconut oil yet, I encourage you to give it a try! Coconut oil is a unique fat that has been shown to have many health benefits. It is made up of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which are metabolized by the body faster for a quick source of energy. The healthy fat  in coconut oil has also been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (the good stuff) and also contains natural antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

This easy recipe is perfect for all of you coconut oil virgins out there. It’s a great alternative to that sugary bowl of ice cream or store bought baked good that’s surely loaded with added sugars and trans fat, bringing you further from your health goals.  Fruit combined with coconut oil helps support stable blood sugar stable, preventing that sugar crash later on. You may substitute banana for other fruits such as pear, peach or apple slices. I promise, you will NOT be disappointed 🙂


Banana Coconut Delight

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 tsp unrefined coconut oil
  • dash of ground cinnamon

Directions:  Slice banana into pieces, any size you wish. In a small pan, sauté the banana in coconut oil over medium heat, turning banana pieces in the oil to coat each side. Sprinkle with cinnamon.You can also serve over coconut milk or top with chopped nuts or dark chocolate morsels. YUM.  Enjoy!


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