Green Smoothie Cubes

green smoothie cubes

Green Smoothie Cubes
makes 1 tray of cubes

This isn't so much of a recipe, more of a technique that I use to preserve almost wilting leafy greens like spinach, kale, chard, and collards.  Don't limit yourself to the quantities listed--just use this as a guidepost.  Keep in mind that the more bitter your greens are (like collards or beet greens), the more intense your cubes will be and the less cubes you'll want to add to a smoothie.  Spinach and kale will be the most mild.  I'd stay clear of really intense or spicy greens like mustard, arugula, or even mesclun.  Once the cubes are frozen, you can pop them out of the trays and store in a glass container or ziploc bag in the freezer.  Use 1-3 in a smoothie, depending on how green you like it. 

2 cups leftover greens like spinach and kale
1/2 cup cold water
juice from 1 lemon

1. In a blender, blend greens, water, and lemon juice until smooth.  Your blender may need a little extra water to get it going but try to add as little as possible.

2. Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze completely, at least 4 hours.  Pop out the ice cubes and store in the freezer.  

Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie

Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie
makes 1 smoothie

I almost always go green when I make smoothies, but this fall my kitchen has been overloaded with winter squash and sweet potatoes from my CSA.  Combining these leftover roasted veggies with cold pressed, unpasteurized apple cider (another CSA item), I make a smoothie that's unusually sweet for me, but tempered by the addition of turmeric, ginger and cinnamon.  Squash and sweet potatoes are good sources of beta carotene and fiber and are easily interchangeable in a recipe like this.  Don't worry about replicating mine exactly; just use what you have on hand.

1 banana
1 cup roasted sweet potato
1 cup roasted winter squash (I had buttercup and delicata)
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1/2 inch piece of fresh turmeric (or 1/4 teaspoon ground)
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger (or 1/4 teaspoon ground)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup apple cider

1. In a high powered blender, blend all ingredients until very smooth, adding more cider or water if necessary.  Garnish with extra hemp seeds and a pinch of cinnamon.  

Afternoon Sunshine Turmeric Smoothie

turmeric smoothie

This superfood turmeric smoothie comes from my friend and paleo blogger Stacey Hutson.  My work day tends to be long, and I often don't get the opportunity to eat lunch until 2-3pm, making me not only a little hangry, but also feeling a little weak, tired and de-energized.  Stacey made me this energizing (but caffeine-free) smoothie to help me make it to lunch and I've become obsessed!  Ginger and turmeric are bursting with anti-inflammatory properties and the touch of black pepper helps your body make better use of the curcumin in turmeric.  Although not proven, many people think bee pollen is energizing, although it should obviously be avoided by anyone with pollen allergies.  Stacey recommends using carrot juice (straining and throwing out the pulp after blending the carrot) for a better texture. 

  • 1/2 cup carrot juice (blend 1 carrot with 1/2 cup filtered water and strain out pulp)
  • 1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 inch turmeric root, peeled (you can sub 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric)
  • sprinkle black pepper
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 teaspoon bee pollen
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1. In a blender combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.  Garnish with seeds, more bee pollen or goji berries if desired.  

Sunflower Sprout Smoothie

sunflower sprout smoothie

Sunflower Sprout Smoothie
Serves 1

Sunflower Sprouts are easy to grow at home and are bursting with nutrients! High in protein and easy to digest, all sprouts can add a little something extra to your diet.  Because nutrients like Vitamin C, folate, and beta carotene all start to decrease once a plant has been harvested, older greens in the grocery store might not carry as much nutrition as you think. Sprouts and microgreens have a shorter shelf life, so they are usually locally grown and pack a higher nutritional punch.  Here I combined the slightly bitter and very green taste of sunflower sprouts with a banana to sweeten it up and a tart green apple to play on the fresh vegetal taste.

1 banana
1 green apple, cored and rough chopped
1 handful sunflower sprouts (½ cup)
1 cup baby spinach
1 tablespoon hemp seeds (optional)
1/2 lemon, juiced

1. Combine ingredients in a high-powered blender with cold water and blend until smooth. Can store in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.

Clean Green Smoothie Jars

Clean Green Smoothie Jars
Serves 4

This recipe is really more of a technique that can be used for any green smoothie.  Chop all of your ingredients one night and portion out smoothie ingredients for the next few days.  Lemon juice provides an essential bright, tart flavor in green smoothies and it also helps keep fresh fruit like apples and bananas from oxidizing (aka turning brown and ugly).  You can mix up what you put in each jar for a little variety too.

4 bananas, chopped
4 green apples, cored and chopped
2 lemons, juiced
1 small English cucumber, chopped
1 bunch lacinato kale, chopped
4 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 5-ounce bag baby spinach

1. Set out 4 32-ounce size mason jars.  Toss chopped bananas and apples with lemon juice and divide equally among jars.  Fill jars with cucumber, kale, hemp seeds and spinach until full and seal with lid. Store in the fridge.

2. When you go to make a smoothie, empty contents of jar into the blender and add enough water to make it blend.  Pour the smoothie back into mason jar and off you go!

 

Banana Hemp Green Smoothie

Serves 1

This fast blended breakfast combines leafy greens with a natural protein source—two ingredients that quick breakfasts rarely have! Hemp seeds are one of nature’s few complete proteins—containing all 9 essential amino acids—and have a slightly grassy taste and a creamy texture. Start keeping them on hand to toss into smoothies like this one or on top of salads, tacos or soups.

1 banana
1 tablespoon almond butter
2 cups spinach or kale
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
juice from 1/2 lemon
water or almond milk to blend (start w/ 1/2 cup)

1. Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender and blend until smooth.  If you like cold smoothies, use a frozen banana or add ice.