Over the holidays, I let my normally healthy diet go off the rails a bit. I may have indulged in a few too many cookies, cocktails, scones and fried latkes. But the holiday season is officially over, it’s a new year, and probably like you, I’m ready to get back to good nutrition and moderation and fit a little more easily into my favorite jeans.
I’m also ready for my family to get back to healthy meals and snacks after too many treats in December. So I’m starting the first day of the year with a healthy green smoothie for the whole family to try to clear out those sugar cravings and power up our bodies with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and calcium.
Even though this smoothie is green, which may be off-putting at first to some family members, it’s plenty sweet and creamy from the fruit and yogurt. Adding greens like kale or spinach to smoothies gives them added nutrition and doesn’t affect the flavor nearly as much as you might think–you really can’t taste the greens. You can also add a cup of blueberries or raspberries, but they will change the color of the drink to more of a purplish-brown.
If you are not familiar with chia seeds, they are derived from a desert plant in Mexico called Salvia Hispanica, known to be the primary source of fuel for the Terahumara long distance runners in Southern Mexico. They are a wonderful and easily digestible source of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, and they also tend to keep you full between meals. (You can learn more here about chia.)
To encourage your skeptical kids to try a green smoothie, you may want to tell them it’s an Incredible Hulk Green Shake or Popeye Power Smoothie. Some other creative name ideas suggested by some parents on my Facebook page are Witches’ Brew, Monster Slime, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shake, Mean Green Muscle Machine, The Green Monster, or Lucky Leprechaun—try whatever you think will strike your kids’ fancy. Whatever you call it, it’s a creamy, refreshing and oh-so-nutritious way to start 2013!
Recipe: Green Detox Smoothie
A healthy green smoothie for the whole family to try to clear out those sugar cravings and power up our bodies with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and calcium.
- 2 cups kale, stemmed and chopped
- 1 cup spinach leaves
- ½ avocado (optional, makes it creamier and more filling)
- 1 banana
- 1 apple, chopped (no need to peel)
- 1 cup orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed
- 1 cup fruit flavored kefir or vanilla yogurt
- 1 cup ice
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds (optional)
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.