WHAT IS A “GREEN DRINK” ?
I started doing green drinks a couple years ago because I wanted a quick and easy way to get a lunch/snack on the go that packed a big nutritional punch. The concept is simple and the product is delicious: you fill a blender with your favorite antioxidant and flavanoid-rich produce, like swiss chard, kale, collards, spinach, grapefruit, blueberries and the like, and voila! You get a phytonutrient-rich, heart healthy, immune-boosting, anti-aging drink that will give you some zip in your step and make you feel oh-so-good!
This recipe comes from Vogue UK, and was created by London-based health food entrepreneurs Hemsley & Hemsley. They provide organic foods to private clients–celebs included– using recipes free of grain, gluten, and refined sugar and are big into anti-deprivation and guilt. We need more of that in the states, Hemsley’s! I like their winter green drink recipe (below) because you can mix and match produce depending on your palette and what’s available in the market. Check out more of their nutrient-rich, yet tasty, recipes on their website by clicking here.
Winter Green Smoothie
Serves 1 person
Thumbnail-sized piece of ginger
1 cup of filtered water or coconut water (we love Dr Martins coconut water)
1 stick of celery
1 handful of kale (or try watercress/baby spinach/romaine lettuce)
1 handful of winter fruit such as apple/pear/kiwi/pineapple
1 large sprig of parsley
Combinations [they] like: apple & watercress, pear & baby spinach, kiwi & Romaine lettuce
- Wash the fruit and veg.
- Remove the hard skin from the ginger and skin the fruit or peel the pineapple.
- Chop your veg – if you have a handheld blender you’ll need much smaller pieces but if you have a high strength blender or a Vitamix you can be as lazy at chopping as you like!
- Add the harder, more fibrous veg to your blender first, with the water. Then add the rest of your ingredients and blend until smooth. If your blender is not powerful then avoid kale stalks and ginger.
NOVEMBER GREEN DRINK
A friend and I just returned from Boston for a little World Series mayhem (that’s an understatement) and while it was one of the best trips ever one of my biggest regrets was not going to the trendy juice bar in Back Bay aptly named, Juice. During the trip I sold my soul to the gluten devil and partook in some majorly delicious burgers and other tasty, if not unhealthy, fare. Needless to say, when I returned my body was screaming for nutrition—I actually dreamed (and probably drooled) of juicing when I passed out on the return flight—so I surfed the Juice website and tried to replicate a few of their recipes. Here’s one that made the cut and gave me the immediate energy boost and cleanse I desperately needed.
1 bunch of kale
2″ knob of ginger
Juice all ingredients. If you don’t own a juicer, you can throw the ingredients in a blender with 1/2 cup of water, then pass through a fine-mesh strainer. Enjoy!
OCTOBER GREEN DRINK
This months green drink comes from The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberley Snyder. She’s become quite the detox guru and generally I think she gives some pretty good tips. This is her version of the green drink she coined, “Glowing Green Smoothie.” I like this one because I usually have all the ingredients handy and it contains fresh-tasting, detoxing herbs like cilantro and parsley–my faves for a tasty green smoothie.
Glowing Green Smoothie
1 1/2 cups water
1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped
3-4 stalks celery
1 organic apple cored and chopped
1 organic pear
1 organic banana
juice of 1/2 large lemon
1/3 bunch organic cilantro
1/3 bunch organic parsley
Add the water and chopped head of romaine and spinach to the blender. Starting the blender on a low speed, mix until smooth. Gradually moving to higher speeds, add the celery, apple and pear. Add the cilantro and parsley. Add the banana and lemon juice last.
SEPTEMBER GREEN DRINK
I’ve tried so many green drink combos, I could write a dissertation on the thing. That’s why I was delighted when I got got the book, The Healthy Green Drink by Jason Manheim, and it had some really creative flavor combos that this little brain hadn’t thought of. I mean, fresh caribou meat blended with kale and orange? Wha?! …Okaaay, caribou aka Santa’s reindeer isn’t really in the book, but it would’ve been kind of cool and definitely shocking. You never know what’ll become trendy. Pulverized game meat? Perhaps if Dr. Oz recommended it. But I’m pretty sure once you go meat smoothie, you lose all credibility with the health nuts. You’re safe this time, Rudolf, but I’d sleep with one eye open…
Just Beet It
1 medium beet
2 cups arugula
1 red apple
4-5 mint leaves
Add all ingredients to blender. Blend until smooth, adding water as necessary.
AUGUST GREEN DRINK
Let’s be honest, summer is full of fun activities which may or may not include an alcoholic beverage… or three. I’ve been feeling the call (or cry) of my liver to take a break and detox, so what better way than a green juice that’s chock full of cleansing micronutrients. They’re like a cute little cleaning crew who go in there and scrub the organs and buff them to a shine. Because everyone wants shiny organs–I know I do!
This one comes from the petite juice recipe book, “Raw Food Juice Bar” by Philip McClusky. Enjoy!
4 celery stalks
8 kale leaves
handful of mint
Juice all ingredients, serve and enjoy! If you don’t own a juicer, you can throw the ingredients in a blender with 1/2 cup of water, then pass through a fine-mesh strainer.
