Use These Tasty Ingredients to Make Your Smoothies Green
Green has been a popular adjective in recent years as focus on the environment as well as healthy eating has intensified, and there's good reason why it's become the color du jour for people looking to up their vitamin intake - green vegetables are some of the most nutrient-dense around. Here are some ways to inject a hearty dose of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals into your daily smoothie.
Best known as the key ingredient in guacamole, avocado won't just add a green hue to your smoothie, it can load it up with plenty of minerals, fiber and vitamins like B, K and E, too. Some people like to shy away from avocados because they do have a relatively high fat content, but not all fats are created equal. As New York University Langone Medical Center explained, avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, which is good for your body because it raises good cholesterol levels, lowers bad triglycerides and doesn't affect bad cholesterol.
Spinach may be the most popular vegetable to add to a smoothie. It works well in a smoothie either frozen or raw, it tastes good with a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, and making a smoothie with spinach allows you to eat much more of this leafy green than you might in a small salad or sandwich. Spinach also has high levels of iron, fiber and a variety of vitamins with low levels of calories and fat.
Blended green tea drinks, like the Matcha Smoothie, can have a light green color and pack benefits just like vegetable-based options. Green tea has been used to help people in a variety of ways, such as improving mental awareness, which the National Institutes of Health rated green tea as "likely effective" in doing.
If you're looking for more green vegetables to add to your performance blender, try kale. Popular in many smoothie recipes, kale has tons of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese and copper, among many vitamins and nutrients. And, like spinach, kale has very few calories and negative health aspects.
While most green smoothie ingredients are vegetables, cucumbers, like avocados, are fruits that can add that green color and nutrition to your beverage. Cucumbers are a great source of water and vitamin C while being low in sodium, fat and calories.
Other Leafy Vegetables You May Forget
These are some of the most popular green smoothie ingredients, but they're far from the only ones. Don't forget about celery, cilantro, mint, Swiss chard, lettuce, collards and kiwi next time you pull out your blender to make a tasty green smoothie.