As promised in yesterday’s post on 7 delightful and new green smoothie recipes, here are logistical tips for the newly initiated green smoothie drinker.
While ‘tips’ on eating is not really what I do, this is how I live, and it really supports my health, energy, and clean living — in all aspects of my life. So, here you go.
I’m covering supplies, logistics, and your easy three-step game plan.
First: let’s keep supplies simple.
Staples for your fruit basket (and, corollary, you need to have a fruit basket out, it’ll remind you to use the fruit):
- lemons :: by the bag! I go through 3 each day between smoothies and squeezing them into cold, filtered water (just reading that alone feels refreshing).
- apples :: I keep 3 to 5 around. I eat them as snacks. Honey crisp and pink lady are my favorites.
- pears :: I’m a bartlett gal, myself. They’re mild and go well with just about any smoothie. Plus, great on a salad.
- bananas :: by the bunch. Bananas thicken smoothies. You can freeze any you’re not eating quickly enough – just cut them in half before putting them in a ziploc or wrapping tin foil.
Staples for your fridge:
- one kind of leafy green :: always keep some bag of leafy green on hand and you’ll find yourself making smoothies rather than letting it go bad.
- one other green vegetable that you really like (celery for dipping, cucumbers for salads, cilantro for soups and tacos, broccoli for roasting) :: if you don’t use it up in your smoothies, add it to your salads or as a side to entres for dinner.
Stables for your freezer:
- mango :: I get mine at Trader Joe’s. It’s easy to throw in with any green (see the Spinach Slam) and a fruit we don’t often eat, which means by eating it, we’re varying up the nutrients.
- pineapple :: also from Trader Joe’s. Same as above.
- those almost too-ripe bananas :: I cut mine in half and put them in a baggie. Don’t let them touch each other (so you can’t cram them in there) or else they stick and it’s a nightmare.
A word on nuts:
- What separates the amateurs from the pros is how you handle your nuts. (Ahem.)
- You want raw nuts (heated nuts lose nutrients).
- I soak all of my nuts to help them to be more easily digested (almonds overnight or up to 2 days; other nuts 15 minutes to one hour). Soaking makes them taste creamier, too. But refrigerate them if you’ve soaked them, or else they sprout, I’ve discovered.
- Refrigerate your nuts, regardless. Their oils go rancid pretty quickly.
- My favorite nut is brazil nuts. Did you know three brazil nuts contain all of the selenium you need for the entire day, and selenium is a key ingredient supporting your brain’s release of serotonin? And serotonin makes you feel happy. So, transitive property of happiness means brazil nuts = happiness.
(What’s your favorite nut?)
Second: troubleshooting the logistics of making smoothies:
(Ideally) Make and drink immediately.
- You start losing nutrients when you blend up your smoothie and leave it on the shelf — no matter how well it’s sealed.
(Realistically) Make and drink later ~ it’s still really good for you.
- I am unlikely to get up before my husband every single day. So, he usually takes the extra smoothies from the freezer. He also will make a bunch of smoothie and leave it in the fridge up to three days.
- Plus, you have leftovers with The Staple that are meant to be frozen, and used in about a month, ideally. At three months, throw it out.
Mason jars for your smoothies.
- They are glass, which is best because most plastics leach into food.
- Dishwasher safe!
- Smoothies separate unless you chug them, so you can shake it on up, this way.
Rinse everything immediately.
- Rinse everything immediately!
- Your blender is easy to clean if you just rinse it out immediately.
- Otherwise, the smoothie becomes cement, and your blender does not go in the dishwasher.
- This includes your mason jars ~ especially the tops. That green smoothie needs immediate rinsing (including counters, too).
Water+soap+blend to clean.
- I recommend using soap to clean your blender each time you use it, using this method: after rinsing your blender, add few inches of water, a squirt of soap, and blend until the suds cover the blender… fin!
- Otherwise, your blender slowly starts turning a yucky color.
- And, if you use some strong medicine like turmeric in your health shots (health shots! a post of another day!) the next smoothie tastes of it, which kind of grosses me out, and often creates a clash of unhappy flavors.
A note about chia seeds.
- They are a super food! Throw them in salads and add them to smoothies for protein, nutrients, Omegas. Chi-chi-chias (no relation). (Or, is there?)
- Aaaaaaaand if you don’t drink your smoothie quickly, then the chia seeds turn it gelatinous. Goopy.
- So, if you’re making a smoothie for later, add the chia seeds later (and shake them up in your mason jar). They don’t need to be blended, as flaxseed does, for you to access the health benefits.
Finally: your simple 3-step game-plan.
STEP THE FIRST: Shop on the weekends for ONE week.
- One huge tub of greens makes about a full week of smoothies. Any longer than a week and the greens start looking sad and slimy.
- I can handle one smoothie recipe for a whole week. Rather than changing it up each day. Switch it up when weekend-shopping.
- I’m less likely to overbuy and throw out waste if I just plan for the week, I find.
STEP THE SECOND: To thine own self be true.
- If you know you’re not going to take the few minutes to make your smoothie in the morning, make a big batch Sunday night to last through Wednesday. It takes the same amount of time to make a big batch as it does a small one. Keep it in the fridge.
- I like the ritual of smoothie-making, so I make them real-time. I use my blender so frequently that getting it out and cleaning it feels like no obstacle. At this point, it’s like opening the fridge or letting the dogs go out in the morning. Plus, in the world of cooking, smoothie-making is the least fussy meal, ever.
- If you really are not a breakfast eater, make your smoothies ahead and freeze them, and carry them with you when you leave the house in the morning. Defrosting smoothie is yummy and you’ll start getting hungry when it starts thawing.
(kind of) STEP THREE: Stick with it for two weeks.
- Sure, I say you’ll feel great, enjoy better digestion, experience boosts of energy and have brighter eyes, but what do I know?
- Give it a good, solid try, and see if you notice a difference.
- If a big smoothie is too much liquid breakfast for you, split your smoothie into two smaller portions — one in the morning before real breakfast, and one before real lunch. For two weeks!
If you’re not well equipped for smoothie-living at this point, I’m a monkey’s uncle.
In fact, this may have been information-overload.
Just take one tip that might make your life easier, try it out, and forget the rest.
In the comments!
What works for your smoothie-living? What are your smoothie-living obstacles?