Going Green

By Hodan Ahmed

I first started making green smoothies as a way to kick-start my health and incorporate more fruit and vegetables into my diet. I was having a lot of stomach issues, I was exhausted all the time and I just did not feel good about myself at all. It started with getting up early every morning and blending away. It drove my family up the wall to hear the motor of the blender first thing in the morning, but I didn’t care as I soon started feeling more energetic, less moody and my skin was clearing up. I’ve never been that into the clean eating movement and I never got on board with gym fanatics, but having a green smoothie a day was, and has continued to be, a really healthy and delicious way to keep myself feeling good, healthy and energized. If you want to get healthy and don’t know where to start or you’re feeling like you need a boost of vegetables and fruit in your diet or even if you’re a health nut, consider incorporating green smoothies into your meal.

Green smoothies don’t need to be intimidating or expensive. To put it simply, each green smoothie contains the basic elements of two servings of dark leafy greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard, romaine, rocket etc.), and two to three servings of any fruit. In my opinion, everything else is extra and dependent on your needs. You can incorporate healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado and nuts, chia seeds and psyllium husk which are high in fibre, and sweeteners like honey to get the most of out your smoothie. 

The following three recipes are catered to varying needs and levels, from beginner to a more ‘advanced’ recipes focusing on detoxing. This is simply a guide, and each fruit can be replaced with something more in season, depending on where in the world you live.

Each recipe makes two servings.

The Beginner Green Smoothie

This is the first green smoothie I ever made, and the taste of mango and banana had me hooked. If you don’t like the taste of spinach or kale, mango and banana tend to drown it out and make it a much sweeter smoothie. The avocado adds a creamier texture and a dose of good fats.

You will need:

2 cups of spinach

2 cups of water

1 banana

1 mango

½ avocado

Method:

Put the spinach and water into the blender and blend until smooth. Add the fruits and avocado, and blend until you have a smooth and creamy texture.

 

The Detox Smoothie

Lemon, ginger and coriander/cilantro are known to aid in the detoxification process and promote a faster metabolism and gut health. Berries are lower in sugar and higher in antioxidants than most fruits, but be warned that the addition of kale and ginger means that the taste can be stronger than most smoothies.

You will need:

2 cups of kale

2 cups of water

A handful of coriander/cilantro

The juice of ½ a lemon

1cm of ginger

1 banana

1 cup of berries

Method:

Blend the spinach, coriander, lemon juice and water until smooth. Add the banana, ginger and berries and blend again until smooth.

 

The Dessert Smoothie

This is for those who want a sweeter, and thicker smoothie. The addition of the sweet pineapple and mango makes you forget you’re drinking a handful of spinach.

You will need:

2 cups of spinach

2 cups of water

1 mango

½ a small pineapple

1 peach

½ an avocado

Method:

Blend the spinach and water until smooth. Add the mango, pineapple, peach and avocado and blend until smooth.

 

Enjoy!