JULY GREEN DRINK
I had leftover hazelnuts from this month’s healthy recipe (creamy kale salad with capers and hazelnuts) so it was perfect that Judita Wignall’s book, Raw and Simple had a green drink recipe that used them. This recipe uses figs, hazelnuts and bananas which results in a unique flavor combo and smooth texture. Because of our early summer, figs are already starting to pop up in stores, so they shouldn’t be too difficult to find. Oh! And, of course, I added some spinach to this guy to get my greens on, and it didn’t change the taste too much.
Hazelnut Fig Shake
2 cups water
1/2 cup hazelnuts (plus 1 Tbsp. for sprinkling on top)
6 small dried figs (I used a couple fresh ones vs. dried)
1 1/2 cups frozen banana chunks
1 cup spinach (optional)
1/2 vanilla bean, scaped
dash of sea salt
Put water and hazelnuts in a blender until the nuts are broken down. Strain liquid through a nut milk bag (easier than it sounds, promise!), then return hazelnut milk to the blender and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth and serve immediately.
JUNE GREEN DRINK
This months green drink is actually a green juice. I wasn’t feeling well last week and this thing really helped me kick my cold. It has cucumber which regulates inflammation, kale, which strengthens immunity, lemon, an anti-viral, ginger which is warming and helps with cold symptoms, jalepeno which opens and drains sinuses, and garlic, a powerful anit-microbial. Note: I wouldn’t go on a first date after drinking this garlic laden concoction!
Cold Killer Juice Makes 16oz.
4 stalks of kale
5 lemons, peeled
2″ knob of ginger
4 cloves of garlic
Put all the ingredients through a juicer and consume immediately. If you don’t own a juicer, you can throw the ingredients in a blender with 1/2 cup of water, then pass through a fine-mesh strainer.
MAY GREEN DRINK
This months recipe comes from Gwenyth Paltrow’s new book, It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look and Feel Great— an apt title as most everything in her cookbook sounds fresh, delish, and is “clean” and gluten-free to boot. I made her parsley dressing last night for my salad and it was to die. It’s hard to find a cookbook in which I can potentially consume every recipe since I’m allergic to, well, just about eveything. Thanks, dad. This green drink is simple, inexpensive, and nutritious. I think you’ll likey!
Kale + Almond Smoothie
- 1 cup kale
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 Tbsp almond butter
- 1 Tbsp soaked raw almonds
- 1 date, pitted
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
Blend everything in a powerful blender until completely smooth and drink immediately. Note: I like to use ice to thicken it a bit.
APRIL GREEN DRINK
Now that the sun’s shown its face a bit, I’ve been looking for a green drink that will be hydrating for my skin to counteract the drying aspects of the warming weather. The below drink that I found on sheknows.com fit the bill, but man is it extreme. I had to keep adding stevia until it was palatable. Hey, no pain no gain! It’s full of antioxidants to fight those age-causing free-radicals caused by sun exposure (ok, I’m not there yet it’s only been nice for what, two days? Still, good to be prepared.) Enjoy!
Raw Green Drink courtesy of the blog, sheknows.com
The nutritional beauty of green drinks is that most of them are made with raw ingredients, making them a refreshing drink that is purely made with whole foods.
- 1/2 cucumber, seeded
- 2 cups torn kale leaves, stems removed
- 2 cups spinach
- 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon raw coconut oil
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree.
MARCH GREEN DRINK
Because I blame almost everything on the rain– aches, pains, lethargy, etc.– this Milli Vanilli Green Monster green drink seemed very fitting. Shockingly it’s sunny today in Seattle (shhhh… don’t say it too loud or you’ll jinx it!), so I’ve got no excuse for my maladies, but I can always use a boost from a fruit-and-veg-loaded smoothie like this one.
Milli Vanilli Green Monster
From the blog: Oh She Glows
- 1 cup kale
- Handful spinach
- 1.25 cups almond milk
- 1 tbsp Vega Vanilla Almondilla Shake & Go Protein Powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract
- 1 frozen banana
- 4 frozen mango chunks
- Handful blueberries
- 4-5 strawberries
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a blender, blast the lip-syncing-duo M.V. on your iPod, pour contents of blender into a dance-proof glass and boogy.
FEBRUARY GREEN DRINK
This month’s green drink recipe comes from Victoria Boutenko aka queen of all things raw. I chose this recipe because I was practicing making a pineapple-upside-down cake for a Hawaiian-themed party I’m having, and needed to make use of all the leftover pineapple. There’s nothing more indulgent than pineapple in winter! Sorry, Al Gore. This recipe cuts the sweetness of pineapple with ginger and dandelion greens–I skipped the peaches because it’s so hard to find good ones right now so used green powder + stevia instead.
Morning Zing Smoothie
½ bunch dandelion greens
2 stalks celery
½ inch fresh ginger root
2 peaches (I omitted and used green powder instead and a packet of stevia instead)
Yields 2 quarts
JANUARY GREEN DRINK
This is the month of detoxing for me, so when the new Whole Living Magazine came to my house and it was filled with detox recipes I was thrilled–you can only eat so much grilled kale with lemon juice and olive oil! There were some green drinks recipes in there too, so I gave this one a whirl and it was pretty tasty. I had it post-run, so added some organic hemp protein powder to the mix to help repair my muscles. The coconut water is perfect for replacing electrolytes and the cayenne really kept me revving high. Feels so good!
Mango-Coconut Water Smoothie
2 cups ripe mango chunks (from 1 to 2 mangoes)
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cups unsweetened coconut water
Pinch of cayenne powder
Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth.